Insider’s Guide to the Rose Parade


There is nothing quite like the pageantry and spectacle of the floats coming down Colorado Boulevard on New Year’s Day, crowds thronging the street on either side. But if you want a closer perspective on the craft and incredible effort that goes into creating these massive, mobile, floral creations, there are a few pre-parade options to consider. At Rosemont Pavilion and Rose Float Plaza South, float creators, decorators, and builders, some of whom have been working for nearly a year, put the final touches on their labors of love. Advance tickets are recommended and available from Sharp Seating, 626-795-4171,

Rosemont Pavilion
700 Seco St.

Rose Float Plaza South
5400 Irwindale Ave.
12.28-12.30: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

For a truly memorable ticketless opportunity for pre-parade viewing, visit Orange Grove Boulevard (between Colorado Boulevard and Bellefontaine Street) on New Year’s Eve from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. to watch the floats roll in and line up for the next day’s parade. The surrounding streets are barricaded from traffic, so expect to park remotely and walk in. But once there you’ll find a party atmosphere, with couples, large groups, and families mingling up and down the boulevard.


A number of neighborhoods host locations where floats are constructed and pre-parade public viewing is available. Call ahead for times.

Burbank Tournament of Roses Association
Burbank Water and Power, 123 W. Olive Ave., Burbank, 818-840-0060,

La Canada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association
4510 Hampton Road, La Canada Flintridge,

South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association
435 Fair Oaks Ave., South Pasadena,

Sierra Madre Rose Float Association
587 E. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, 626-355-7005,


If you’d like to play a bigger role in this year’s Rose Parade, head to one of several float decorating locations that offer the opportunity for volunteers to participate. Check the websites for additional sign-up details. Walk-ins are typically welcome; however, such opportunities are on a first-come first-served basis and are not guaranteed. Be prepared to actually contribute. Most locations ask that you commit several hours.

Artistic Entertainment Services
120 N. Aspan Ave., Azusa, 626-388-1839

Burbank Tournament of Roses
123 W. Olive Ave., Burbank, 818-840-0060,

Sierra Madre Float Association
587 E. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, 626-355-7005,

South Pasadena Tournament of Roses
435 Fair Oaks Ave., South Pasadena,

La Canada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association
4510 Hampton Road, La Canada Flintridge,


The grandstands can be found at five locations along the parade route beginning at the top of Colorado Boulevard, where the parade turns and begins to descend into Old Pasadena. The grandstands provide clear sight lines for up to 70,000 spectators. Tickets range from $60 to $110 and are available for advance purchase from Sharp Seating, 626-795-4171, If you plan on sitting in a grandstand, here are items you can’t bring with you:

Large bags
Sticks or poles
Glass bottles


Perhaps the quintessential parade experience involves camping out on Colorado Boulevard on New Year’s Eve, the night before the parade. Each year, intrepid thousands stake their temporary claim to a prime piece of sidewalk to party the night away and ensure themselves a coveted view of the action.

If you’re interested in this unique undertaking, check out our answers to frequently asked questions below.


Of course the real spectacle everybody is waiting for takes place on New Year’s Day. But in and around Pasadena, there is plenty of holiday spectacle to take your breath away in the days leading up to the New Year. If you haven’t yet spent a winter holiday evening driving through one of the neighborhoods below you’re in for something special.

Christmas Tree Lane – Altadena
Lighting up in early December, the 130-some cedars that comprise “Christmas Tree Lane” in Altadena (on Santa Rosa Avenue, between Woodbury Avenue and Altadena Drive), make up one of the oldest large-scale, outdoor Christmas light displays in North America.

Upper Hastings Ranch – Pasadena
A tradition since 1950, this neighborhood lights up spectacularly with holiday spirit as block captains lead their neighbors in competition against surrounding blocks and their equally seriously motivated residents.

St. Albans Green – San Marino
Along St. Albans Road, between Huntington Road and San Marino, huge majestic pines, festively illuminated, line both sides of the wide boulevard in a magical holiday display.


They call it the Rose Parade for a reason. The flowers and the floats are the stars. But every year the vital supporting role goes to the amazing marching bands that travel from all over the world to display their talent in the Southern California sun. If a brief march-by of all that talent won’t satisfy you, then check out Bandfest, where over the course of two days each participating marching band will perform its standout field show.

Pasadena City College
Robinson Stadium
12.29: 1:30 p.m.
12.30: 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Parking is free on campus.
Tickets are $15 and are available from Sharp Seating, 626-795-4171, Performances usually sell out, so ordering in advance is recommended.


WHERE CAN I CAMP? North of the Tournament House on Orange Grove Boulevard to Del Rosa Drive; Colorado Boulevard from Terrace Drive to Sierra Madre Boulevard; Sierra Madre Boulevard to the end of the parade route.

WHEN CAN I ARRIVE? Not before noon on Dec. 31.

CAN I COOK? Small, professionally manufactured barbecues elevated at least 1 foot off the ground are OK. A fire extinguisher is required. (NO bonfires or fireworks.) Propane tanks of less than 5 gallons are allowed.

WHAT CAN’T I BRING? Upholstered chairs, couches, boxes of any type, scaffold, tents, horns, ladders, or freestanding umbrellas (folding chairs are OK).

WHAT SHOULD I BRING? Temperatures can be wildly variable, often quite cold when the sun goes down. Prepare to bundle up at night and peel layers throughout the morning as temperatures rise. Bring plenty of water and snacks. And PLEASE, respect yourself and others by cleaning up your space and disposing of personal refuse before you leave.

Visitor Hotline
The Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau operates a visitor hotline with representatives standing by to provide information on all things Tournament of Roses related. Or if you’re in town early, drop by the Visitor Center in person.

HOTLINE: 877-793-9911
12.29: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
12.30-1.1: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

VISITOR CENTER: 626-795-9311
12.26-12.29: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
300 E. Green St., Pasadena

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