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Rose Bowl Parade

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  • Rose Bowl Parade

    This will be our first trip to the Rose Bowl Parade. We have been told that you need to get there the night before, to get a good place to watch the parade. Is this true? Do you have to buy tickets to watch the parade? Is there a parking problem?

  • #2
    Re: Rose Bowl Parade

    It's called the Rose Parade (the game is at the nearby Rose Bowl) and you'll find the answers at

    If it all sounds like too much trouble, watch it on television in your L.A. hotel - you get better views of all the floats, and they keep running and re-running it just about all day.

    After the parade, for quite a few days, you can go inspect the floats from up-close.

    Last edited by ongmont; 11-11-2005, 04:24 PM.


    • #3
      Re: Rose Bowl Parade

      If you want to go to the parade, you have many, many options. You can buy a ticket and sit in the overcrowded stands, stay up all night along the parade route and party, watch it on TV, or try your luck and come about 6:30 AM and try to find a spot.
      My family goes early in the morning and heads down toward the end of the parade route and we always find plenty of room along the curb!! The parade is all the same whether you see it at the start or the finish. It is alot less hassle and alot less people at the end than the beginning.
      The floats are on display for 2 to 3 days after the parade, and if you want to fight all the people to see them, then go, but you can see them real close as they go by during the parade. It will cost you some $$ to see them up close after the parade!! My parents went and they said its not worth all the crowds, and you can only be there looking for so long and then they move you along.
      To get all the details about the floats, watch it on TV. That saves the hassle of the parking, people, and traffic.
      Lastly you could buy a package that gives you a bus ride over, seating at the beginning of the parade and sometimes they even throw in a box lunch.
      Good Luck


      • #4
        Re: Rose Bowl Parade

        well i say it is better to stay the night before, because that is the best part of the parade. As a local i hate when people get there early the day of and try to take over your spot. It is a lot better to watch it live than on t.v. Also to remind you that this year's parade will be on the 2nd, since the 1st is a Sunday (and people go to church)


        • #5
          Re: Rose Bowl Parade

          Originally posted by NitroCad View Post
          This will be our first trip to the Rose Bowl Parade. We have been told that you need to get there the night before, to get a good place to watch the parade. Is this true? Do you have to buy tickets to watch the parade? Is there a parking problem?
          NitroCad --

          I'm writing this from Pasadena on June 30, 2008.

          I'm assuming you do not want to buy a grandstand seat along the route of the Parade. Yes, the night before is as great a show as the Parade itself, sort of an all-night party with folks gathering from all over North America and foreign countries. I think most visitors may buy Parade seating but in so doing you risk the rare chance it could rain -- the seats are refundable for what you paid for them if you don't want to sit in the seat if the weather would be rarely inclement (about an 11% chance that might happen. The odds are greatly in your favor weather will be good.

          Seats run around $60-70 but vary, i.e, better viewing seats go for $80. I recommend the extra money for seats at the corner of Orange Grove and Colorado (or as near to this corner as possible). The Parade starts from there around 8 am or so and will finish a little after 10 am. Dress warm for the night or early morning and anticipate peeling off clothing as the sun comes up and spreads its joy for the day.

          If you came out in 2005, I wouldn't return until about 2015. The floats change about 10% per year so in 10 years you get a completely new Parade, so to speak.

          Watching from the curb is good but people in front of you can partially block your view. The best seat is in front of a TV screen in your home, i.e., don't spend the money to see the Parade in person. On the other hand, in person is "real". After the Parade, the floats are put on display for a couple of days or maybe it is only one day. You can get to see them up close -- say from 4-5 feet away to see the exquisite placement and complexity of the float designers' use of floral arrangmens. A nice thing to appreciate all the work that goes into these floats. The Parade is the best in the world in my opinion; this is no amateur parade!



          • #6
            Re: Rose Bowl Parade

            Its been 10 years since the last time I went, but I think I attended every parade from 1956 to 1975... but only occasionally since (I was born in Pasadena, grew up there, but have since moved north.) We usually went at the last minute, parked about 6 blocks away, carrying step ladders, set up behind the crowd, but the ladders allowed us to see over them...

            As noted the party the night before is interesting... but some start claiming spots several nights before... It can get cold, so if you go the out all night route take sleeping bags...

            The parade slows and stops at several points along the way for television cameras... the bands play at those spots as well... Orange Grove and Colorado Blvd is the primary point, and the floats have to turn there as well, so you see both sides.

            Randy Hees

            If you go only once you should make a point of viewing the floats under construction a couple of days before...
            Randy Hees
            San Mateo California

            Wandering the west and elsewhere since 1955... Occasionally Blogging about it at


            • #7
              Re: Rose Bowl Parade

              Randy --

              Thanks for your email. I have lived in Pasadena since the late 1940's. You are "right on" in your email to me. Seeing the floats being built is very much part of the experience seeing the parade.

              I don't think ladders are allowed anymore.

              The parade watchers have been slowly declining. Instead of ABC, NBC and CBS carrying the parade, I think ABC dropped its coverage last January. The local stations still carry the parade.

              Floats are getting very expensive (= less affordable to those who might wish to participate). Gasoline costs will no doubt affect the future parades -- not just the parade itself but transporation getting to and from the parade in all aspects. Schools may not be able to send their bands as the recession puts a bit on school revnues, i.e., reduced property taxes as home values fall. Lots of ramifications.

              However, the parade is still America's best and well worth watching.

              All the best to you, Randy, in your travels.

              Pasadena Bob Aron


              • #8
                Re: Rose Bowl Parade

                hey this parade sounds to be not-to-be-missed kinda experience...


                • #9
                  Re: Rose Bowl Parade

                  Samrawet --

                  I'm a longtime resident of Pasadena. Yes, from my observations and having attended a few, the Rose Parade is worth seeing. I do think the view from your living room is a touch better just as the view from your living room is better than being at the ballpark. That said, nothing beats watching the parade in person and same goes for being at the ballpark.

                  You might probably enjoy the parade buying a grandstand seat. along Colorado Blvd, the main street of Pasadena and the majority of the parade's route. By grandstands, I mean temporary seats that are as deep as 30 rows from sidewalk level but most only extend 10 to 15 rows behind the sidewalks. Seats run up to $80 but the average might be $40. Sitting or standing on the sidewalk or curb (at no cost!) is an experience to meet people who come from all over the USA (and some foreigners) to see this spectacular usage of fresh flowers attached to forms, many animated and mechanically performing characters mixed in the bands from all over the country and horse groups.

                  Samrawet, my thought for you is to go to the city of Pasadena official website and/or the Tournament of Roses (T of R) website, who sponsor the parade. and get authoritative info and not to rely on my words. No disrespect to me but the T of R website has the more current info if you are seriously interested. If your college team is playing in the Rose Bowl that day, that adds to the joy of the occasion. Tickets for the football game are about $250 a seat and that doesn't add to the joy of the game whatsoever! But seeing that game on a sunny, blue skies winter day in So Calif is another recommendable consideration on your part. For those who are "in the spirit", it is a day to remember. I think most out-of-towners get commercial tours into Pasdaena for a 2,3 or a 4-day tour of the area, which may include Santa Anita Race Track -- probably the most picturesque rack track in the world. Very clean and nicely landscaped agsint a backdrop of 6,000 foot mountains with a few miles of the track itself. Prices for such tours may run as high as $2000 to $3000 per person or higher.

                  I again recommend you go to the T of R website and use the city of Pasadena website to complement further info on Pasadena.

                  Samrawet, I have no idea where you live, who you are, what you like or want to see when traveling, and so on. However, I am glad to offer the advice above should you have a serious intent to take in the parade.

                  Good luck to you! PasadenaBob


                  • #10
                    Re: Rose Bowl Parade

                    I have seen the Rose Parade only in television and now I think want to see it up close. My sister invited me to watch it with her but I'm kinda hesitant because I just planned to watch it on TV and then see the floats in person after the parade. The seats are kinda pricey that's why I'm still thinking if I will push through in watching it in person. whatchathink?


                    • #11
                      Re: Rose Bowl Parade

                      Valarie09 --

                      My sense of you is that it would be a once-in-a-lifetime good experience. Yes, the seats are a little pricey but they guarantee a certain physical comfort if you are prefer comfort, say, versus standing on the sidewalk watching the parade go by. People bring folding chairs but you have people stand in the gutters sometimes rather than, say, sitting on the curb -- or thay may sit but stand and cheer for certain floats and people for what they represent to them.

                      I'd say on New Year's Eve walking up and down Colorado Blvd, the main street of Pasadena and the Parade's route for 5.5 miles, is quite a show. it is everyone's outdoor, all-night, festive party. Very convivial scene. Lots of warm fuzzies to see, I'd say. The crowd is 99.9 controlled by the visability of police (all the cops of surrounding cities work for the extra pay of a night shift that night and the next morning).

                      I suspect sales of seating could be slow for Jan 1, 2010, due to the economic slowdown we're experiencing. Also, the commercial tour groups come through and buy large chunks of the seating for their tours. So consider looking into buy a commerical tour package. Yes, they are pricey, too, but if you are really in the Parade, won't everything taken care of for you, go for it. You also have the option of asking your sister
                      to investage matters for you. That is, she can go into the organization --
                      there is only one -- to buy seating for you. She can select right then and there the seating she wants, go check it out and then come back and buy the seating. One thing that has taken recently will affect the seating arrangements. Fools in city hall cut down the beautiful shade trees along a porition of Colorado Blvd. That will serve to mean your view won't be
                      blocked by a tree. Not only did those shade trees presents decades of growth and add beauty to the street, they provided shade for cars and pedistrians alike on scorching summer days.

                      I think tansportation, lodging and food are costly elements of a commercial tour. You are fortunate if your sister will put you up and feed you. Accommodations in Pasadena and surrounding communities is very tight around the Parade time, and don't forget the Rose Bowl football game fills up lodging, too. I think you have to reserve well in advance plus prices go up for these days.

                      Evaluating everyting, I'd see the Parade once in person or otherwise enjoy it from your home's comfort. The TV people are trained to see all the angles and gives you good close ups, too. Yes, it is a passive way to join in with the Parade but if you like the energy, the excitement and "being right there in the trenches", you won't go wrong seeing the Parade once,
                      at least.



                      • #12
                        Re: Rose Bowl Parade

                        Thanks for the enlightenment, Bob! I think I should accept my sister's invitation.


                        • #13
                          Re: Rose Bowl Parade

                          Valerie09 --

                          Let me give you one more thought as an independent traveler. At LAX, you can step out of the terminal you land at and take a "Freeway Flyer (FF)" bus to LA's Union Station in downtown LA. Cost is $6 one-way or $4 if you are a senior. Buses are not crowded, clean and leave LAX foir Union Station every 30 minutes (and vice versa). Buses have separate lanes on the freeways and usually get you non-stop LAX into Union Station in 35-40 minutes. Union Station is a clean and safe place.

                          Your sister can meet you there, much easier than she going to LAX.

                          I forget if you said your sister lived in Pasadena or nearby. But if you really want to be an independent travel and a low maintenance guest, you can get off the FF bus at Union Station and walk over to "track #1 and #2" tunnel. This is the repid transit line to Pasadena, about 25-30 minutes. Your sister can meet you at a Gold Line station in Pasadena. Makes for an easy connection without your sister having to plow through traffic to LAX. Union Station parking is the rear of the station is reasonable. Union Station parking in front of the station is expensive. If you have a cell phone, you could be out in front of the station where you sister could pick you up and take you to Pasadena so she wouldn't have to park her car.

                          I'm glad I was helpful to you and good viewing for the Parade! Please enjoy your time in Pasadena.

                          Last edited by pasadenabob; 05-18-2009, 04:21 PM. Reason: needed to be more clear and more precise in the advice


                          • #14
                            Re: Rose Bowl Parade

                            I'm not sure I understand what you mean by being interested in "... any others interested in trading".

                            Let me say the previous postings about the Rose Parade back to 2005 are pretty good for a background of anyone intending to view the parade. In reviewing what I've previoulsy written, standing (or sitting in a chair you bring) the night before and staying up all night is (or was) the most interesting aspect of the Parade for this person (me) who lives in Pasadena. As I've said, you meet people from all over the country and foreign lands, too.

                            You probably will have better views of the floats from your living room TV but if you prefer to be at the scene of the action, nothing beats the sponteneity of being there in person.

                            If you can afford the seats, buy them. But be sure and go sit in them the parade -- the earlier the better. This is so you don't get stuck behind a tree or other obstruction. Make sure when you buy you can exchange the seat before the day of the Parade, e.g., go sit in that seat to make sure you have as unobstructed view as possible.

                            Some of the hotels have a bundled package with a minimun 2 or 3-day minimun stay. But with the economic times, who knows what might be available for the 2010 Parade.

                            You can go to the website for the city of Pasadena which might link to the Tournament of Roses, which contrcts with the city to conduct the Parade. Or maybe you can "Google" a serach for "Pasadena Touranament of Roses". Portland OR also has a good size parade but the granddaddy of all Parades is the Pasadena Rose Parade.

                            The parade itself is worth seeing for the usage of different kinds of flowers imported from all over the world to be displayed on the floats. Floats run from around $100,000 up to $500,000 and more. Just depends on how much float you want to buy, size, kinds of flowers, construction scenery,

                            I hope this helps in making your decision on how you want to see the Parade.