New Year’s Day is quite special in most places in the world and in Pasadena, California, it’s a great reason to hold a parade; so they do, which is the annual Rose Parade. The event usually attracts about a million spectators with another few hundred million tuning in to watch it on television.

tournament of roses

The parade has been held every year since 1890 and it features marching bands, horseback entertainers, and floral floats. It takes about two hours and runs down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena.

The parade runs hand in hand with the annual Rose Bowl American football game and combined, they’re known as the Tournament of Roses. The whole event features a festival of music, flowers, and sports as there are two dozen marching bands on hand.

The original Tournament of Roses was started by local residents who wanted to showcase and take advantage of the city’s mild winter weather. During the early years of the event, there were a variety of games played, as well as bronco-busting demonstrations and a race between an elephant and a camel, as well as ostrich races. Oh, and by the way, the elephant beat the camel in the race.

The colorful floats have developed quite a bit over the years and many of them are created by professional companies that specialize in building floats. Some of them can take up to a year to design and build. The celebrations don’t have to end on New Year’s Eve as the Tournament of Roses is wonderful entertainment for the whole family.


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