On Jan. 1, the City of Pasadena rang in the New Year with the 127th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade. The parade kicked off at 8 a.m. and welcomed thousands of spectators along its five and a half mile route.
Although it was a bit chilly by southern California standards, the sun was shining bright last Friday morning for the annual New Year’s Day celebration. This centuries-old tradition is always followed by the famous Rose Bowl football game.
The first parade was held in 1890, where the parade had to be enjoyed in person. Now, millions of people watch the spectacle from their homes thanks to the live broadcasts on multiple television networks.
For the parade’s 127th year, more than 700,000 people congregated along Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena to watch 44 floats, 19 marching bands, and 19 equestrian groups march proudly down the street. This year’s theme, “Know Your Adventure,” was a partnership between the Pasadena Tournament of Roses and the U.S. National Park Service.
The theme hoped to shed light on the centennial celebration of the NPS while promoting the reverence of the American spirit through outdoor adventure. According to the Tournament of Roses website, the aim of the theme was “to preserve history, connect people through real-life experiences and engage the public in new adventures.”
NBC Los Angeles reports that many celebrities were in attendance, as well as familiar and well-loved characters, such as the “Star Wars” Stormtroopers and Disney Princesses Anna and Elsa from the movie “Frozen.”
A highlight of the parade was the gigantic, 782-member marching band from Allen, TX. This was their second appearance at the Rose Bowl Parade, delighting the masses with their sheer size and wonderful musical talents.
Other standouts included a fire-breathing dragon float from the Singpoli Group and 60th Anniversary Disneyland float. Mickey Mouse himself waved to fans from among the roses.
Each year, millions of roses are used to create the flower-covered floats. The rose parade is sure to account for a portion of the nearly $7 billion the florist industry generates annually.
If you missed it, video clips highlighting the parade can be found online, along with many photographs of the award-winning floats. A full 24 floats were given special honors to award excellence in a variety of categories.