As a kid, I remember watching the Rose Bowl Parade on our very non-HD, barely color and monstrously boxy television set. I could hardly hear the announcers’ color commentary over my mother’s “¡Mira pa’ eso!” “¡Que cosa más bella Dios mio! ” and “Como inventan los Americanos.”
Now I get to send her text messages with crisp photos, inches away from the floats.
Unsurprisingly, she replies with the same commentary.
Smell the Roses
If you’re in LA for New Year’s, this is where you need to be. Twenty minutes northeast of Los Angeles is the great city of Pasadena, home of the Tournament of Roses, which includes the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl Game.
If you’re averse to waking up al amanezer de Dios (or never going to sleep) to make it to the parade, you can get tickets to view the floats after el desfile. Instead of watching them drive by, you get to walk right up to them – no camera zoom necessary (except for the people taking photos with iPads, then it’s all-zoom, all the time). There are volunteers at each of the floats to answer questions and to point out the details that you might otherwise miss.
Be prepared, it’s you and a gazillion other people either FaceTiming with their mothers.
Important for the Parade: Tickets for the 2021 Rose Parade go on sale sometime in February, exclusively at SharpSeating.com. They are the official grandstand seating company for the Tournament of Roses® Rose Parade.
If you want to catch the post-parade float viewing: After the parade, get a close-up view and see the detail, the design and workmanship that goes into every float. You can walk almost within arms reach of these floats and see for yourself the creativity and imagination of the floral displays. Check back to SharpSeating.com for times and fees, but you can always buy your tickets at the event. Also, I recommend using their complimentary shuttle and parking system. It’s fast, efficient and headache-free.
There is more: There’s much more you can see and do at the Tournament of Roses. For instance, you can get tickets to see the Rose Parade floats getting constructed and decorated before the parade. There is also a Bandfest event that features performances by the top bands that will march at the Rose Parade. Again, these events vary so check back in the spring and summer to get in on next year’s parade.
Watch this year’s parade on TV: The Rose Parade will be broadcast live in the U.S. beginning at 8:00 AM PST, on January 1, 2020. Please check your local broadcast listings for more information. Following the Rose Parade, the 2020 Rose Bowl Game will be broadcast at 1:00 p.m. PT, exclusively on ESPN.