Rose Parade Viewing Tips

The Dole Rose Parade Float in the making.

The Dole Rose Parade Float in the making.

Two weeks ago we had the opportunity to head to Fiesta Floats and check out Dole Packaged Food’s Rose Parade Float, “Rhythm of Hawaii”. I can’t wait to spot on TV tomorrow. This year we are out of town and will not have the opportunity to see it in person. The float follows in the tradition of DOLE’s four Sweepstakes Trophy-winning predecessors of showcasing the regions where DOLE employs workers and grows fresh produce.

If you’re in town and are thinking of heading to Pasadena to watch the parade in person, you still have time. The years our family has watched it in person, we made the decision to watch early New Year’s Day. If you’re thinking of doing it, DO IT! It is so much fun!!!

Here are some tips for watching the Rose Parade. I promise it is super fun and everyone should watch it in person at least once!

 1. Layer up –  The high for New Year’s Day should be a high of 59 and that is chilly!! It’s going to in the high 30’s early in the morning. Dress in layers so that you can easily remove a layer or two when it starts to warm up. If you’re bringing little ones I would also bring scarves, gloves, a blanket and mittens

2. Camping – bring plenty of blankets, sleeping bags and pillows.  If you are camping be prepared for a sleepless night. I’ve camped out a couple of times with my family and didn’t sleep a wink.

3. Bring Drinks/Snacks

4. Parade Route – The Tournament of Roses Parade follows the same route every year: Starting on Ellis St., it heads north on S. Orange Grove Blvd., then east on Colorado Blvd, north (left turn) on Sierra Madre Blvd., and ending at Paloma Street.- Plan ahead to determine where you would like to seat. There  is no public, curbside parade viewing on Orange Grove Blvd. from Del Rosa to Colorado Blvd. and on Colorado from Orange Grove to Terrace. Grandstand ticket holders only.

5. Early Morning Arrival – If you would like to see the parade live in person, but have small children or the idea of camping out seems like a nightmare, this might be for your.  Our friends suggested to leave about 30-45 minutes before the parade starts and head over to the end of the parade on Sierra Madre blvd. You can easily find a spot without having to camp out.

6. Parking  –  Parking can be a nightmare. You can park in residential areas but be prepared for a walk. You can also pay anywhere between 10-40 dollars and park close up to the parade route in any of the private lots. If you are planning on this, make sure you bring cash.

7. Time  –  The parade starts at 8am sharp and is approximately 2 and a half hours long.

8. Post Parade –  If you would  like to view the floats close up, you can buy tickets for the Post Parade Float Viewing.  You can get closer to the floats and talk to their builders here. Crowds will be smaller if you can arrive immediately when they open on the morning after the parade. Use an area park-and-ride lot, or if you have a carful of people, try for one of the paid lots near Pasadena High School. I will be covering this in a later post.

Have fun and Happy New Year!!!


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