That is why I am looking forward to leaving the cold of Chicago behind right after Christmas and heading to the sunny West Coast for my annual trip to Pasadena. Why Pasadena you might ask? Because on the 1st of January, the greatest parade in the world happens in there – The Tournament of Roses Parade!
Prior to the first time I attended a Rose Parade, I didn’t really “get it”. After all the partying the night before, it was nice to wake up in my pajamas, turn the TV on, and watch the parade from the comfort of my bed. Well not anymore! I relish the idea of getting up at the crack of dawn so that I can take in all the excitement of being there. Of course, I don’t just go by myself – last year I brought along almost 400 of my closest friends on a Cartan Tours Rose Parade Package!
Sitting in the bleachers with 1,000’s of others that made this trek either on an annual basis or their first and only time because it was in their bucket-list of things to do. The seats are located at the beginning of the parade route on Colorado Blvd.; the T.V. cameras are located here as well but in no way block our site lines. The warmth of the sun is on our backs to keep us comfy and provide us with excellent options for pictures. All of the special effects take place in front of us too!
You might be thinking to yourself, “What’s the big deal? Once you have seen it, what’s the purpose of going again?” It is different every year! There are new float designs, bands, and equestrian – it never gets boring. It is truly a great way to kick off the New Year. Speaking of kick-off, let’s not forget there’s a BIG football game that afternoon too!
If football isn’t your thing, there is another exciting event that takes place after the parade. At the end of the 5-mile parade route, all of the floats gather in Victory Park and are on display. You can get very close to them and take pictures of all or maybe just a few of your favorite floats from the parade, this is entirely up to you.
This year marks the 125th anniversary of the Tournament of Roses Parade and the 100th anniversary of the Rose Bowl Game. Because of these milestone anniversaries, I know the festivities will be even more amped up this year. Make plans either this year or next to join me, you will see why I don’t want to miss this annual event. Pasadena, here I come!
The Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association recently named the Rose Queen and Court for the 2014 Parade. Click HERE to find out who the lucky ladies are!
This year some of the highlights will include: The Harlem Globetrotters, Natalie Cole, and Daryl Hall. KC and the Sunshine band will be on the first ever Wine float! Also look for a float from NBC’s “The Voice” that will be carrying this season’s winner!