Rose Parade Guide and Tips

The Rose Parade, also known as the Tournament of Roses Parade, is an annual event held in Pasadena, California, on New Year’s Day. It is one of the most famous and widely watched parades in the United States and known for its elaborate floats, equestrian units, marching bands, and the extensive use of colorful flowers decorated on the floats.


Familiarize yourself with the history of the Rose Parade. The first Rose Parade took place in 1890, and it has been held annually since then, with some exceptions during wartime. It was initially organized by the Pasadena Valley Hunt Club as a way to promote the mild winter climate of Southern California.

Date and Time

The Rose Parade typically starts at 8:00 AM PST, but it’s advisable to arrive much earlier to secure a good viewing spot.


The parade route runs along Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, California. The starting point is usually at the corner of Green Street and Orange Grove Boulevard, and it ends at Sierra Madre Villa Avenue.’


Where is the best place to sit at the Rose Parade?¬†Sitting on Colorado Boulevard’s south side lets you avoid the sun in your eyes during the parade. This is a very important tip as you do not want to miss the incredibly decorated floats.


You can purchase tickets for grandstand seating, VIP packages, or find a spot along the route with general admission. Tickets can be bought in advance, and prices vary based on location and amenities.

Parade Route

Familiarize yourself with the parade route and plan where you’d like to watch from. Some areas may be more crowded than others, so choose accordingly.

Familiarize yourself with the parade’s route.

Parking and Transportation

Parking can be a challenge, so consider using public transportation or arriving very early to secure a parking spot. Some streets may be closed to traffic. What is great about taking a group tour is you get dropped-off and picked-up!

Dress Appropriately

January in Pasadena can be cool, so dress in layers and wear comfortable shoes. Don’t forget a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Average temperatures can get to highs of 68 and lows of 49 in January.

Rules and Guidelines

Respect the parade rules, which include not interfering with the floats or performers, not setting up camp too early, and not saving seats for people who haven’t arrived yet.

Food and Beverages

Pack snacks, water, and other essentials in a small bag, but be mindful of any restrictions on what you can bring to the event.

Camera and Binoculars

If you want to take photos or see the details of the floats and performers, bring a good camera and binoculars. Most camera phones good enough for taking pictures at this event.

Stay Hydrated

The parade can last several hours, so keep yourself hydrated by having water with you.

Parade Highlights

Keep an eye out for the Grand Marshal, the Rose Queen, the Royal Court, the stunning flower-covered floats, and the impressive marching bands.

Safety and Security

Be aware of the security measures in place. Law enforcement and security personnel are present to ensure everyone’s safety.

Respect the Event

The Rose Parade is a family-friendly event, so be respectful to fellow attendees and the performers. Enjoy the celebration and have a great time.


Each year’s parade has a specific theme, which is reflected in the design of the floats and other aspects of the event.

It is always a great idea to check the official Rose Parade website for the most up-to-date information, including details about the parade’s theme, participating floats, and any specific rules or guidelines for that year’s event. Make your next trip to the Rose Parade easy and avoid any confusion on a guided group tour with Tours of Distinction. Tours of Distinction’s¬†6 day vacation package covers all the details and includes other sights and attractions throughout Los Angeles and San Diego.