In 1890, Valley Hunt Club members, led by Charles Frederick Holder, sponsored the first Tournament of Roses. The abundance of flowers, even in the midst of winter, prompted the club to add a parade before the competition, where entrants would decorate carriages with hundreds of colorful blooms.

“In New York, people are buried in snow,” announced Professor Charles F. Holder at a Club meeting. “Here our flowers are blooming and our oranges are about to bear. Let’s hold a festival to tell the world about our paradise.”

More than a century later, the parade floats are a marvel of state of the art technology, all tucked away beneath flowers and other all-natural materials. Every New Year, visitors experience the beauty of the floral floats along with spirited marching bands and high-stepping equestrian units along the 5 ½ mile route down Colorado Boulevard.

More Tournament of Roses History click HERE. Download Tournament of Roses Theme/President/Grand Marshal/Rose Queen History (PDF).

  • 1890-Rose-Parade-History


    First Parade and Games. Valley Hunt Club members sponsored the first Tournament of Roses; a parade of flowers followed by an afternoon of chariot races, jousting, foot races and tug-of-war.
  • 1920-Rose-Parade-History


    The 31st Rose Parade marked the end of the horse-drawn era. Motor-driven floats, powered by electric and gasoline engines, took over completely.
  • 1959-Rose-Parade-History


    William Wrigley, Jr. family gives Wrigley Mansion and Gardens to the city of Pasadena for use as the Tournament of Roses headquarters.
  • 1999-Rose-Parade-History


    First quadruple Grand Marshals in Rose Parade history. Actress and diplomat, Shirley Temple Black, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, sports legend Jackie Robinson (posthumously) and film producer/documentarian David L. Wolper were chosen to collectively represent the 20th century.
  • 2015-Rose-Parade-History


    The 126th Rose Parade presented by Honda, themed “Inspiring Stories” was held on the second-coldest New Year’s Day in Pasadena since 1952 (missing the record low by one degree) with a temperature of 33 degrees.

Upcoming Rose Parade Events