About Rose Parade2018-11-12T12:25:24-08:00
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THE ROSE PARADE – AN ICONIC TRADITION

The Rose Parade begins at 8:00 AM PST on January 1, 2019, in Pasadena, California, USA.

For millions of people around the world, the Rose Parade is an iconic New Year’s Day tradition.

The Rose Parade travels 5 ½ miles down Colorado Blvd. and features four types of entries: floral-decorated floats entered by a participating corporation, non-profit organization or municipality, equestrian units, bands, and Tournament Entries. Rose Parade participants have long histories with the Tournament of Roses and keep the traditions alive.

The earliest Tournament of Roses welcomed 3,000 spectators to its first parade filled with beautiful, horse-drawn carriages covered in flowers. 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.

ROSE PARADE HISTORY

PARTICIPANTS

Each year more than 80,000 hours of combined service are supplied by 935 volunteer members of the Tournament of Roses Association. Nicknamed “White Suiters” because of the distinctive white suits every volunteer wears, these community-spirited men and women give up their evenings, weekends and holidays to ensure the success of the Rose Parade® and Rose Bowl Game®.

VOLUNTEER MEMBERSHIP

The Rose Parade is broadcast live in the U.S. by several networks/stations. Please refer to our list of broadcasters or check your local listings. For seating and ticket information, please see our Tickets and Events page.

Rose Parade safety tips and guidelines can be found on our Parade Safety Guidelines  page.

935
ACTIVE VOLUNTEER MEMBERS

80,000
HOURS ANNUALLY CONTRIBUTED

31
OPERATING COMMITTEES

Upcoming
Rose Parade Events

THEME & GRAND MARSHAL

2019 ROSE PARADE THEME – THE MELODY OF LIFE

“The Melody of Life” celebrates music – the universal language.

Music has the power to not only bring us together but take us back to memories and moments as nothing else can. From the sweep of a conductor’s baton to a simply whistled tune, music is woven into the fabric of our lives, community, family, friendship, and love. Music heals us. Defines us. Reminds us, and inspires us to be our greater selves. Rhythm, melody, harmony, and color all come together to create the soundtrack that defines our lives.

2019 GRAND MARSHAL – CHAKA KHAN

Singer, songwriter, and philanthropist Chaka Khan was announced today as the 2019 Grand Marshal by Tournament of Roses® President Gerald Freeny. Chaka will ride in the 130th Rose Parade® presented by Honda, themed “The Melody of Life” and join in the pre-game celebration of the 105th Rose Bowl Game® presented by Northwestern Mutual both are held on January 1, 2019. As an added bonus for millions of viewers around the world, Chaka is scheduled to perform in the parade’s Opening Spectacular.

Chaka is one of the most celebrated musicians with a rich musical legacy. As a singer, songwriter, actor, author, philanthropist, and entrepreneur, Chaka has influenced generations of entertainers. She has the rare ability to sing in seven music genres, including R&B, pop, rock, gospel, country, world music and classical.  Affectionately known around the world as Chaka, she is respected by millions of fans as well as her peers for her timeless, classic and unmatched signature music style and ability. Throughout her legendary career, Chaka has released 22 albums and ten #1 Billboard magazine charted songs. However, the song that propelled her to stardom was the 1984 chart-topping, GRAMMY® award-winning song, “I Feel For You,” written and first performed by Prince.

Despite her busy schedule, Chaka has always made time to support and uplift her community. In 1999 she established the Chaka Khan Foundation which educates, inspires and empowers children to achieve their full potential. Through the Chaka Believes Program, the foundation gives children in Los Angeles who are at risk, either through poverty or through health issues like autism, the ability to achieve their dreams and give back to the community.

2019 RoseParade Poster

View list of all former Tournament of Roses Grand Marshals.

ROSE PARADE PARTICIPANTS

The Rose Parade features three types of entries: floral-decorated floats sponsored by a participating corporation or community organization, equestrian units, and marching bands. The only cars that appear in the Rose Parade are those that may carry the Grand Marshal, the Mayor of Pasadena, the Rose Bowl Game Hall of Fame Inductees and the Tournament of Roses President. Many of the Rose Parade’s participating organizations have long histories with the Tournament of Roses and have made numerous appearances in the parade.

INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING IN THE ROSE PARADE?
Visit our Apply page for more information about applying to be a Rose Parade participant. Deadlines for floats, equestrian units and marching bands vary.

FLOATS

The Rose Parade’s elaborate floats have come a long way since the Tournament’s early days, and the Rose Parade has stayed true to its floral beginnings. Every inch of every float must be covered with flowers or other natural materials, such as leaves, seeds or bark. The most delicate flowers, including roses, are placed in individual vials of water, which are set into the float one by one.

MARCHING BANDS

The Rose Parade’s musical legacy dates to 1891 when the Monrovia, Calif. City Band joined the procession of flower-covered pony carts in the second Tournament of Roses Parade. Since then, hundreds of thousands of musicians from all over the world have made the famous march through Pasadena on New Year’s Day. The Rose Parade has welcomed high schools, colleges and universities, and Military bands. Past parades have featured a variety of musicians including marching bands, drum and bugle corps, brass and percussion bands, and bag pipes.

  • Alabama State University Mighty Marching Hornets (Montgomery, AL)
  • All-Izumo Honor Green Band (Izumo, Japan)
  • Banda Escolar de Guayanilla Puerto Rico (Guayanilla, Puerto Rico)
  • Banda Municipal de Acosta (Acosta, San José, Costa Rica)
  • Calgary Stampede Showband (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)
  • Cavalcade of Bands Honor Band (Mid-Atlantic Region)
  • Florida A&M University, The Incomparable Marching “100” (Tallahassee, FL)
  • Flower Mound High School Band (Flower Mound, TX)
  • Lincoln-Way Marching Band (Frankfort, IL)
  • Mercer Island High School Marching Band (Mercer Island, WA)
  • Munford High School Band (Munford, TN)
  • Na Koa Ali`I – Hawai`i All-State Marching Band (Kaneohe, HI)
  • Pacific Crest Drum & Bugle Corps (Diamond Bar, CA)
  • Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band & Herald Trumpets (Pasadena, CA)
  • Pickerington Marching Band (Pickerington, OH)
  • Royal Swedish Cadet Band (Karlskrona, Sweden)
  • The Lassiter High School Marching Trojan Band (Marietta, GA)
  • The Salvation Army Tournament of Roses Band (Long Beach, CA)
  • United States Marine Corps West Coast Composite Band (San Diego, CA)

These bands will be joined by those from the two universities competing in the Rose Bowl Game.

EQUESTRIAN UNITS

On January 1, 1890, Grand Marshal Francis Rowland and President Charles Holder mounted their horses and led the first Rose Parade through Pasadena. Equestrian units remain an irreplaceable part of the parade. Each year, the Rose Parade features a wide variety of horse breeds who entertain spectators, each with their own style and grace, including Curly Horses, American Saddlebreds, Gypsy Cobs, Andalusians, Miniature Horses, Draft Horses, and more. Equestrian units offer a variety of special skills and colorful costumes that tie into the Rose Parade theme while continuing to honor traditions.

  • 1st Cavalry Division, Horse Cavalry Detachment (Fort Hood, Texas)
  • Blue Shadows Mounted Drill Team (Castaic, California)
  • Budweiser Clydesdales (St. Louis, Missouri)
  • Calgary Stampede Showriders (Strathmore, Alberta, Canada)
  • California Highway Patrol (Sacramento, California)
  • Native Sons of the Golden West present the Gold Rush Fire Brigade (Pilot Hill, California)
  • Hawaii Pa’u Riders (Waimanalo, Hawaii)
  • Los Hermanos Banuelos Charro Team (Altadena, California)
  • Mini Therapy Horses (Calabasas, California)
  • Parsons Mounted Cavalry (College Station, Texas)
  • Scripps Miramar Ranch (San Diego, California)
  • Spirit of the West Riders (Leona Valley, California)
  • The New Buffalo Soldiers (Shadow Hills, California)
  • The Norco Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team & Little Miss Norco Cowgirls Jr. Drill Team (Norco, California)
  • The Valley Hunt Club (Pasadena, California)
  • United States Marine Corps Mounted Color Guard (Barstow, California)
  • US Forest Service Pack Mules Celebrate Smokey Bear’s 75th (Vallejo, California)
  • Wells Fargo Stagecoaches (San Francisco, California)

TROPHIES & AWARDS

Each year the Tournament of Roses selects three judges to grant float awards based on many criteria including float design, floral presentation and entertainment value. The Tournament of Roses announces the award-winning floats on New Year’s Day prior to the Rose Parade. As the award-winning floats venture down the parade route, they are preceded by banners showcasing their award. The banners are carried by select members of the Tournament of Roses Eagle Scout and Gold Award Girl Scout Troops.

Float Design

This category showcases attractive, visually well-balanced floats that over a creative treatment of the designer’s idea. The floats are in line with the parade’s theme and include the use of animation.

Floral Presentation

This category provides a visual balance and cohesive mix of floral and non-floral materials. The floats are predominantly floral in appearance and display an abundance of flowers.

Entertainment Value

This category creates a dramatic impact by creatively using additional elements to advance the design concept. Additions may include, but are not limited to, float riders, outwalkers, pyrotechnics, and showmanship.

Tournament of Roses Trophy

TOP AWARD

Sweepstakes
Most beautiful entry encompassing float design, floral presentation and entertainment.

THEME
Most outstanding presentation of the Rose Parade theme

BOB HOPE HUMOR
Most whimsical and amusing float

DIRECTOR
Most outstanding artistic design and use of floral and non-floral materials

CROWN CITY INNOVATOR*
Most outstanding use of imagination, innovation and technology

GRAND MARSHAL
Most outstanding creative concept and float design

FANTASY
Most outstanding display of fantasy and imagination

ANIMATION
Most outstanding use of animation

AMERICANA
Most outstanding depiction of national treasures and traditions

GOLDEN STATE
Most outstanding depiction of life in California

MAYOR
Most outstanding float from a participating city

PRESIDENT
Most outstanding use and presentation of flowers

ISABELLA COLEMAN
Most outstanding presentation of color and color harmony through floral design

QUEEN
Most outstanding presentation of roses

LEISHMAN PUBLIC SPIRIT
Most outstanding floral presentation from a non-commercial participant

PRINCESS
Most outstanding floral presentation among entries 35 feet and under in length

PAST PRESIDENT
Most outstanding innovation in the use of floral and non-floral materials

FOUNDER
Most outstanding float built and decorated by volunteers from a community or organization

INTERNATIONAL
Most outstanding float from outside the United States

TOURNAMENT VOLUNTEER
Most outstanding floral presentation of the Rose Parade Theme among floats 35 feet and under in length

EXTRAORDINAIRE*
Most extraordinary float

WRIGLEY LEGACY*
Most outstanding display of floral presentation, float design and entertainment

JUDGES
Most outstanding float design and dramatic impact

SHOWMANSHIP*
Most outstanding display of showmanship and entertainment

*Including units 55 feet in length and greater