How to See the Rose Parade


You've watched the Rose Parade on TV for years, and now you want to see all those cymbidiums and palominos and trombones close up. There are several ways to watch the Tournament of Roses Parade wend its 2 1/2-hour way through the streets of Pasadena, but you must start planning early. Here's the inside scoop on how to see the Rose Parade.

Sit in the Grandstand

  • Buy tickets. Everyone who sits in the elevated, reserved grandstands must have a ticket, except children under 2 who remain in your lap throughout the parade. Sharp Seating Company is the authorized ticket seller for the Tournament of Roses. Tickets for the Rose Parade go on sale February 1 of the preceding year; prices are based on location along the parade route.

  • Secure a parking permit. Sharp Seating also sells reserved parking. Parking is also available for RVs, including some premium-price spots that allow you to park an RV along the parade route and watch from inside.

  • Arrive on time. Get to your parking space at least 2 hours before the parade begins. You'll need to pass through a security checkpoint. You must be in your grandstand seat by 7:00 a.m. if you are seated at the starting end of the route, and everyone must be in their seats by the 8:00 a.m. starting time.

  • Bring only what you need. Grandstands are bench style, with no backrests, so bring a cushion with a backrest for comfort. You can bring food and non-alcoholic beverages, or buy from parade route vendors; backpacks, coolers and large containers are prohibited in the grandstands. The Rose Parade marches in rain (rare) or shine, and no umbrellas are allowed, so dress in layers and bring a hat or hood for showers.

Snag a Curb Spot

  • Arrive early. You may begin staking out a curb space at noon on the day before the parade, but you can't tape off or otherwise save spaces. Until 11 p.m., you and your belongings must stay on the curb; after that time you can move out to the blue "honor line" painted in the street.

  • Bring what you need: lightweight folding chairs or camp stools, plus blankets or sleeping bags for keeping warm during your overnight vigil. Bring food and drink (but no alcohol). If fire marshals permit, you can use an approved fire container to cook and keep warm. Dress in layers.

  • Observe the rules. You can't bring tents, umbrellas, boxes or large furniture; have alcohol or fireworks; light barbecue fires if it's windy or throw any objects (including confetti and Silly String). Pasadena police and parade officials practice strict enforcement, especially of underage drinking laws, so check the police website to learn the regulations.

Find Alternative Ways to Watch

  • Attend pre- or post-parade activities. The Tournament of Roses sponsors pre-parade activities for float fans, band geeks and equestrian lovers, and everyone can see the floats up close and personal in Victory Park after the parade. Fees charged for these activities support the Tournament of Roses Association; contact Sharp Seating for tickets and information.

  • Watch from above. If you know someone who lives or works along the parade route, particularly Colorado Boulevard or Orange Grove Avenue, score a coveted window vantage point.

  • Ride, march or walk in the parade. If you're lucky enough to be one of the organization officials or volunteers who ride on a float, or a member of one of the bands or equestrian groups, you'll never have a better vantage point. Pasadena residents can volunteer to be "White Suiters" who walk the Rose Parade route to provide hospitality and security.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also purchase Rose Parade grandstand seats at a premium through ticket brokers, or try travel agents and organizations like AAA for package deals.
  • Sharp Seating offers a limited number of reserved grandstand seats accessible to disabled persons.
  • The City of Pasadena reserves three curbside areas for disabled persons and their companions, one with audio description and signing. You must provide your own seating. These spots are free on a first-come, first-served basis. Reserve by calling (626) 744-7673 after October 1.
  • Senior citizens and persons with movement disabilities are allowed to visit Victory Park during special reserved post-parade hours.
  • Don't leave your space unattended. At least one adult must be present for every 5 chairs at all times. Chairs left unoccupied will be confiscated by the Pasadena police.

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