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Celebrating the Rose Parade

May 19, 2014 - 5:59pm
The Rose Parade is the height of extravagance.

The Rose Parade in Pasadena is one of the most famous parades in the entire country. With a prestigious floral display that engulfs visitors in a sea of red, the Rose Parade comes alive as the street fills with marching bands, high-stepping equestrians and of course, world-class flower-covered floats. Senior travel clubs can celebrate the Rose Parade Tour, part of America's New Year Celebration, to witness Pasadena action in full bloom. 

History of the Rose Parade
The first Tournament or Roses began in 1980, when the Pasadena's Valley Hunt Club tried to promote the "Mediterranean of the West." Welcoming hundreds of guests from across the nation, they established games like chariot races, jousting pole and tug-of-war. Yet even in the thick of winter, the abundance of fresh flowers prompted the club to add some beauty to the competition. A parade preceded the games, where entrants decorated their carriages with hundreds of fresh blooms. Thus, the Tournament of Roses came to be. 

Floats, Horses and Bands and More!
Today, the Rose Parade's extravagant floats boast exotic natural materials and high-tech computerized animation. These floats take almost a year to construct. In recent years, there have been up to 45 floats, celebrity appearances and music performances - all on the floats. Unlike Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade that uses trailer-pulled floats, floats in the Rose Parade are self-propelled on truck chassis. 

For flower lovers in the senior travel tour, the Rose Parade is unparalleled. There are more than 500,000 roses used in the celebration along with millions of other flowers. In fact, it takes 20 daisies, 30 roses and 36 marigolds to cover only 1 square foot of a float area. 

Each parade there are about 23 units of equestrians. Stunning horses and talented riders strut through the street showing off the horses' grace. 

Not to be outdone, the top marching bands from all over the world are invited to the bash. Many are from the nation's top high schools, colleges and organizational bands. Listen to their inspiring performances as they filter through one after another. 

There is also a legacy for young women to vie for the Tournament of Roses Royal Court. After multiple rounds and interviews, the winner will get to ride on her specially-designed float during the parade. 

The Parade
While thousands of people will be watching the spectacle on TV and online, only visitors can say they were there. Seniors will have to get there early to get a spot along the 5.5 mile route. The parade participants can start at at the corner of Green Street and Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena, then travel north on Orange Grove. The majority of parade viewing takes place along Colorado Boulevard. To stay warm and comfortable, seniors might consider bringing seat cushions, jackets and even blankets. It is January, after all.

For seniors with disabilities and their guests, there are three street-leveling viewing areas along the parade route reserved for them. Each person with a disability is allowed up to four guests. At one of the three viewing areas, there is a section with audio description for visually-impaired visitors. However, no seats are provided, so make sure your party carries along some chairs, cushions or stools. 

Before heading to the field for football, seniors can enjoy the best of the roses. With such an iconic reputation, the Tournament of the Roses Parade is best way to kick off the new year!

For a full Rose Parade experience, take advantage of YMT's affordable travel packages.