Rose Parade: Fun Floats and Fantastic Festivities

Zachary Grover, Staff Writer

The Rose Parade is truly a one-of-a-kind spectacle. People from all over travel to Pasadena for New Year’s Day in order to find a spot along the parade route to settle in and enjoy the amazing event.

   The Rose Parade is an event to kick off the Rose Bowl festivities and welcome the new year in style. Floats, marching bands, and equestrian units travel along the five-and-a-half-mile route lined with spectators, and the event broadcast on TV nationwide, so people who don’t attend can enjoy watching it on their TV sets.

   Unbeknownst to most, the Rose Parade has a policy that the float makers must follow. According to the official Rose Parade website, “…every inch of the float must be covered with flowers or other natural materials, such as leaves, seeds or bark” ( About eighteen million flowers are needed to cover just one float, explains a website dedicated to interesting facts and trivia (

   The parade is not just for the enjoyment of the crowds, but there’s a contest in which floats are judged, including various categories including “Best float.” According to ABC 7, the winner for the “Most Extraordinary Float” at the 2018 Rose Parade was Bessie, a huge flower dragon float made by the UPS Store, with the theme of “Books Bring Dreams to Life” (

   A large variety of marching bands from all over perform every year in the Rose Parade. Twenty different marching bands will participate this year, including bands from all throughout the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, Japan, Puerto Rico, and even Sweden ( Along with these many bands, both colleges playing in the 2019 Rose Bowl football game will be represented in the Rose Parade by their school’s marching bands.

   As well as floats and bands, several different equestrian units also take part in the Rose Parade. With the horses and riders dressed up in different costumes that coincide the Rose Parade’s theme of “The Melody of Life,” the equestrian units will file behind the iconic flower floats, explains a website about the Rose Parade. The source adds that there are twenty different equestrian groups riding in this year’s parade from all around the United States (

   The Rose Parade has also stayed true to its 1890 tradition that no cars are allowed except for those carrying the Grand Marshall, Mayor of Pasadena, Rose Bowl Game Hall of Fame Inductees, and and the Tournament of Roses President (

   The Rose Parade is loved by many, including UC High Junior Jonah Doolittle and his family. “The Rose Parade is something my family and I look forward to on New Year’s Day every year. There is truly nothing like it, and the flats are awesome,” he said.

   So, on New Year’s morning, after you have recovered from a long night of celebratory partying, make sure to tune in to watch the Rose Parade with your loved ones and a cup of coffee or hot cocoa.