Rose Parade by Steven

Rose Parade butterfly float

Happy 2016!!  It’s a brand new year for “Surviving LA on a Budget.”  Although we left Los Angeles in the past to spend the holidays with our families, this year we spent New Year with Angelenos by attending an event that’s been long overdue for us, the Rose Parade.

Rose Parade marching band

The Rose Parade, also known as the Tournament of Roses, is a famous, televised, annual parade in Pasadena that has been around since 1890.  The parade is free to watch from the sidewalk with many people camping out overnight in order to grab the best view.  Holly from The Social Bug, our friend Peter, and I arrived around 4:30AM, and we were able to acquire a decent spot by the curb with only two rows of people in front of us.  It was freezing prior to sunrise, but luckily Holly and Peter brought a couple of blankets to warm us up.  Some attendees also brought their own lawn chairs to the site.  We were situated on the corner of Colorado Blvd and Hill Ave so we were in close proximity to McDonald’s, Jack in the Box, Carl’s Jr, coffee, and portapotties while we waited for the parade to start.

Disney and Millennium Falcon float

The Rose Parade officially began at 8AM on a 5 1/2 mile route down Colorado Blvd.  Since we were standing in the middle of the route, the parade did not reach us until approximately 9:30AM.  Typical of LA parades, we saw a lot of marching bands and horse riders.  However, what makes the Rose Parade stand out over the rest are the colorful floats decorated in flowers.  In addition, a majority of them contain motorized parts, featuring simulated speedboats, butterflies flapping their wings, a gigantic stuffed bear fishing, and the like.  My favorite float was the Disney float, showcasing Mickey Mouse and his friends, the characters from “Frozen,” and even a large Millennium Falcon.  Although the website for the Rose Parade states that the parade lasts for only 2 hours, it didn’t end on our side until around 12PM.

Steven, Holly, and Peter at the Rose Parade

If you’re looking for a great way to start the new year, check out the Rose Parade in Pasadena.  There will be a lot of people scrambling for a decent viewing spot so you should attempt to arrive by 4:30AM the latest.  I also recommend that you bring warm clothes, several blankets, and probably some lawn chairs.  Within the 5 1/2 mile route, I found the corner of Colorado Blvd and Hill Ave to be convenient due to the abundance of 24-hour fast food restaurants and portapotties available to the public.  As for street parking, most spots are free for two hours only except for some spaces north of the 210 freeway.  Pasadena usually prohibits street parking between 2AM and 6AM, but they waived that restriction during the Rose Parade.  If you wish to park right next to the route of the parade, most parking lots charged approximately $20 this year.  Check out more photos of the Rose Parade on our Facebook page, and be sure to follow us on Twitter @SurvivingLA for all the latest happenings in Los Angeles.  For our New Year resolution, we hope to provide you guys with more coverage in 2016!

Until next time,
Steven

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