The 128th Rose Parade will be held on Monday, January 2, 2017, following a tradition to not hold the parade on a Sunday. The parade begins at 8 a.m. PST /11 a.m. EST, and will be broadcast on your local ABC or NBC channel.
The Tournament of Roses Parade takes place every year in Pasadena, California, a city located south of the San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles County. This important cultural celebration has been wildly popular since the first parade in 1890 showed off the region’s temperate winter weather.
This year’s parade promises magnificent floral floats, spirited marching bands, high-stepping horses, a B-2 flyover, and Grand Marshal Olympic athletes. The theme of this year’s parade is “Echoes of Success.” Pasadena’s Tournament of Roses website describes the meaning of the theme.
“Our successes are unique to each of us. Success is not gauged by the final score, not by how much wealth we accumulate and should not be weighed against the accomplishments of others. Success is measured by our own personal satisfaction in knowing that we achieved our utmost by doing our best when facing challenges.”
Meteorologists are predicting dry, cool weather on the day of the parade. Although twin storms are expected to pelt California with rain over the weekend, southern California should be sunny and clear on the day of the parade.
The current lineup features 94 different bands, floats, and groups, although the lineup is of course reserved to change until the day of the parade. These groups are on schedule to delight viewers at a two-and-a-half mile an hour crawl down the parade route. Among them are 40 floats. These famous floats have been decorated with tens of thousands of roses and other flowers by volunteers and professional float builders working up to a year in advance.
The rose-covered floats always attract a lot of attention, and can be viewed up close before and after the parade with the purchase of special event tickets. The Pasadena Tournament of Roses Event Guide has information on tickets to the showcase as well as other Rose Bowl-related events like the Induction Ceremony, Band Fest, and namesake Rose Bowl football game.
Twenty-one marching bands from all over the country will play in 2017’s Rose Parade. Students raised money through car washes, mattress sales, and community donations to make their way to Pasadena and the opportunity to play in front of the 1.5 million people expected to sit and watch along the parade route.
Horses have been an important part of the event since its inception, when they pulled carriages along the parade route. In 2017, 20 equestrian units will march along the parade route, including horses from the Army, Marines, Highway Patrol, Hollywood, and miniature therapy horses. Over 200 horses are scheduled to appear.
All of the groups appearing in the Rose Bowl Parade will travel 5.5 miles down historic Colorado Boulevard. The parade is expected to last about two hours. Afterward, the Rose Bowl will take place.
The 103rd annual Rose Bowl football game will take place at 2 p.m. in nearby Rose Bowl Stadium. Penn State faces off against USC in what promises to be an exciting college football match. Penn State and USC have faced off at the Rose Bowl two times in the past, once in 1923 and once in 2009. Those were USC wins, but there’s no telling what will happen in 2017.
The Rose Parade is an important cultural landmark that the Pasadena Tournament of Roses association touts as “America’s New Year Celebration.” It’s an apt name considering that over a million people watch the parade pass by from the sidewalks of Colorado Boulevard and over 31 million watch it from their television sets at home. With bands, floats, and horses, 2017 promises an excellent start to the new year with the 2017 Rose Bowl Parade.
[Featured Image by Michael Owen Baker/AP Images]