Highlights From 2017 Rose Parade

The 128th Tournament of Roses Parade took place on Monday, January 2, this year due to a longstanding tradition of not holding the parade on a Sunday. The New Year's parade is called "America's New Year Celebration" by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association.

Rose Parade Air Force band.
The United States Air Force Total Force Band participates in the 128th Tournament of Roses Parade Presented by Honda on January 2, 2017 in Pasadena, California. [Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]

The theme of this year's parade was "Echoes of Success," presented by Honda. The parade featured marching bands from across the U.S., equestrian groups riding over 200 horses, and 40 of the famous floral decorated floats. After the parade, "The Granddaddy of Them All," the Rose Bowl football game, took place between USC and Penn State. For the third time since they have faced each other, USC won.

Take a look at this collection of photo highlights from the parade. These 20 photos hardly encompass the scope of such a large and popular event, but hopefully give the viewer a sense of the magic and wonderment achieved through the hard work of hundreds of people working together to bring another amazing Rose Parade to the streets of Pasadena.

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The parade featured over 90 groups coming together to celebrate the New Year. They crawled along a five-and-a-half-mile stretch of road known as Colorado Boulevard at the snail's pace of two miles an hour, giving every viewer along the route a chance to see the details of each float, hear music by each band, and admire each dancer and strutting horse.

The floats are always the main attraction. Each float has thousands of flowers stuck to it and it's difficult to get an impression of the true beauty and uniqueness of each float without being close to it enough to see the details with your own eyes. Various awards are given to the floats for creativity, showmanship, ingenuity, use of florals, design, beauty, and a host of other categories that reward the float makers and designers for their amazing achievements. Awards are also given regionally. For example, the International Trophy for most beautiful entry from outside the United States. No shortage of trophies are given out and you can see the full list of proud winners here.

Additionally, marching bands from around the country play impressive routines along the comparatively long parade route. High school bands, military bands, and more raise money any way they can for the honor of being able to play in the New Year's day parade. One Las Vegas High School raised $25,000 for their band and color guard along with an additional $700 per student. The band director described the experience as a resoundingly positive one for his students, saying, "When you turn that corner, it's a sea of human beings as far as you can see, and they're all cheering and clapping and standing and yelling, 'Happy New Year."

Foothill High School marching band at the Rose Bowl.
Foothill High School Falcon Marching Band from Henderson, NV near Las Vegas. [Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]

The Queen of the Rose Bowl, Victoria Cecilia Castellanos, described how positive and enthusiastic she felt about winning the crown and participated in the parade along with the seven members of her court, the Princesses. "I didn't believe it. It's like a dream! I still don't believe it." Nearly 800 high school girls competed for the title or a spot in the court. They are expected to make appearances to benefit the community. Queen Victoria was helped to her crown due to her being a volunteer for the Pasadena Humane Society and American Legion.

The 128th Tournament of Roses Parade also had three gold medalist Olympic athletes as the parade's Grand Marshal's, inducted athletes into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame and was the prelude to the 103rd Rose Bowl football game. Somewhere between 700,000 and 1.5 million people came out to watch along the parade route, and an estimated 30 million people watched at home. Through the hard work and talent of so many people all across America, the 2017 Rose Parade was a beautiful success.

[Featured Image by Prayitno | Flickr | Cropped and Resized | CC BY 2.0]