As we ring in New Year’s Day, Pasadena, CA is in the midst of showcasing another worldwide celebration called the Tournament of Roses Parade. This annual parade, over a century old, brings together people from all over the world on New Year’s Day to celebrate with a festival of flowers, music and sports unequaled anywhere in the world. With the theme for the 2016 parade “Find Your Adventure”, Pasadena provides a heralded glimpse at the pageantry and community spirit alive and well for 127 years. Find Your Adventure is a theme that has grown out of a unique partnership between the Pasadena Tournament of Roses and the U.S. National Park Service. The 2016 Rose Parade will help shine light on the centennial celebration of our nation’s national parks.
An event of this magnitude requires over 80,000 hours of manpower every year supplied by an all volunteer organization called the Tournament of Roses Association. These dedicated volunteers are assigned to committees and provide a range of responsibilities including directing traffic to selecting parade participants.
The Tournament of Roses has come a long way since its early days. The Rose Parade’s elaborate floats now feature high-tech computerized animation and natural materials from around the world. Although a few floats are still built exclusively by volunteers from their sponsoring communities, most are built by professional float building companies and take nearly a year to construct. The year-long effort pays off on New Year’s morning, when millions of viewers around the world enjoy the Rose Parade.Afterwards, the annual Rose Bowl Game is televised nationally, following the hopes and dreams of college football team rivalries. To learn more, visit www.tournamentofroses.com.
All images taken by Sara McLean