The Guide to the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena

98th Rose Queen Erika Winter and the Rose Princesses
The 2016 Royal Court: 98th Rose Queen Erika Winter (center) and the Rose Princesses. | Photo courtesy of Tournament of Roses, Facebook

For more than a century, the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena has been a festival of flowers, music and sports celebrated by a parade and college football. But the Tournament is much more: it's America's New Year Celebration, a greeting to the world on the first day of the year, and a salute to the community spirit and love of pageantry. From the pre-bowl game feasting at Lawry’s Beef Bowl, to the spectacular Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl Game on New Year's Day, the Tournament of Roses is a Southern California tradition that is unequaled anywhere in the world. Get tickets for any of the below events by visiting the Tournament of Roses official website.

Lawry's Beef Bowl

Lawry's Beef Bowl
Photo courtesy of Lawry's Beef Bowl, Facebook

Since its inception prior to the 1957 Rose Bowl Game, the Lawry’s Beef Bowl has become one of college football’s most enduring pre-bowl game traditions, one of the highlights of the week leading up to “The Granddaddy of Them All.” The Beef Bowl is a pair of private dinner events hosted annually by Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills, honoring the players and coaches of each Rose Bowl-bound team. Attendees include Tournament of Roses officials, the Rose Queen, Royal Court and media. For the first several years, Lawry’s catered the meal on the practice field for the Big Ten teams and fed the Pac-12 champions in the Beverly Hills restaurant. Since 1965, both teams have dined in the restaurant on separate evenings prior to the Rose Bowl Game.

Historically, odds favored the team that ate the most prime rib to win the Rose Bowl Game. The team record for most prime rib eaten in one Beef Bowl is held by the Purdue Boilermakers, with 734 pounds devoured in December 2000. The player record was set in 1978 by former Michigan Wolverine Ed Muransky, who consumed eight plates of prime rib, mashed potatoes, corn and Yorkshire pudding, totalling a belt-busting eight pounds of beef. Today, the Beef Bowl is no longer considered a competition and Lawry’s limits the amount of prime rib it serves each player to a 16-ounce cut followed by a 12-ounce second helping.

Float Decorating (Dec. 27-31, 2016)

Photo courtesy of Tournament of Roses, Facebook

Experience the magic of the floats before they make their debut in the 2017 Rose Parade. During the final stages of float decorating a variety of fruit, seeds, bark, grasses and of course, flowers being applied to the floats by experienced professionals as well as hard working volunteers. Community members and visitors are needed each year to decorate floats for the Rose Parade. Whether you’re participating as an organized group or an individual, float builders are happy to have the help. All volunteer decorating opportunities are organized directly by the float builders. For more information, visit the Tournament of Roses website.

EQUESTFEST (DEC. 30, 2016)

Equestfest at the Tournament of Roses
Equestfest | Photo courtesy of Tournament of Roses, Facebook

Equestfest is a family-friendly event that showcases the 2017 Rose Parade equestrian units. Watch beautiful horses and talented riders perform drills and dances, and demonstrate trick riding and roping. Attendees can stroll through the stables, talk to riders, learn about the various tack and the many different breeds. Browse the vendor court and enjoy great music, food and drinks. Equestfest takes place on Friday, Dec. 30 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank. Gates open at 10 a.m. and the two-hour show begins at “High Noon” in the Equidome, rain or shine.

Advance tickets are available for $15 general admission (children 5 and under are free) or $40 for VIP reserved seating (includes souvenir seat cushion). Parking is available at the venue for $10 per vehicle.

BANDFEST (DEC. 30-31, 2016)

Bandfest at Tournament of Roses
Bandfest | Photo courtesy of Tournament of Roses

Bandfest features the outstanding bands selected to participate in the 2017 Rose Parade. Three Bandfest events will take place at Pasadena City College over two days: Bandfest I starts at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 30; Bandfest II is at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 31; and Bandfest III is at 2 p.m. on Dec. 31. Advance tickets are available for $15 (children 5 and under are free). Tickets may also be purchased at the venue beginning 30 minutes prior to the performance time, pending availability. For ticket info and full schedule, visit the Tournament of Roses website.

ROSE BOWL HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY (Jan. 1, 2017)

The Rose Bowl Hall of Fame was established in 1989 to honor members of the Rose Bowl Game family who have contributed to the history and excitement of the Rose Bowl Game. The Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Rose Bowl Stadium Lot K Tent. Bobby Bell, Ricky Ervins, Tommy Prothro (represented by Terry Donahue) and Art Spander will be inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame as the Class of 2016. During the ceremony, the inductees will receive the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame trophy and blazer. In addition, inductees are memorialized on a permanent plaque with their names and year of induction at The Court of Champions at the Rose Bowl Stadium.

Tickets to the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony are $40 for reserved seating with lunch, or $10 for General Admission (lunch available for purchase). The ceremony includes a meet and greet opportunity.

ROSE PARADE (JAN. 2, 2017)

City of Los Angeles float in the 2014 Rose Parade
City of Los Angeles float in the 2014 Rose Parade | Photo courtesy of Prayitno, Discover L.A. Flickr group

The 128th Rose Parade is taking place on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017 at 8 a.m. (PST) featuring spectacular floral floats, marching bands from across the country, and high-stepping equestrian units. The 2017 Tournament of Roses theme, “Echoes of Success,” tells the story of how our character has developed through the selfless contributions of others and celebrates their inspirational gifts. The 2017 Grand Marshals are Janet Evans, Allyson Felix and Greg Louganis. The three Olympic legends and Southern California natives represent the Los Angeles 2024 Olympic and Paralympic bid committee working to bring the Games back to L.A. in 2024.

Top Olympians and Paralympians will ride the City of Los Angeles float, "Follow the Sun," celebrating its 2024 Olympic and Paralympic bid. Created in partnership with LA 2024 and the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, L.A.’s “Follow the Sun” float will bring to life the city’s iconic venues and will feature Olympic and Paralympic legends, including Nadia Comaneci, Bart Conner, Lex Gillette and April Ross.

Tickets for reserved grandstand seating are on sale through Dec. 31, 2016. Curbside viewing is also available on a first-come, first-served basis. For information on tickets, locations and schedules, visit tournamentofroses.com/events/roseparade.

Post Parade: A Showcase of Floats (Jan. 2-3, 2017)

Tournament of Roses Post Parade
Photo courtesy of Tournament of Roses, Facebook

Post Parade: A Showcase of Floats is a unique opportunity for the public to see the majestic beauty and splendor of the Rose Parade floats in close detail. Following the parade, the floral and animated masterpieces are parked along Sierra Madre and Washington Boulevards in Pasadena and exhibited for visitors to walk within a few feet and appreciate their design and workmanship. Viewing times are 1-4 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 2 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 3. Senior citizens and disabled visitors are welcome 7-9 a.m. on Jan. 3.

Advance tickets to Post Parade are $13. Tickets may also be purchased on-site until 3 p.m. each day of the event. General admission is free for children 5 and under. Comfortable shoes are recommended - viewing all the floats requires walking about 2.5 miles and will take at least two hours.

Rose Bowl Game Tailgate Parties (Jan. 2, 2017)

2013 Alumni Tailgate Party | Photo courtesy of Tournament of Roses (Rose Bowl Game), Facebook

Before the Rose Bowl Game kicks off, the historic stadium is hosting two tailgate parties: Public and Alumni. The Public Tailgate activities are free and begin at 8 a.m. A variety of food and beverages are available for purchase. Enjoy the interactive displays and entertainment attractions located on Lot H, just south of Rose Bowl Stadium. The alumni associations of the two participating schools have designated areas for their official Alumni Tailgate Parties, which take place on the golf course at Brookside Golf Club, just north of the stadium. Contact the respective alumni associations for tickets and more details.

103rd ROSE BOWL GAME (JAN. 2, 2017)

100th Rose Bowl Game at Rose Bowl Stadium
100th Rose Bowl Game at Rose Bowl Stadium | Photo courtesy of Rose Bowl Stadium, Facebook

The 103rd Rose Bowl Game will take place at Rose Bowl Stadium on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017 at 1 p.m. PST. The game will feature the No. 5 CFP-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions, Champion of the Big Ten Conference, and the No. 9 CFP-ranked USC Trojans. Tickets to the game go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 8 a.m. PST.

Known as the “The Granddaddy of Them All” for being the oldest bowl game, the Rose Bowl Game was first played in 1902, and has been played annually since 1916. Over the years, this college football classic has showcased 19 Heisman Trophy winners, produced 29 national champions, featured 211 consensus All-Americans and honored 117 college football legends by inducting them into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame.

TRANSPORTATION

Metro Rail will operate its Red, Purple, Gold and Orange lines throughout the night of Jan. 1 and morning of Jan. 2, 2017. In addition to overnight service on those selected lines, Metro will run more trains and offer more frequent service on the Metro Gold Line to accommodate the large numbers of anticipated riders on Jan. 1. Beginning at 5 a.m. and continuing through 9 p.m., trains will run as frequently as every 7-8 minutes to and from Pasadena. Exit at the Memorial Park, Lake, Allen or Del Mar stations; all are located a short walk from the parade route. Metro will also provide regular bus service to areas near the Rose Parade, Rose Bowl Game and Post Parade areas. Buses will originate from locations throughout the county. For additional information on Metro transportation services, call the Metro information line at (800) COMMUTE (266.6883) or visit www.metro.net. The hearing impaired line is 800.252.9040.

Metrolink will provide special service on the San Bernardino and Antelope Valley Lines for individuals to enjoy the Rose Parade. Check www.metrolinktrains.com for schedule information or call 800.371.5465 for more information.