The Guide to the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena

Everything you need to know about "America's New Year Celebration"

100th Rose Queen Isabella Marie Marez (center) and the 2018 Royal Court | Photo courtesy of Tournament of Roses, Facebook
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Founded in 1890, the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena is 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 legendary Rose Bowl Game, the Tournament of Roses is a Southern California tradition that is unequaled anywhere in the world.

For tickets and more info, visit the Tournament of Roses official website.

Volunteer Float Decorating (Dec. 1-31, 2017)

Decorating the City of Los Angeles float for the 127th Rose Parade
Decorating the City of Los Angeles float | Photo courtesy of Tournament of Roses, Facebook

Experience the magic of the floats before they make their debut in the 2018 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.

Lawry's Beef Bowl

Stanford player receives a prime rib plate at 60th Lawry's Beef Bowl
A delicious prime rib "hand-off" at Lawry's the Prime Rib | 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.

EQUESTFEST (Dec. 29, 2017)

Equestfest at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center
Equestfest at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center | Photo courtesy of Tournament of Roses

Equestfest is a family-friendly event that showcases the 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. 29 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.

BANDFEST (DEC. 29-30, 2017)

LAUSD All-District Band at Bandfest
LAUSD All-District Band at Bandfest | Photo courtesy of Tournament of Roses, Facebook

Bandfest features the outstanding bands selected to participate in the 2018 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. 29; Bandfest II is at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 30; and Bandfest III is at 2 p.m. on Dec. 30. 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.


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 Saturday, Dec. 30 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Rose Bowl Stadium Lot K Tent.

The class of 2017 includes Mack Brown, Cade McNown, Charles Woodson and Dr. Charles West. With the addition of this year’s class, the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame includes 125 inductees over its 29-year history. Inductees are honored with a permanent plaque that includes their name and year of induction at The Court of Champions at Rose Bowl Stadium. They are featured during the Rose Parade and are recognized on the field during the Rose Bowl Game. Tickets to the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony are $40 for reserved seating with lunch.

129th ROSE PARADE (JAN. 1, 2018)

The 129th Rose Parade is taking place on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018 at 8 a.m. (PST) featuring spectacular floral floats, marching bands from across the country, and high-stepping equestrian units. One of 39 float entries, the City of Los Angeles has been in the Tournament of Roses Parade for 120 consecutive years, making it the longest-running float in Rose Parade history. The 129th Rose Parade theme is "Making a Difference." Actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise, best known for his portrayal of Lt. Dan Taylor in the 1994 film Forrest Gump, is the 2018 Tournament of Roses Grand Marshal.

Tickets for reserved grandstand seating are on sale through Dec. 31, 2017. Curbside viewing is also available on a first-come, first-served basis. For information on tickets, locations and schedules, visit

Post Parade: A Showcase of Floats (Jan. 1-2, 2018)

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 1-5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 1; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 2. Last entry is at 4 p.m. on both days. Senior citizens and disabled visitors are welcome 7-9 a.m. on Jan. 2.

Advance tickets to Post Parade are $15. 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. 1, 2018)

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 Public and Alumni Tailgate Parties. Public Fanfest activities include interactive games, TVs, music and more. A variety of food and beverages will be available for purchase. The free Public Fanfest is located at Brookside Golf Club, north of the stadium, and begins at 8 a.m.

The alumni associations of the two participating schools have designated areas for their official Alumni Tailgate Parties, which also take place on the golf course. Contact the respective alumni associations for tickets and more details.


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

The 104th Rose Bowl Game will take place at Rose Bowl Stadium on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018. As part of the College Football Playoff, the Rose Bowl Game is a semifinal that will feature two of the top four teams in the country, with the matchup of the No. 1 and No. 4 teams or the No. 2 versus No. 3. The winner of the Rose Bowl Game will advance to the National Championship Game on Jan. 8.

Tickets are available online or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-653-8000. Individual ticket prices start at $185 plus handling fees. Rose Bowl Stadium parking lots open at 4 a.m and stadium gates open at 11:30 a.m. Pre-game activities begin at 1 p.m. 

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 212 consensus All-Americans and honored 121 college football legends by inducting them into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame.


Metro Rail will operate its Red, Purple, Gold and Orange lines throughout the night of Dec. 1 and morning of Jan. 1, 2018. 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 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 for schedule information or call 800.371.5465 for more information.