The Guide to the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena

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

Rose Parade 2024 Grand Marshal Audra McDonald
Rose Parade 2024 Grand Marshal Audra McDonald | Photo: Tournament of Roses

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.

Rose Parade float decorating at Rosemont Pavilion in Pasadena
Rose Parade float decorating | Photo: Rose Parade, Facebook

Float Decorating (December 2023)

Experience the magic of the floats before they make their debut in the 2024 Rose Parade. During the final stages of preparation, a variety of seeds, bark, fruits and vegetables, grasses and of course, flowers are being applied to the floats by experienced professionals as well as hard-working volunteers.

Whether volunteers are an organized group or an individual, commercial and community float builders alike 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.

Washington Huskies dining at the Lawry's Beef Bowl in December 2018
A delicious prime rib "hand-off" at Lawry's the Prime Rib | Photo: Lawry's Beef Bowl, Facebook

Lawry's Beef Bowl (December 2023)

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, and a highlight 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 - that's 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.

Tournament of Roses Equestfest at the LA Equestrian Center
Equestfest | Photo: Tournament of Roses

Equestfest (Dec. 29, 2023)

Get up close and personal with the 2024 Rose Parade equestrian units at Equestfest, held each year on December 29 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank. This family-friendly event includes an exciting equestrian show, musical performances, and a food and vendor court. Attendees can stroll through the stables, talk to riders, and participate in educational and interactive exhibits. Gates open at 10am. The two-hour show starts at “High Noon” and the vendor activities will run till 3pm.

General Admission for Equestfest is $25 per person, free for children 5 and under. VIP Reserved Seating is $50 per person and includes a Preferred Reserved Seat, Official Souvenir Seat Cushion and more. Everyone regardless of age needs a ticket for all VIP reserved seats. Parking is available for $20 per vehicle and is purchased on-site.

LAUSD All District High School Honor Band at  the 2018 Tournament of Roses Bandfest
LAUSD All District High School Honor Band at Bandfest | Photo: Rose Parade, Facebook

Bandfest (Dec. 29-30, 2023)

Taking place at Pasadena City College, Bandfest features the marching bands that will participate in the 2022 Rose Parade. Each band, along with its auxiliary members, performs a field show that showcases their musicianship and unique talents. Three Bandfest events will take place at Robinson Stadium over two days: Bandfest I starts at 2pm on Friday, December 29; Bandfest II is at 10am on Saturday, December 30; and Bandfest III is at 2pm on December 30.

Admission is $25 for adults, and free for children 5 and under. Free parking is available in Structure 4 off Del Mar Boulevard.

Rose Parade 2024 Grand Marshal Audra McDonald
Rose Parade 2024 Grand Marshal Audra McDonald | Photo: Tournament of Roses

135th Rose Parade (Jan. 1, 2024)

The 135th Rose Parade is taking place on Monday Jan. 1, 2024 at 8am (PST) featuring spectacular floral floats, marching bands from across the country, and high-stepping equestrian units.

Multi-award-winning performer Audra McDonald is the Rose Parade's 2024 Grand Marshal. As the embodiment of the theme “Celebrating a World of Music,” McDonald stands as a testament to the global resonance of melodies. Her illustrious career in theater, music and television is a harmonious tribute to the universal language that unites cultures worldwide.

For detailed information on tickets, locations and schedules, visit the Rose Parade website.

Rose Parade 2019 Post Parade: A Showcase of Floats
Floatfest: A Rose Parade Showcase | Photo: Rose Parade, Facebook

Floatfest: A Rose Parade Showcase (Jan. 1-2, 2024)

Open January 1 and 2, Floatfest is a 2-mile showcase of Rose Parade floats following their appearance along the parade route. Each year, nearly 70,000 visitors head to Sierra Madre and Washington Boulevards in Pasadena to walk within a few feet of the floats for an up-close appreciation of the creativity and detail that goes into each magnificent display. Participating float exhibitors engage with attendees in a family-friendly, celebratory environment.

Viewing times are 1:30pm - 5pm on January 1; and 9am - 5pm on January 2. Senior citizens and visitors with disabilities are welcome from 7-9am on January 2.

Advance tickets to Floatfest are $20 and available online only. General admission is free for children ages 5 and under.

Comfortable shoes are recommended - viewing all the floats requires walking about 2.5 miles and will take at least two hours. This event is rain or shine. No pets or bikes allowed.

No. 1 Michigan and No. 4 Alabama will meet in the 110th Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2024
No. 1 Michigan and No. 4 Alabama will meet in the 110th Rose Bowl Game

110th Rose Bowl Game (Jan. 1, 2024)

The 110th Rose Bowl Game will be held at Rose Bowl Stadium on Jan. 1, 2024. The College Football Playoff Semifinal will feature the No. 1 Michigan Wolverines, champions of the Big Ten Conference, facing off against the No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide, champions of the Southeastern Conference.

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. Come early and enjoy pre-game activities including tailgates, Rose Queen and Royal Court appearances, and more.

Rose Bowl Stadium parking lots open at 4am and stadium gates open at 11:30am. Pre-game activities begin at 1pm. For tickets and more info, visit the Rose Bowl Game website.

Rose Bowl Game Shuttle: Free shuttle buses will be available at the Parsons Parking Lot, located at the corner of Fair Oaks Avenue and Holly Street. The shuttle runs continuously from 10am until approximately two hours after the end of the game.

Go Metro and take the A Line to Memorial Park Station. From there it's a short walk to Parsons Parking Lot and the free shuttle.

Drop-off/Rideshare/Taxi Zone: The designated area for drop-off, pick-up, and taxi zone is on Holly Street between Fair Oaks Avenue and Arroyo Parkway. Passengers may take the free Rose Bowl Game Shuttle to the stadium.

NOTE: There are no provisions for drop-offs and pick-ups at the stadium. All taxis or passenger cars entering the Rose Bowl Stadium area will be required to pay the appropriate parking fee.