Whether you are visiting Pasadena or live in the area, here are 21 facts to know about the 2019 Rose Parade.
By Robin Southworth
1- The 130th Rose Parade will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 1st and will have a chilly and windy weather (by So-Cal standards) compared to last year.
2- The Parade’s theme is “The Melody of Life.’ It’s a celebration of the universal language of music.
3- Close to 750,000 people are estimated to attend the Rose Parade, and the celebration will air live on eight networks to more than 56 million viewers. The parade will also be televised in 174 countries, which will attract an additional 28 million viewers.
4- There will be almost 1,000 of “white suiters” -the ones that wear all-white suits and red neckties- fanning out across Pasadena on New Year’s Day making sure the parade goes smoothly.
5- The parade floats will arrive on-site before midnight, get lined up and then park in the middle of the closed street.
6- “White suiters” get assigned as overnight float protection keeping cars from entering the float formation area, and will prevent anyone in a car from entering –except for brain surgeons on the way to perform brain surgery!
7- The Tournament of Roses has more than 20 committees (935 members of the non-profit Tournament of Roses Association), each supporting a different element of the parade and the Rose Bowl game.
8- The Tournament takes care of its people. Throughout the long night, a van will come around constantly with coffee, hot chocolate and snacks.
9- The line-up will have 91 official entries, including “Banda Escolar de Guayanilla” from Puerto Rico. After the island was hit by a devastating hurricane, students from Mercer Island, Wash., and Pickerington, Ohio, held a Pedal for Puerto Rico benefit and silent auctions and raised thousands of dollars to help band members make it to the Parade. All three bands will be performing on Tuesday in Pasadena.
10- In addition to the use of traditional flowers, some floats’ designs will sprout palm tree fiber, kidney beans, orange lentils, crushed sweet rice, and black pepper seed to name a few.
11- Float liaisons (the ones who ride a white scooter, wear a white helmet and escort the floats along the route) spent 10 Saturday mornings between June and December directing traffic so that floats can safely road-test their engines and animation effects.
12- As a native Southern Californian, you should never use the word “cold” unless you want to be reprimanded by visitors from the east coast.
13- Grand Marshal Chaka Khan will be joined by her nephew and two grandsons.
14- A cast of over 400 will welcome the first day of the year with musical performances and dancing. (Keep an eye for few surprises in between).
16- The Rose Queen® for 2019 is Louise Deser Siskel. She’s touted as the first queen to wear glasses (…) as well as the first Jewish and LGBTQ rose queen. She’s a senior at Sequoyah High School in San Marino, CA. She’s currently conducting breast cancer research at Charles Drew University.
17- The Royal Court members are usually chosen from a pool of 31 finalists, which are part of a larger pool of almost 900 young women, and few young men. (Maybe next year a young man will make history as the first male Rose Queen!).
18- Ohio State’s senior linebacker Jordan Fuller and Washington’s junior linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven were presented the first-annual Tournament of Roses Scholar-Athlete Award.
19- It will be a 5 1/2mile stretch for the entire parade. It starts at the corner of Green Street and travels north on Orange Grove Boulevard, then it turns east onto Colorado Boulevard, before it turns north onto Sierra Madre Boulevard and wraps up on Villa Street.
20- A lot of volunteers put this incomparable parade together for you. They don’t get paid. Your smile is their pay. They will be cold as you will be too. Bundle up, smile at them, and have a great time!
21- A “Housing is a Human Right People’s Rose Parade March” will be following the last float. (It’s usually not covered by TV cameras or news outlets).
– What to do After the Parade
Questions? Call Visitor Hotline: 877-793-9911
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