The History of the Rose Parade


The Rose Parade, commonly called, the Tournament of Roses, is one of the most well-known American celebrations. Held each year in Pasadena, California, in honor of the New Year, it boasts a parade of flower-covered floats, equestrians, and some of the most magnificent marching bands in the country.


The very first Rose Parade, was held on January 1st, 1890, and still lives on today drawing huge crowds of spectators in the hundreds of thousands. Broadcasted on every major television network in the U.S.; the Rose Parade entertains millions of global viewers across the world, in over 100 countries and International territories. The Rose Bowl, which is a well anticipated college football game, was added to the attractions of the Parade in 1902, and helps to fund the costs of one of this country’s most elaborate events.


Having many famous sponsors throughout the years;  Honda has now taken the helm, and has been the Rose Parade sponsor, since 2011. The very famous car company, has the honor of having the first float in the parade in their name. One of the many benefits and joys of being able to sponsor this worldwide event, is the ability to have your own float, however, even Honda’s float must follow the parade’s chosen theme.


Members of Pasadena’s Valley Hunt Club, were the first organizers of the Rose Parade, which is normally held on New Year’s Day each year. When January 1st falls on a Sunday, the Rose Parade is then moved to that following Monday, January 2nd. In 1893, parade organizers decided to make, what they call, “a pact with God”. They promised that the parade will never be held on a Sunday, which is a day of worship for many people; and in turn, God would never allow rain to ruin the parade. Realistically, during that time period, it was simply safer not to hold the parade on Sundays, because many church practitioners rode their horses to Sunday service, and the horses would get frightened by all the parade frenzy and noise.


Parades are enchanting to kids and adults; they evoke nostalgic memories of family togetherness, and they are a symbol of celebration and good times. The Rose Parade is a tradition for many families every year; whether they travel to watch it in person, or view it on TV along with millions of others. It is always more spectacular than the year before, celebrating new beginnings through the splendor of flowers.