(Photo : Frederick M. Brown / Stringer / Getty Images )
Anyone familiar with college football knows that some of the bigger bowl games moved to New Year's Eve.
One of the reasons Pasadena's time-honored Rose Bowl game didn't is because of its ties to the Rose Parade, the 126-year-old celebration made up of marching bands, equestrians, and parade floats encrusted with countless, fluorescent flowers.
The tradition began as a way to pass the time before competitive events, like chariot racing and jousting, got underway. It was also a reason for east coast residents to escape the cold. Members of Pasadena's Valley Hunt Club utilized fresh flowers in the area to decorate their carriages, much like parade floats are prepared today.
On Jan. 1, 1890, the first Tournament of Roses was held. Thirteen years late, a college football game was added to help with finances.
It grew to include signature motorized floats in the 1900s. Grand Marshal's, initially drawn from well-known doctors, would eventually bring in some of the world's most famous faces. Walt Disney held the honor in 1966; Vin Scully in 2014; Richard Nixon in 1953 and 1960; and Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1951 and 1964. Shirley Temple made three appearances; in 1939, 1989, and 1999.
Nearly a million people from around the world make the annual pilgrimage, many camping out overnight along Colorado Blvd. in hopes of securing the perfect view. Not everyone is lucky enough to grab a spot in the approximate 70,000 grandstand seats made available.
Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Ken Burns will Grand Marshal the parade through Old Town Pasadena. In a press release, Rose Parade president Mike Matthiessen said Burns' legendary career made him perfect for this parade's theme, "Find Your Adventure."
"We're so honored to have someone like Ken, who has devoted his life to telling the story of America, lead the Rose Parade - America's New Year Celebration® - that provides hope and joy to millions of people around the world," Matthiessen said.
Time & Location
When: Jan. 1, 2016
Where: Old Town Pasadena (5 ½ miles)
The parade begins on the corner of Orange Grove Blvd. and Green St. It turns east on Colorado Blvd. before turning north on Sierra Madre Blvd., before finishing on Villa St.
TV Schedule & Live Streaming
Time: 11:00 a.m. EST
TV: ABC, NBC, HGTV, Univision, Red TV, Hallmark Channel, KTLA (Los Angeles),
As L.A. Tourist noted, the best view will be on the south side of Colorado Blvd, away from the sun.
Most front row seating is gone by New Year's Eve, but street views will clear up as the parade begins. This is when attendees will move closer to the street, leaving more walking space and plenty of spots to find a decent view.