The Rose Parade in Pasadena, California was a bucket list item for me and I’m so glad this was the year I was able to attend!  We purchased incredibly close bleacher seating through  Our seats were 9 rows off the street level and about a mile from the start of the parade.  We also purchased parking to make sure we had a space that was near our seating.  We got a voucher for a free Rose Parade program which we received the day of the parade from vendors selling all over the parade route.

My family stayed in Glendale so we were up bright and early to get on the road to beat the traffic.  Who knew we would sit on the freeway for over an hour before we could inch our way to the parking area!

Once we got parked we had to bundle up because it was about 50 degrees before the sun rose.  We also brought stadium seats which was a great idea for sitting for over two hours on bleachers.  Note:  drink as little as possible before and during the parade, the portable toilet lines are very long.  There are also vendors selling Rose Parade and Rose Bowl pennants, scarves and various other items.  One person told us they waited in line over an hour at Starbucks.  Also, depending on which side of the street you sit, you may need sunscreen and sunglasses because once the sun rises, it gets warm.

The parade kicked off with a fly over by the Air Force B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, incredible because it makes no sound.

The anthurium on the car was gorgeous!

Every inch of every float must be covered with flowers or other natural materials, such as leaves, seeds or bark!

In honor of those who have received a Purple Heart. The ribbon features floragraphs.

About 40,000 flowers cover this float including roses, gladiolus and gerbera daisies.

This float by Dole featured a 16 foot waterfall.

This float titled Caring for Our Sea featured lilies, orchids, iris, roses, chrysanthemums and more.

This highly animated float featured fresh fruits and vegetables as well as fresh manzanita leaves, green and yellow mums, assorted shades of statice, orange lentils, arika palm fronds, dehydrated marigold petals, ilex berries, red carnations, strawflower petals, parsley flakes and orange Santana roses.

The most delicate flowers, including roses, are placed in individual vials of water, which are set into the float one by one.

Zoomed in shot of the different shades of roses.

This zoom in shows the orange, white and purple gerbera daisies and yellow daisy poms. Such attention to detail!

The orchids in this float were stunning.

The different shades of iris were gorgeous on this float.

The kale and protea that adorned this Jitney Bus were huge.

This float by the UPS Store had a dragon with smoke coming out of his nostrils!

This part of the dragon has such detail there appears to be water beaded on the dragons body. It is made of chrysanthemums, carnations and citrus.

This adorable turtle was animated and spun on its back. This float was completely designed, engineered, constructed and decorated by volunteers!

Unfortunately one of the floats broke down so a semi tow truck saved the day!

This float was one of the most densely flowered floats in the parade with over 250,000 blooms. The float had three animated fish and eight waterfalls.

The Budweiser Clydesdales are always a crowd fave.

Rose Parade video – click to watch

Rose Parade Official Souvenir Program


The parade was unforgettable.  Our experience was a great one.  Phoenix Decorating Company appeared to be the creator of most of the floats in the parade.  Check them out at  We have so many more photos that we shared on our Facebook page under the album titled Rose Parade.  Link to it by clicking here.

There is lots of information about the parade in this article.

Bobbie’s sources our flowers from the growers that provide flowers for the parade.  Watch for more about our growers in a future blog post.