The Guide to the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena

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

101st Rose Queen Louise Deser Siskel (center) and the 2019 Royal Court | Photo courtesy of Tournament of Roses, Facebook
enlarge photo [+]

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.

Volunteer Float Decorating (through Dec. 31, 2018)

Volunteers decorate a Rose Parade float
Volunteers decorate a Rose Parade float | Photo courtesy of Tournament of Roses

Experience the magic of the floats before they make their debut in the 2019 Rose Parade. During the final stages of float decorating a variety of fruit, seeds, bark, grasses and of course, flowers are being applied to the floats by experienced professionals as well as hard working volunteers. Community members and visitors are needed each year to decorate floats for the Rose Parade. Whether you’re participating as an organized group or an individual, float builders 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.

If you simply want to watch the floats come to life, stop by one of the Decorating Places from December 28-31. Float viewing will take place at Rosemont Pavilion, located at 700 Seco St. in Pasadena.

Lawry's Beef Bowl (Dec. 28-29, 2018)

Stanford player receives a prime rib plate at 60th Lawry's Beef Bowl
A delicious prime rib "hand-off" at Lawry's the Prime Rib | Photo courtesy of Lawry's Beef Bowl, Facebook

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, one of the highlights 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 - a belt-busting 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.

SIP & SAVOR (Dec. 28-30, 2018)

Tournament of Roses Sip & Savor
Tournament of Roses Sip & Savor

Eat, drink and be merry at the new Tournament of Roses SIP & SAVOR! Sample the best of the SoCal food scene, fine wines and craft brews from throughout the Golden State, and enjoy exciting entertainment. SIP & SAVOR is a three-day event for foodies, families, fun-seekers, and flower lovers of all ages. For more info, visit

EQUESTFEST (Dec. 29, 2018)

Equestfest in Burbank for Tournament of Roses
Equestfest | Photo courtesy of Tournament of Roses

Equestfest is a family-friendly event that showcases the 2019 Rose Parade equestrian units. Watch beautiful horses and talented riders perform drills and dances, and demonstrate trick riding and roping. Attendees can stroll through the stables, talk to riders, learn about the various tack and the many different breeds. Browse the vendor court and enjoy great music, food, and drinks.

Equestfest takes place on Saturday, December 29 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank. Gates open at 10 a.m. The two-hour show starts at “High Noon” and the vendor activities will run till 3pm. Advance tickets are available for $15 general admission (children 5 and under are free) or $40 for VIP reserved seating (includes souvenir seat cushion). Parking is available at the venue for $10 per vehicle.

BANDFEST (DEC. 29-30, 2018)

LAUSD All-District Band at Bandfest
LAUSD All-District Band at Bandfest | Photo courtesy of Tournament of Roses, Facebook

Bandfest features the outstanding bands selected to participate in the 2019 Rose Parade. Each band, along with its auxiliary performers, will present the field show that has led to its success. Three Bandfest events will take place at Pasadena City College over two days: Bandfest I starts at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 29; Bandfest II is at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 30; and Bandfest III is at 2 p.m. on Dec. 30. Advance tickets are available for $15 (children 5 and under are free). Tickets may also be purchased at the venue beginning 30 minutes prior to the performance time, pending availability.

Rose Bowl Bash (Dec. 30-31, 2018)

Rose Bowl Bash at The Bloc in DTLA
Rose Bowl Bash at The Bloc | Photo courtesy of Tournament of Roses

The Rose Bowl Bash is a two-day celebration of college football and the excitement of the Rose Bowl Game. The free event is back on The Bloc, located at Hope and 7th Street in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. Taking place in The Bloc plaza, the Rose Bowl Bash includes family-friendly interactive games, a Rose Bowl Game merchandise booth, photo activations, a beer garden, and entertainment—including a DJ booth and participation from team bands and cheer squads. Food trucks and other local merchants will also be available to attendees.


Rose Bowl Hall of Fame
Photo courtesy of Tournament of Roses

The Rose Bowl Hall of Fame was established in 1989 to honor members of the Rose Bowl Game family who have contributed to the history and excitement of the Rose Bowl Game. The Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on Monday, December 31 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the Lot K Tent at Rose Bowl Stadium. This year’s class includes George Halas, Randall McDaniel, Pop Warner, and Vince Young. Tickets to the ceremony are $40 for reserved seating and include a plated lunch and moderated Q&A with the inductees.

130th ROSE PARADE (JAN. 1, 2019)

The 130th Rose Parade is taking place on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019 at 8:00 a.m. (PST) featuring spectacular floral floats, marching bands from across the country, and high-stepping equestrian units. The 130th Rose Parade theme is "The Melody of Life," celebrating the universal language of music. Singer, songwriter, and philanthropist Chaka Khan is the 2019 Tournament of Roses Grand Marshal. As a New Year's Day treat for millions of viewers around the world, Chaka is scheduled to perform in the parade’s Opening Spectacular. For detailed information on tickets, locations and schedules, visit

Post Parade: A Showcase of Floats (Jan. 1-2, 2019)

Post Parade: A Showcase of Floats
Post Parade: A Showcase of Floats | Photo courtesy of Tournament of Roses

Post Parade: A Showcase of Floats is a unique opportunity for the public to see the majestic beauty and splendor of the Rose Parade floats in close detail. Following the parade, the floral and animated masterpieces are parked along Sierra Madre and Washington Boulevards in Pasadena and exhibited for visitors to walk within a few feet and appreciate their design and workmanship.

Viewing times are 1-5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, January 2. Last entry is at 4 p.m. on both days. Senior citizens and disabled visitors are welcome 7-9 a.m. on Jan. 2. Advance tickets to the Post Parade are $15. Tickets may also be purchased on-site until 3 p.m. each day of the event. General admission is free for children 5 and under. Comfortable shoes are recommended - viewing all the floats requires walking about 2.5 miles and will take at least two hours. Early arrival suggested, no pets or bikes are allowed.


100th Rose Bowl Game at Rose Bowl Stadium
100th Rose Bowl Game at Rose Bowl Stadium | Photo courtesy of Rose Bowl Stadium, Facebook

The 105th Rose Bowl Game will take place at Rose Bowl Stadium on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019. Rose Bowl Stadium will host a traditional matchup between conference champions Washington of the Pac-12 and Ohio State of the Big Ten. 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.

Tickets are available online or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-653-8000. VIP packages are also available. Rose Bowl Stadium parking lots open at 4:00 a.m and stadium gates open at 11:30 a.m. Pre-game activities begin at 1:00 p.m.


Metro Rail will operate its Red, Purple, Gold and Orange lines throughout the night of December 31 and morning of Jan. 1, 2019. In addition to overnight service on those selected lines, Metro will run more trains and offer more frequent service on the Metro Gold Line to accommodate the large numbers of anticipated riders on January 1. From 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., trains will run as frequently as every 7-8 minutes to and from Pasadena. Exit at the Memorial Park, Lake, Allen or Del Mar stations; all are located a short walk from the parade route. Metro will also provide regular bus service to areas near the Rose Parade, Rose Bowl Game and Post Parade areas. Buses will originate from locations throughout the county. For additional information on Metro transportation services, call the Metro information line at (800) COMMUTE (266.6883) or visit The hearing impaired line is 800.252.9040.

Metrolink will provide special service on the San Bernardino and Antelope Valley Lines for individuals to enjoy the Rose Parade. Check for schedule information or call 800.371.5465 for more information.

Related Tags


Discover Los Angeles