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Rose Parade 101: How to get to the parade and where to park

Parking at the Rose Parade doesn't have to be a comedy of errors.
Parking at the Rose Parade doesn't have to be a comedy of errors.
Laura Berthold Monteros


Folks who live within a short distance of the Rose Parade route along Orange Grove, Colorado, and Sierra Madre Boulevards in Pasadena generally walk to the parade. Some are lucky enough to have homes or businesses along the route and can watch from the comfort of their window.

The rest of the world relies on cars or public transportation. Here’s the skinny on how to get to the spectacular floral extravaganza in one piece.

How to get there by car:

  • Remember to allow at least two to three times the normal driving time, and about a half hour to find a parking place and walk to the parade.
  • Street closures include Pasadena Avenue between Columbia and Del Mar, 8 p.m.-10 a.m. and most of the streets in the formation area bounded by Arroyo Boulevard, Union Street, Arroyo Parkway, and Columbia Street. The parade route along Orange Grove, Colorado, and Sierra Madre closes at 8 p.m. and crossing is allowed at designated intersections only.
  • The 210 Foothill Freeway runs more or less parallel to the north of the parade route along Colorado Boulevard, so from all areas except downtown Los Angeles and cities off the 10 Freeway, it’s the best choice to get into Pasadena.
  • From downtown L.A. and the Santa Monica area, the 110 Harbor/Pasadena Freeway ends on Arroyo Parkway at the southern entry to Pasadena, a little over a mile below Colorado. Just continue north on Arroyo to find parking.
  • Some of the freeway exits will be closed on parade day and the day before. It’s a good idea to have the radio set to KNX-1070 AM to get traffic and closure updates. Drivers can expect these ramps to be closed on those days:
    134 Freeway—eastbound Orange Grove off-ramp, 8 p.m.-11 a.m.; westbound Orange Grove on-ramp, 2 a.m.-noon
    710 Freeway—southbound Del Mar off-ramp, 8 p.m.-noon; northbound Del Mar and California on-ramps, 8 p.m.-10 a.m.
    210 Freeway—east- and westbound Sierra Madre off-ramps, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; also closed Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

How to get there by train:

  • The Metro Gold Line forms a C-shaped route from east Pasadena to Union Station and to East Los Angeles. Riders can get on an any of the points and exit the Gold Line at the Del Mar, Memorial Park, Lake, or Allen stations to be within easy walking distance of the parade. More information is available on the New Year’s page.
  • To reach the Gold Line, take light rail or Metrolink to Union Station and catch the Gold Line.
  • Bus and rail service on Metro includes free fares on New Year’s Eve night and beefed up rail service to Pasadena on New Year’s Day.
  • Purchase a refillable TAP card for $1 and add the amount for all the fares you will need to pay. How-tos and fare info are on the Metro fare page. TAP cards are also valid on the Pasadena ARTS buses that run in various sections of the city.


  • Plan to spend about a half hour looking for parking and to walk to the parade.
  • Park on the side of the route you are coming from. Though certain intersections are open until shortly before the parade starts, it is difficult and time-consuming to try to cross the route.
  • Reserved parking is available from Sharp Seating (626) 795-4171, the City of Pasadena, (626) 744-6470, Easy Parking Service (626) 286-7576, and some churches and businesses close to the route.
  • Standard Parking Corporation allows parade-goers to reserve in one of three lots, all identically priced, online through
  • There is plenty of parking available on the day of the parade from various lots around the city, ranging in price from about $7 to $25.
  • Generally, the farther from the route, the cheaper the spot.
  • Street parking is available for free if you don’t mind walking three-quarters or a mile or more.
  • The City of Pasadena suspends its 2 a.m.-6 p.m. overnight parking restrictions for the holiday season. The moratorium is in effect from Dec. 23 through Jan. 3. Vehicles legally parked on the street during these dates and times will not be ticketed.
  • All other parking restrictions apply, however, and any illegally parked vehicles, RV’s or trailers will be cited and possibly towed.

A great resource for visitors and residents alike is the Visit Pasadena website, which has a downloadable Visitor Hotline Reference Guide and maps showing street closures and access during the Tournament of Roses events. The number to the hotline is (877) 793-9911.

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