Rose Parade floats are not only moving wonders, they are botanical works of art that can be examined up close at the Showcase of Floats sponsored by Miracle-Gro in the days following the Rose Parade. All the floats that traveled along Colorado Blvd. line up at the end of the parade on Sierra Madre and Washington boulevards for visitors to get a good long look at these whimsical and beautiful creations.
Tournament of Roses volunteers are available to explain the floral decorations on the commercial floats, and volunteers from the six self-built floats regale visitors with details and specs of their floats. There is also a stage for live music and activities for the children.
The walk among the floats is about 2 ½ miles round trip, and it can be quite warm. Allow two hours minimum for this event. Food, beverages and snacks are available at a food court filled with local restaurateurs and along the streets, but visitors are advised to bring a water bottle which can be refilled for free at several water stations. ATMs are scattered around the location.
Tickets are available at the venue or from Sharp Seating for $10 per person. Children age five and under are free. Hours are Jan. 1, 2015 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Jan. 2 and 3 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Special hours for seniors and the disabled are Jan. 2 and 3 from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Ticket sales end at 3 p.m. all three days.
A free audio tour of the floats can be downloaded from the podcast area in iTunes format or to your cell phone by calling (626) 321-4768. A special version of the Rose Parade program guide in Braille is also available. Make sure to grab the free brochure on the way in, which includes a map of float locations, vendors, and restrooms.
Traffic is heavy around the area, so allow extra time. Street parking is free but limited, but there is paid parking on the Pasadena High School campus and other lots nearby which raise funds for the schools and organizations.
Another option is the Park-N-Ride service provided by the Tournament of Roses at three locations. Fare is $3 per person round trip and can be purchased at the lot or in advance from Sharp Seating, along with admission to Showcase of Floats. Children five and under ride free. Shuttle riders have access to a priority entry line upon arriving at the venue.
Pasadena City College, 1570 E. Colorado Blvd. and Community Education Center, 3035 E. Foothill Blvd. provide service Jan. 1-3. The Rose Bowl Stadium, N. Arroyo Blvd. and Seco St. in Lot H, has service on Jan. 2 and Jan. 3 only. Ticket booth hours on Jan. 1 are noon to 2:30 p.m. and on Jan. 2 and 3 are 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with sales before 8:30 a.m. limited to seniors and the disabled.
The MTA offers shuttle service every 5 to 10 minutes from the Sierra Madre Villa Gold Line Station. The cost is a regular fare plus a transfer. Hours are Jan. 1, 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. from the station to the post-parade area, with return trips continuing until 5:30 p.m.; and Jan. 2 and 3, 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. from the station with return service continuing to 5:30 p.m.
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