After a few days of decorating, we were ready to see the finished floral masterpieces in the Rose Bowl parade! While the Tournament of Roses festivities take place over the course of a week, most of the main events take place on New Year’s Day! January 1st was a fun-filled day of flowers, floats, and football. And a little tailgating, too!
We kicked off 2015 bright and early! 6:45 am, to be exact. No NYE champagne hangovers here, as we knew we had to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to make our way to our seats for the parade. But even in the wee hours of the morning, we definitely weren’t the first ones on site. Not even close! Pasadenans and other parade-goers from all over the world start lining the sidewalks on Colorado Blvd almost a full 24 hours in advance. We couldn’t believe it! Folding chairs, outdoor heaters, fire pits, grills, air mattresses, and the like. There were full-on campsites being built to ensure a prime parade-viewing perch! Thousands and thousands of people lined the 5½-mile route for the two-hour parade of floral floats, marching bands, and high-stepping horses.
We had heard that every single material used for the floats had to be natural, but it was amazing to see just how intricate these floats were! A ton of the floats had movement, steam, music, and more. The creativity was mind-blowing! It was so fun to see the FTD VIP vehicles drive past, too, since we had seen them being brought to life behind-the-scenes.
After the parade, we took a quick break back at the hotel to warm up. The temperature was in the low 30’s when the parade started at 8 a.m.! Yes, in Pasadena, California… who would have thought!
Post-heat and hot chocolate, we ventured out to do some tailgating! There were seas of green & yellow and crimson & gold as Oregon and Florida State fans were partying in the parking lots surrounding the Rose Bowl. FTD treated us to the VIP Tailgating tent that boasted buffets of burgers, beer, snacks, and seafood. There were even heaters and TVs! It was by far the most luxe tailgate we’d ever attended. Each table was outfitted with a festive floral arrangement from FTD, too!
Once we had filled up on food, we made our way to the historic Rose Bowl for some football! We had primetime seats in the fifth row, which was pretty spectacular! It was awesome to be able to attend the first-ever college football playoff game. We cheered on both teams, as neither of us had a bias towards either the Ducks or Seminoles. Oregon ended up defeating Florida State’s 29-game winning streak… by 40 points!
Hallie and I both feel so fortunate to have gotten the opportunity to experience the 2015 Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, California. We are forever grateful, FTD!
We hope you enjoyed following along! 🙂
xo, Jessica & Hallie