Corona Cancels the Rose Parade

July 15, 2020, 2:16 PM · The Tournament of Roses announced this morning that it has canceled the 2021 Rose Parade, which would have marched through Pasadena, Calif. on January 1.

"The health and well-being of our parade participants and guests, as well as that of our volunteer members, professional staff and partners, is our number one priority," 2021 President of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association Bob Miller said. "Obviously this is not what any of us wanted, and we held off on announcing until we were absolutely sure that safety restrictions would prevent us from continuing with planning for 132nd Rose Parade."

The Rose Parade and associated Rose Bowl Game draw about a couple hundred thousand people to Pasadena each New Year's Day, making the Tournament of Roses one of the largest annual single-day attractions in America. But the prospect of bringing thousands of people shoulder-to-shoulder along Orange Grove, Colorado, and Sierra Madre Boulevards was only part of the reason for the parade's cancelation, organizers said.

Float construction is already behind schedule for some volunteer entrants, due to California's stay at home orders. Most marching bands also would not be able to participate, given ongoing school closures and travel restrictions.

Organizers said that they are looking at alternate ways to celebrate the new year, which could still include the annual Rose Bowl Game, as that college football match has not (yet) been canceled.

"Each year, the country turns its eyes to Pasadena for America’s New Year celebration and we plan to deliver on that important promise," Executive Director/CEO David Eads said. "We may not be able to host our traditional five-mile march down Colorado Boulevard, but we are exploring new and safe ways we can collectively share in the celebration, and we look forward to announcing further details about our exciting new plans in the coming weeks."

The last time the Rose Parade was canceled was from 1942-45, during World War II.

California has been rolling back its reopening, closing bars and indoor dining across the state. Disneyland has had to cancel its planned July 17 reopening, as the state has declined to publish guidance for reopening theme parks in the state, due to the current levels of Covid-19 infections and hospitalizations. California currently ranks 13th in the nation for new cases per capita over the past 14 days. Florida is second, behind California's neighbor Arizona.

Replies (6)

July 15, 2020 at 2:30 PM

Wow, to cancel something six months off is a big deal to show how worried California is.

July 15, 2020 at 2:33 PM

As someone who lives three blocks from the Rose Parade route, this makes me both profoundly sad and greatly relieved.

July 15, 2020 at 2:35 PM

I do forget that it takes months to set this thing up with floats and such so guess they worried it wouldn't be ready anyway.

July 15, 2020 at 3:20 PM

If they had the parade, they would most likely have a big turn out. I think once 2021 hits, people will be just about over with all the social distancing stuff.

July 15, 2020 at 5:35 PM

Goodbye Rose Bowl, Queen of Corona!

(singing me and Julio down by the school yard)

July 16, 2020 at 5:22 PM

This gives Steely Dan's "Hey Nineteen" an entire new meaning

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Need Discount Tickets?

  Now open, or date announced:

  Still waiting on these:

Get Our Newsletter

Read Robert's Book

Stories from a Theme Park Insider