New Year’s Traditions: Watch the Rose Parade

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Photo Source: Bethany Baird

Being the Southern California Girl that I am, watching the Rose Parade was always a “must-do” on New Year’s Day when I was a kid. My friends went to the parade in person, often camping out overnight to get a good seat. But, we watched the action on the TV. My parents were the “be cozy at home” kind of celebrants as well, so we took in the parade from the comfort of our own den. And that was fine by me.

Though, secretly, I wouldn’t mind seeing it in person sometime.

FishPapa and I opted out of television for many, many years so this wasn’t a part of our traditions until recently. About three years ago we bought rabbit ears so we could watch Chiefs’ football when we lived in Kansas City. That first New Year’s Day with TV brought back so many wonderful memories! And how fun it was for the FishBoys that the 2007 parade featured Star Wars!

Since then we’ve upgraded to DirecTV and can now watch the Tournament of Roses fuzz-free and I’m able to share this little piece of my childhood with my kids.

Do you watch the Rose Parade or do you have a different regular New Year’s Day entertainment?

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  1. My mother grew up in Upland, and on more than one occasion got to volunteer with making the floats. I grew up in Oceanside, The Rose Parade on TV with the store bought cinnamon rolls with the orange glaze were ALWAYS a tradition.

    Heather, now of Jacksonville FL

  2. We always watch the Rose Parade. Who doesn't enjoy seeing all those floats covered in beautiful flowers and herbs? Makes me long for spring right at the start of winter…

  3. Being from the heart of the Big Ten country, the Rose Bowl parade was a *must* in our house growing up. We were on our own for lunch, because that was the one day a year you didn't interrupt Mom's TV program! lol This year we're excited to not only see our beloved Ohio State University Marching Band, but also the Ohio State School for the Blind Marching Band! Can't wait!

  4. The Rose Parade is a HUGE tradition in our family – my parents grew up in SoCal, and my step-dad is a Pasadena native. In his youth, he worked on dozens of floats. We have always watched the parade on TV, which MUST be tuned to KTLA! In fact, when my parents moved away from SoCal several years ago, they chose Dish Network as their satellite service because you can subscribe to KTLA.

    They took my brother and I to the parade (reserved grandstand seats) in the mid-80s, and took me and a friend again in 2004. My brother also had the chance to work on a float one year when he was 12 or so.

    In 2007 they drove themselves and my then-8-year-old nephew (their grandson) from Utah to Pasadena so that Nephew could experience the parade in person. My mom passed away on November 1st of this year, and I'm heartbroken that my niece will not have the chance to someday go to the parade with Grandma and Papa they way her brother did.

    It will be strange to watch on TV without being with or calling my mom to discuss our favorite floats. However, I too subscribe to KTLA on Dish, and WILL be watching as always, and thinking of Mom.

  5. i usually sleep in a miss most of the rose parade, but this year a horse riding group my sister is involved with called the giddy up girls will be performing. my sister is the 2nd backup rider so she probably won't be in it herself but i'll be sure to watch just in case

  6. When I was in high school, we lived in SO Cal for a few years. Every year my church youth group camped out and watched the Rose Parade. I went one year (emphasis on ONE). It was an experience and I will never do it again. I ended up sleeping through the entire parade because I had been up all night and I was exhausted. The parade is much better to watch on tv in the comfort of your home (with bathrooms)!

  7. I love watching the parade. It amazes me how they make those floats with just plant material. I'm looking forward to it also.