There Will Not Be a Rose Parade on New Year’s Day in 2021
Planning for Rose Bowl Game and reimaginedNew Year celebration ongoing
The Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association has announce that —in accordance with the state’s reopening schedule, and after consideration ofthe restrictions and guidelines in place as a result of COVID-19 — it will beunable to host the 2021 Rose Parade.
“The health and well-being of our parade participants and guests,as well as that of our volunteer members, professional staff and partners, isour number one priority,” said Bob Miller, 2021 president of the PasadenaTournament of Roses Association. “Obviously this is not what any of us wanted,and we held off on announcing until we were absolutely sure that safetyrestrictions would prevent us from continuing with planning for 132nd RoseParade.”
Since its inception in 1891, the Parade has been canceled onlythree times — the wartime years of 1942, 1943 and 1945.
While the parade itself is more than five months from now, thepreparation for such a large event typically begins in February. “In additionto the advance planning required by our band and equestrian units, theconstruction of our floats takes many months and typically requires thousandsof volunteers to gather in ways that aren’t in compliance with safetyrecommendations and won’t be safe in the coming months,” said David Eads, executivedirector/CEO. “While we are extremely disappointed that we are unable to hostthe parade, we believe that not doing so will prevent the spread of COVID-19,as well as protect the legacy of the Rose Parade for generations to come.”
The Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association also hosts the RoseBowl Game each Jan. 1. The planning for this year’s Rose Bowl Game, which willserve as a College Football Playoff Semifinal, is still ongoing. “We continueto work with the College Football Playoff and our collegiate partners toexplore what this year’s college football season will look like amidst COVID-19and social distancing guidelines. While the safety and well-being of thestudent athletes, university personnel and fans is our top priority, we remainhopeful that the Granddaddy of Them All will take place on New Year’s Day,”continued Eads.
“I know that I speak on behalf of our 935 volunteer members, andthe hundreds of thousands in our community for which the Rose Parade is anannual tradition, when I say we will miss the joy of coming together and themaking of memories,” said Miller. “But know that we will not miss thisopportunity to celebrate a New Year and healthy new beginnings on Jan. 1,2021.”
Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek said the city will work with theTournament of Roses on a reimagined New Year celebration, as well as the returnof the Rose Parade in 2022.
In considering the options for the 2021 Rose Parade, theTournament of Roses commissioned a feasibility and safety report for hostingthe Rose Parade during the COVID-19 Pandemic, conducted by public healthexperts from the Keck School of Medicine of USC. That report showed that evenwith intensive effort to ensure compliance with public health measures such as 6-footdistancing and face masks, it is likely that Rose Parade activities before,during and after the event would inevitably lead to large numbers ofindividuals (many of whom represent high risk groups for COVID-19 complications,such as retirees over age 60) in close proximity to each other, potentially, insome cases, without masks. This creates a high-risk environment for viralspread, including super-spreader events. In addition, thousands of paradeparticipants and spectators will travel to the Los Angeles region from acrossthe nation and even the world, in many cases by plane. Such travel representsinfection risk to the travelers, but also may lead to the importation of thevirus to the area from other regions of the country and world as well asexportation of the virus to other regions of the nation and world when thesespectators return home.
The Tournament of Roses has plans underway for a new kind of NewYear celebration in 2021 for those across the country and around the world.“Each year, the country turns its eyes to Pasadena for America’s New Yearcelebration and we plan to deliver on that important promise,” said Eads. “Wemay not be able to host our traditional 5-mile march down Colorado Boulevard,but we are exploring new and safe ways we can collectively share in thecelebration, and we look forward to announcing further details about ourexciting new plans in the coming weeks.”