Pasadena’s 135th Rose Parade Celebrates 2024 New Year

Pasadena’s 135th Rose Parade Celebrates 2024 New Year

The city of Torrance, Calif., float moves along the parade route at the 135th Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 1, 2024. Jae C. Hong/AP Photo)

City News Service

City News Service

1/2/2024

Updated: 1/11/2024

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PASADENA, Calif.—The 135th Tournament of Roses Parade delighted spectators in Pasadena Jan. 1 with marching bands, equestrian units, and a host of elaborately decorated floral floats—all making their way down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena under the theme “Celebrating a World of Music.”
The parade began with an “Opening Spectacular” performance featuring Destiny’s Child’s Michelle Williams, “The Voice” champion Cassadee Pope, “American Idol” alum David Archuleta, and Los Angeles singer/songwriter/producer Rush Davis. They all performed on the Rose Parade opening stage, alongside the Honda float themed “Keep Dreaming.”
The parade made its way along its traditional 5 1/2-mile route, moving east along Colorado Boulevard to northbound Sierra Madre Boulevard, ending at Villa Street.
The San Diego Zoo’s float “It All Started With a Roar” won the 2024 Sweepstakes Trophy, honoring the most beautiful entry encompassing float design, floral presentation and entertainment.
The San Diego Zoo float moves along the parade route at the 135th Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 1, 2024. (Jae C. Hong/AP Photo)

The San Diego Zoo float moves along the parade route at the 135th Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 1, 2024. (Jae C. Hong/AP Photo)

The theme was announced nearly a year ago by Tournament of Roses Association President/Chair Alex Aghajanian.
“The 2024 theme brings us together through music,” Mr. Aghajanian said at the time. “In a world of different cultures, beliefs, hopes, and dreams, one language unites us all—music.
“The sound, texture, rhythm, form, harmony, and expression meld together to move, soothe, excite and delight the world. From bossa nova to blues, classical to country, metal to mariachi and rock to rap, thousands of genres invite us to become one in celebrating a world of music.”
Leading the parade was grand marshal Audra McDonald, a singer, actress and six-time Tony Award winner.
Grand Marshal Audra McDonald, left, waves to the crowd at the 135th Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 1, 2024. (Jae C. Hong/AP Photo)

Grand Marshal Audra McDonald, left, waves to the crowd at the 135th Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 1, 2024. (Jae C. Hong/AP Photo)

“I am so deeply honored to have been invited to serve as the grand marshal of the 2024 Rose Parade,” McDonald said. “As a California kid, raised in Fresno, ... the new year was always ushered in with the Rose Bowl. Every January 1st I'd wake up early to watch the parade and the game with my family.”
In an annual tradition, the parade was overseen by the seven-member Royal Court, made up of Pasadena-area high school girls chosen for their public speaking, academic achievement, youth leadership and community involvement.
The court, which had already taken part in dozens of community events leading up to the parade, was led by Rose Queen Naomi Stillitano, an Arcadia High School senior.
The other members of the Royal Court were:
  • Olivia Bohanec, La Salle College Preparatory
  • Trinity Dela Cruz, Marshall Fundamental School
  • Phoebe Ho, South Pasadena High School
  • Mia Moore-Walker, Flintridge Preparatory School
  • Jessica Powell, Flintridge Preparatory School
  • Emmerson Tucker, Blair High School.
Naomi Stillitano, the 105th Rose Queen, (L) waves during the 135th Rose Parade Presented by Honda in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 1, 2024. (Jerod Harris/Getty Images)

Naomi Stillitano, the 105th Rose Queen, (L) waves during the 135th Rose Parade Presented by Honda in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 1, 2024. (Jerod Harris/Getty Images)

The Na Koa Ali'I – Hawai'i All State marching band performs at the 135th Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 1, 2024. (Jae C. Hong/AP Photo)

The Na Koa Ali'I – Hawai'i All State marching band performs at the 135th Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 1, 2024. (Jae C. Hong/AP Photo)

Nearly 20 marching bands marched and performed during the parade, including groups from Japan and Costa Rica, as well as schools across the country. The bands of the two universities participating in the Rose Bowl Game —Michigan and Alabama—also took part.
Eighteen equestrian units also participated, including the U.S. Marine Corps Mounted Color Guard, Valley Hunt Club in Pasadena, the Budweiser Clydesdales and the 1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment.
But the highlight of the parade by far was the procession of ornate floats, all of which were required to be completely covered by flowers or other natural materials, such as leaves, seeds or bark. The floats were meticulously crafted over several months, beginning with the understructure and concluding with the arduous task of applying the flowers and other materials, generally one piece at a time.
A total of 39 floats took part in this year’s procession. Some were sponsored by local cities, such as Torrance, Burbank, and Alhambra, each touting local attractions, while others were funded by businesses such as Kaiser Permanente, Honda, Shriners Children’s and The Cowboy Channel.
Closing out the parade was former “American Idol” champion Jordin Sparks, who rode aboard the final float in the parade honoring the Mansion Theatre for the Performing Arts in Brandon, Missouri.
Banda Municipal de Zarcero, of Costa Rica, performs at the 135th Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 1, 2024. (Jae C. Hong/AP Photo)

Banda Municipal de Zarcero, of Costa Rica, performs at the 135th Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 1, 2024. (Jae C. Hong/AP Photo)

Float Display

Following the parade, the floats are on display at the Floatfest at Sierra Madre and Washington boulevard, giving spectators a chance to a get a close-up look at the creations. The Floatfest will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday.
On Tuesday, the Floatfest will be open at 7 a.m. for senior citizens and the disabled, then open to the general public at 9 a.m., closing at 5 p.m.
Floatfest tickets are $20 in advance online, and admission is free for children ages 5 and younger.
The Downey Rose Float Associate float moves along the parade route at the 135th Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 1, 2024. (Jae C. Hong/AP Photo)

The Downey Rose Float Associate float moves along the parade route at the 135th Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 1, 2024. (Jae C. Hong/AP Photo)

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