Highlights And Winners From The 2020 Rose Parade

The "Dodo Bird Flight School" float, celebrating the hopes and aspirations of the flightless dodo bird, makes its way along the parade route during the 131st Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. Self-built by the La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association, the float won the Bob Hope Humor award for 2020. (Michael Owen Baker/AP)

Here in Southern California, we rang in the new year the same way we have for more than 100 years — with the Rose Parade, a procession of flower-festooned floats and shako-wearing, high-stepping marching bands, and this year, for the first time, a halftime show (more on that later).

The theme for 2020 was "The Power of Hope," selected by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses' first-ever Latina president, Laura Farber.

The float winners were announced early Wednesday. The Sweepstakes Trophy, the parade's top award, went to the UPS Store for its float, "Stories Change Our World." The award recognizes the most beautiful entry, encompassing float design, floral presentation and entertainment value, according to the Tournament.

You can find the complete list of winners, along with some other interesting highlights and facts about the parade, below.

The UPS Store, Inc. float wins the Sweepstakes Award at the 131st Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. (Michael Owen Baker/AP)

THE WINNERS

The Shriners Hospitals for Children float rides the 131st Rose Parade route in Pasadena. (Michael Owen Baker/AP)

WHY IT MATTERS

The Rose Parade is the nation's most famous New Year's Day celebration, and it happens right here in Southern California.

Every year, more than 700,000 spectators line the streets of Pasadena, some of them braving the frigid January nights to stake out choice viewing spots along the route, and the spectacle ultimately reaches more than 50 million viewers via broadcast. So yeah, it's a big deal.

The Oregon marching band performs at the 131st Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. (Michael Owen Baker/AP)

WHAT ELSE YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Rose Parade was presided over this year by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses' first-ever Latina president.
  • The parade included a halftime show for the first time ever. It featured the touring cast of the hit Broadway musical, Disney's FROZEN.
  • Last year a float caught fire, causing a backup in the procession. No reports of any debacles this year.
A 2020 Rose Parade float is seen at the start of the route at the 131st Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. The theme of this year's parade is "The Power of Hope." (Michael Owen Baker/AP)

ABOUT THAT HALFTIME SHOW

That first-ever halftime show featured in this year's Rose Parade appeared to get mixed reviews depending on where you were sitting.

The show included the cast of Disney's Broadway musical "Frozen," who took to the streets for a brief performance. It coincided with the musical's nine-week stint at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre.

Some took to social media to criticize the performance, saying they wanted to see less corporate promotion and more of the floats and marching bands the parade is known for.

But others, like Anita Feirs, who watched the parade at the corner of Orange Grove and Green, didn't mind it.

"It was great! It was beautiful," Feirs told KPCC/LAist.

We've reached out to Disney to see what if anything they may have paid for the performance spot.

The Burbank Tournament of Roses Association float won the Leishman Public Spirit Award at the 131st Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. (Michael Owen Baker/AP)

TIGHTER SECURITY?

Dee Dee Reese from Altadena said she's been coming to the Rose Parade almost every year since 1982.

This year, she noticed security was much tighter.

"They took my little knife I had - it was a key, with protection," she told KPCC/LAist. Reese said she understood why they had to do it - because of "what's going on in the world now."

"People shouldn't get upset, because they do what they have to do," she said. "They're trying to protect you. I think they did a wonderful job."

HOW WE'RE COVERING THIS

Reporter Carla Javier was on scene along the parade route. Digital producer Brian Frank has been keeping this story updated.

LEARN MORE

According to the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, which organizes the parade:

  • Marching bands have been part of the tradition since 1891, when the Monrovia City Band joined the procession for the Tournament of Roses' second parade.
  • Equestrians have been participating since the start (1890). In those early days, carriages decorated with flowers were pulled by horses.
  • If you're watching in person, the parade lasts about two hours from any given viewing point.
  • A high quality float will cost at least $275,000 to make, including design and construction costs.

SCENES ON THE GROUND

The Northwestern Mutual float, that won the Fantasy Award, makes its way down the parade route during the 131st Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. (Michael Owen Baker/AP)
The UPS Store, Inc. float wins the Sweepstakes Award at the 131st Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. (Michael Owen Baker/AP)
The Amazon Studios float makes its way along the parade route at the 131st Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. (Michael Owen Baker/AP)
The Cowboy Channel float wins the Showmanship Award at the 131st Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. (Michael Owen Baker/AP)

This story was originally published at 11:34 a.m. and was updated to include more photos, scenes from the ground, and information about the halftime show.