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How To Survive The Migraine That Is Getting To The 2019 Rose Parade

The city of Torrance float participates in the 128th Tournament of Roses Parade Presented by Honda on Jan. 2, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
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Pasadena's 130th Rose Parade is just days away. And that means all those extra barricades, parking restrictions, people camping along the parade route, and hundreds of thousands of day visitors out to catch a glimpse of the storied event.

It's a lot to navigate. But here's a valuable piece of advice from Cord Hosenbeck:


Here's the insider's guide to getting your Rose Parade watchin' game plan on:

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Where is the parade?

It starts on Orange Grove Boulevard, about a block south of Colorado Boulevard. Then it runs through downtown Pasadena on Colorado Boulevard, and heads north on Sierra Madre, where it ends.

It's 5.5 miles start to finish.

(Map courtesy of City of Pasadena)

When is the parade?

The parade starts at 8 a.m., and since the floats move at a breakneck 2.5 mph, it'll take awhile.

What can't I bring?

The list here is pretty extensive:

  • Stuff to camp out on during the parade (sofas, boxes, stools, ladders)
  • Anything that could burn illegally, like campfires and bonfires
  • Stuff that explodes, including fireworks
  • Anything you're planning on selling, including the very space you're standing in
  • Horns
  • Alcohol or drugs
  • Anything you're planning on throwing onto the parade route
  • Drones

So is there anything I CAN bring?

Yes, the list is just a little shorter:

  • Stuff to camp overnight (including blankets and chairs)
  • Children
  • Snacks
  • A small, professional BBQ, as long as it's far away from buildings, and at least a foot off the ground. As long as you bring a fire extinguisher.
  • Pets, but officials really don't want you to bring them.
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Any secret tips?

Pasadena Police Lt. Jason Clawson said the most crowded (and expensive) part of the route is the grandstand. His secret? There's nothing wrong with moving farther down the route.

"The good thing about this parade [is] it lasts 5.5 miles through Colorado Boulevard. And at the end of the parade, you're going to see everything that the people at the beginning of the parade are going to see," he said.

He said the last part of the parade also has a lot more breathing room than the crowded sidewalks for people to stand or sit.

The bands will still be playing and the groups will still showcase their performances. And the best part?

"If you don't want to invest in a ticket," he said, "you can stand along the sidewalks, free of charge."

As for the post-parade viewing area and the parking situation, Clawson said there's not really a secret to save you from the masses.

"Post-parade is going to be crowded at all times. Parking is going to be a problem so come early, and plan on maybe walking a half mile, or even taking an Uber," he said.

Other honorable tip mentions:

  • Keep track of your chair, because officials will move it from the parade route if it's found without someone sitting in it.
  • If you're camping out, temperatures are expected to dip into the mid-40s overnight, so dress warm.
  • Take a hat and sunscreen for the mid-60s temperatures the next day.

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02: The city of South Pasadena float participates in the 128th Tournament of Roses Parade Presented by Honda on January 2, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images) (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Trying to drive to the parade?

Avoid the parade route (see: where is the parade).

The route closes starting at 10 p.m. New Year's Eve, and all the cross streets close at 6 a.m., two hours before the parade is slated to start. The area stays closed until the parade ends, around 2 p.m. New Year's Day.

Officials recommend taking Walnut Street or Del Mar Boulevard instead of Colorado Boulevard when it's closed. As for crossing Colorado Boulevard... you just have to go around.

Or, take the Gold Line or bus.

The parade is two blocks away from the Del Mar and Memorial Park stations closest to the start of the parade, and four blocks from the Lake and Allen stations. You can park at Union Station for $8 and Gold Line it to Pasadena or transfer from one of the other lines. You'll want to load a TAP card with $3.50 for the round trip.

Several bus lines also will get you there. Details from Metro.

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