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10515
California

Rose Parade®: A Heritage to Celebrate

Celebrate New Year’s Day at the Rose Parade® in Pasadena, learning about the parade’s history, watching award-winning bands and helping decorate a signature Rose Parade® float.
Rating (4.94)
Program No. 10515RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
2,099
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
California

Rose Parade®: A Heritage to Celebrate

Celebrate New Year’s Day at the Rose Parade® in Pasadena, learning about the parade’s history, watching award-winning bands and helping decorate a signature Rose Parade® float.
Length
6 days
Starts at
2,099
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Length
6 days
Rating (4.94)
Starts at
2,099
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Program No. 10515RJ

Your well-being is our #1 priority

To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

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We want your Road Scholar learning adventure to be something to look forward to—not worry about. Learn more

Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
Plan ahead.
What kind of weather can you expect? Take a look!
itinerary
Please Note:
The itinerary for this program is different on certain dates.
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.

DATES & PRICES

Triple Hotel Luxury Htl
Accommodation Details

Comfortable, clean accommodations with three guests to a room.

Accommodation Details

Comfortable accommodations that meet our high standards.

Accommodation Details

Upscale accommodations offering the best in comfort, service and amenities.

Dec 29 - Jan 3, 2023
Triple 2,099
Hotel 2,249
Luxury Hotel 2,649
Special Offer

Enroll by Aug. 31, 2022 to take $200 off the price shown!

Itinerary Note

Due to a long-standing tradition, the parade is never held on a Sunday. Therefore, the parade will be held on Monday, January 2, 2023.

DATES & PRICES

Hotel Luxury Hotel
Accommodation Details

Comfortable accommodations that meet our high standards.

Accommodation Details

Upscale accommodations offering the best in comfort, service and amenities.

Dec 29 - Jan 3, 2023
Hotel 2,619
Luxury Hotel 3,199
Special Offer

Enroll by Aug. 31, 2022 to take $200 off the price shown!

Itinerary Note

Due to a long-standing tradition, the parade is never held on a Sunday. Therefore, the parade will be held on Monday, January 2, 2023.

6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5B 3L 5D
View Full Itinerary

At a Glance

New Year’s Eve belongs to Times Square but New Year’s Day is all California’s and Pasadena’s with the Rose Parade®! Welcome the new year by attending the annual Rose Parade® and delight in the tradition and pageantry of magnificent floral floats, high-stepping equestrians and spirited marching bands.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walking up to one mile per day, standing for several hours, climbing stairs and sitting on bleacher seats without backs.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Learn the fascinating history of the parade from a Tournament of Roses insider and hear from a past Rose Queen about her reign.
  • Attend Bandfest to watch the performances and shows.
  • Become a part of the spectacle as you help decorate one of the elaborate Rose Parade® floats, attend the parade itself and view floats up close after the parade.

General Notes

One of our most popular events, this program is limited to 315 participants at each hotel, with many activities divided into smaller groups. If you are interested in seeing the Rose Parade® along with other popular Southern California sites while staying at a beachside hotel, take a look "The Best of California: The Reagan Library to the Channel Islands" (#14491) that also begins on December 29, 2022 or December 28, 2023.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Julie King (former Rose Queen)
Julie Myers King, the 1988 Tournament of Roses® Queen, is a marketing specialist for the financial planning firm Hesen and Haslam. Previously, King worked as a paraprofessional for the Las Virgenes Unified School District, specializing in elementary education. Her experiences as Rose Queen include appearances on television shows and travels to Canada and Japan. In her spare time, she is an Assistant Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 127 in Agoura Hills. She is the mother of two Eagle Scouts and a Life Scout.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Julie King (former Rose Queen)
Julie King (former Rose Queen) View biography
Julie Myers King, the 1988 Tournament of Roses® Queen, is a marketing specialist for the financial planning firm Hesen and Haslam. Previously, King worked as a paraprofessional for the Las Virgenes Unified School District, specializing in elementary education. Her experiences as Rose Queen include appearances on television shows and travels to Canada and Japan. In her spare time, she is an Assistant Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 127 in Agoura Hills. She is the mother of two Eagle Scouts and a Life Scout.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Lonely Planet Los Angeles & Southern California
by Lonely Planet Publications
This practical guide to Los Angeles, San Diego, and Southern California features maps, a good overview of culture, history and nature, and plenty of information on excursions, accommodations and sightseeing. Includes color photographs and excellent travel information.
The Rose Bowl
by Michelle L. Turner
A tribute to the Rose Bowl stadium, with photos from the archives of the Pasadena Museum of History, that highlights memorable sports moments as well as the stadium's role in Pasadena's cultural life.
California, A History
by Kevin Starr
A lively short history in the excellent Modern Library Chronicles series, written by a renowned historian.
The Golden West, Hollywood Stories
by Daniel Fuchs
This marvelous collection of stories and essays from Sunny California, many originally appearing in The New Yorker and Commentary, capture the spirit (and personalities) of Hollywood in the heyday of the studio era.
The Golden Shore, California's Love Affair With the Sea
by David Helvarg
In this eminently readable and well-researched tribute, Helvarg, an environmental journalist and filmmaker, considers the crosscurrents of culture, history, economy and myth that come together on the state’s golden shores.
Early Pasadena (Images of America)
by Cedar Imboden Phillips
Synonymous with roses because of its annual Rose Parade®, Pasadena has a history that extends beyond the fragrant flower. Through historic photos, this Images of America installment covers the evolution of the city.
A Rose by Any Name
by Douglas Brenner, Stephen Scanniello
This social and cultural history of the rose touches on art, literature, science, technology and history as the authors impart fun trivia about the world’s most beloved flower. Includes full-color art throughout.
Tales of the Rose Tree, Ravishing Rhododendrons and Their Travels Around the World
by Jane Brown
An English garden writer, Brown offers an entertaining, learned whirlwind tour through the social, commercial and botanical history of the much-loved ornamental, including a roundup of early collecting forays into Asia and the Himalayas.
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 3 L 5 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Los Angeles/Pasadena Area
D
The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m. Remember to bring your nametag (sent previously). Important Note: Participants will be assigned to one of twelve groups for organizational purposes. If you are traveling with other individuals and wish to be in the same group, please be sure to identify one another via "Participant Information and Your Preferences" on your Road Scholar account at least four weeks in advance.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 3:00 p.m. After you check in and have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table in the lobby to register with the program staff, get any updated information, and confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please locate your Group Leader and let them know you have arrived. Orientation: 4:00 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. We will review COVID-19 protocols and will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and requirements throughout the program. All program-related transportation will be via private motorcoach. We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. Program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: In the hotel banquet room.

Evening: Crossing Points is a time for getting to know one another better and what we may have in common beyond a love of learning. Then settle in, relax, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Rose Parade® Float Decorating
Los Angeles/Pasadena Area
B,L,D
The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Depending on the float organization, we will work a minimum of 6 hours and a maximum of 8 hours including a lunch break. You will be standing, bending, and reaching while working on floats as directed by float organizers. Some floats will require an early morning departure, as early as 6:00 a.m., from the hotel. Please read the "Special Notes" section for more details about float decorating.

Breakfast: In the hotel banquet room.

Morning: This is what you’ve been waiting for: experience the magic that goes into actually creating the Rose Parade® floats! We’ll transfer you by motorcoach to one of the "float barns" to work alongside experienced professionals and help apply materials under their guidance. Rose Parade® rules require that every inch of each float be covered with flowers or other natural materials such as fruits, vegetables, leaves, seeds, or bark. Our participation will be a significant factor since parade officials estimate that it takes 60 volunteers working 10 hours a day for 10 days to decorate just one float.

Lunch: At your float decorating site.

Afternoon: Continue decorating a float/floats at your designated facility. Afterwards, we will return to the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: We’ll view the documentary "Here Comes the Band", which takes a look at how high school bands compete to get into the Rose Parade®. The film follows the application and selection process and the fundraising activities necessary to support their desire to participate in the ultimate parade.

DAY
3
Past Queen, Equestrian Unit, Bandfest, New Year's Eve Dinner
Los Angeles/Pasadena Area
B,L,D
The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Seats for Bandfest are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Early arrival to get a good seat involves standing in line 30-60 minutes until the stadium opens. To enter the stadium, climb a flight of stairs. To reach the seats, go downstairs to seats (elevator available in rear of stadium). Our metal bleacher seats have backs, but you may wish to bring a stadium cushion since we will be seated for several hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: From the hotel, we will transfer by motorcoach to a local auditorium where a series of morning presentations will begin with a talk given by a member of the Community Relations Committee of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses® Association. We will learn about the parade and, in particular, the 935 “White Suiters”. These volunteers wear clearly distinctive uniforms and work tirelessly to ensure the success of the parade and football game. Next, we will meet a former Rose Queen who will share her personal story about the Rose Queen selection process and responsibilities. Through an intensive selection process, the Tournament of Roses® “Queen and Court” committee seeks participants with the best combination of poise, personality, public speaking ability and scholastic achievement. Approximately a thousand young women from over two dozen area high schools apply each year. They are required to complete a detailed application meeting age and academic requirements. Those selected meet in person with the committee members over the course of a month. That number is reduced to approximately 250 who are invited to return for further interviews, then 75, then about 25 finalists. The committee selects the Royal Court from this group. Finally, we will hear from members of an equestrian unit that will appear in the Rose Parade®. They will share information about the application process and what it takes to participate in the very special tradition. The equestrian talents are a unique aspect of the parade entertainment.

Lunch: Boxed lunches will be distributed before boarding the bus to Bandfest. We will arrive to Pasadena City College (the site for Bandfest) early in order to be one of the first to enter the stadium. A boxed lunch provides you with the flexibility to eat while we wait for the afternoon performance (either inside or outside of the stadium). You may choose to eat your lunch while waiting in line or you may opt to enjoy your lunch while sitting on the grass - Pasadena City College does not have any formal picnic areas on campus. There are few benches outside the stadium.

Afternoon: Marching in the Rose Parade® is a coveted honor, with bands from all over the world as well as some of the nation's top high school, college, and organizational marching bands participating. While a few of these bands are invited guests, most compete for a limited number of spaces. The winners take part in Bandfest — a two-day event that displays each band and its auxiliary performers in their victorious routines. We will watch these talented musicians, dancers, and auxiliary performers in action.

Dinner: At the hotel. Ring in the New Year with a champagne toast.

Evening: New Year's Eve! We will celebrate together according to Eastern Standard Time.

DAY
4
Local Los Angeles Museum
Los Angeles/Pasadena Area
B,D
The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach. Walking and standing at your own pace; Stairs and elevators are available.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: For a change of pace, we will take a field trip to a Los Angeles museum and cultural institution.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own.

Afternoon: Continue your free afternoon exploring the Los Angeles area. After the museum, we’ll return to the hotel for dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure. Get a good night's sleep, as tomorrow will be an exciting day! We will be departing the hotel early in the morning.

DAY
5
The Rose Parade®
Los Angeles/Pasadena Area
B,L,D
The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites

Activity note: Motorcoaches depart the hotel for the parade as early as 6:15 a.m.; check your schedule for your exact departure time and location. Upon arrival (in front of Pasadena City College), we climb bleachers to our reserved seats. These metal bleacher seats do not have backs so as not to restrict leg room for people sitting behind. You may want to bring a stadium cushion (without a back) since we will be seated for several hours.

Breakfast: Early at the hotel.

Morning: Due to a long-standing tradition, the parade is never held on a Sunday. Therefore, the parade will be held on January 2 instead of the typical New Year's Day parade. The Rose Parade® is an unequaled spectacle and celebration of flowers, music, and sport. Pasadena greets each new year with spectacular pageantry. This is the 134th time this magnificent parade has rolled. As you watch the beautiful floats — including ours! — glide by, marvel at the brilliance and imagination that went into creating each and every one. After the parade, we will return to the hotel.

Lunch: In the hotel banquet room.

Afternoon: Free time. This period of time has been set aside for your personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Please note that the period scheduled for free time is subject to change depending on local circumstances and opportunities for independent exploration. If you are interested in attending the Rose Bowl Game®, make arrangements well in advance.

Dinner: At the hotel. Share favorite experiences and enjoy camaraderie with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.

Evening: At the hotel, we’ll enjoy live musical entertainment just for us! Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
6
Floatfest, Program Concludes
Los Angeles/Pasadena Area
B

Activity note: Check out of the hotel before our field trip and take your luggage to the front desk for holding. Airport transportation should be arranged in advance. Motorcoaches depart for Post Parade at 6:15 a.m. Roundtrip walking distance is 2.4 miles; elevation change is 80’ loss in the first 0.7 miles; return to bus includes 80’ elevation gain up the hill in the last 0.7 miles; allow twice as much time for the return trip up the hill. No seating along route.

Breakfast: Early at the hotel.

Morning: After every Rose Parade®, the floral masterpieces are parked and on exhibition for the public to examine the design and workmanship that goes into these floats in close detail—a Pasadena tradition for more than a century. You can walk almost within arm's reach to appreciate the imagination and work that created these floral displays. Bring your camera! We will return to the hotel by approximately 11:00 a.m. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.