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I have tickets. How early do I need to get to the parade?

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new york city
posts: 2
I have tickets. How early do I need to get to the parade?

I was lucky enough to secure grandstand tickets on Colorado close to Orange Grove as well as a parking permit for a lot at 300 W Green St, which looks to be really close

The parking pass says be parked by 6am while the ticket info says be at the seat location by 6:30. Is it really necessary to get there that early? What happens if I'm late?


Cuenca, Ecuador
Destination Expert
for California Desert
posts: 1,224
reviews: 50
1. Re: I have tickets. How early do I need to get to the parade?

Hello sharonanyc, and welcome to TripAdvisor and the Pasadena forum.

Congratulations on securing those fabled grandstand tickets! This is where the television cameras will be at and networks will be broadcasting from. . . they've done so from this location for decades.

Yes, you need to be in place with your car parked on Green Street south and parallel to Colorado Blvd. by 6:00 AM, and your body needs to be in the stands by 6:30 AM. It gets crowded along the parade route, and the key thing is to get in place in time so as to not delay the Tournament of Roses Parade. Hence getting there up to two hours before the stated start of the parade, which is 8:00 AM at your location at Colorado and Orange Grove.

The way I would do it myself given your situation, and I've been to several previous Rose Parades in the past, is to get there maybe an hour earlier, since you've got parking arranged and a bleacher seat ticket given out to you. Bring your coat, gloves, and hot cider or other hot beverage of choice (no alcohol). . . and maybe some reading material. The time goes faster that way. Some breakfast munchies on the go like a muffin, too.

To broaden the discussion beyond the particular street location of the Original Poster, I offer these tips:

For those folks without a parking space arranged, and without a bleacher seat, I would recommend getting there in the 3:00 AM to 4::00 AM time frame. Think about where you will park, north or south of Colorado Blvd. and which side of the street you want to view the parade on. Crossing Colorado Blvd. is not a good working strategy imho. Park and watch the parade from the same side of the street. Colorado Blvd. gets shut down to pedestrians crossing around an hour before the parade comes through give or take. Yes, you will have to walk a number of blocks to get to the parade and then back to your car. Exercise to start the New Year out right, eh? (wink)

Enjoy your visit to the Queen City of Pasadena.

new york city
posts: 2
2. Re: I have tickets. How early do I need to get to the parade?

ok, we better get to sleep now. Happy New Year!

Frederick, Maryland
posts: 82
reviews: 98
3. Re: I have tickets. How early do I need to get to the parade?

I am not sure what some of these Post are talking about I just returned from the Pasadena and arrived at 7am? Yes 7.

Traffic was not very heavy. We parked about 2 blocks from Colorado. Did not get into my seat until about 7:30 7:45.

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
posts: 39,157
reviews: 377
4. Re: I have tickets. How early do I need to get to the parade?

The anomalies are not the norm. I've been going to the parade and Rose Bowl as long as I can remember, which takes us back to the early 60's and had friends get to the Pasadena area at 7AM and miss the start of the parade.

It depends on which direction you are driving in from, where your seats are, how well you know the area and more.

For people who are driving themselves, 30-45 minutes early is better than 10-20 minutes late.

Pasadena, California
Destination Expert
for Pasadena
posts: 5,251
reviews: 27
5. Re: I have tickets. How early do I need to get to the parade?

I don't know about getting to the very congested area where the "primo" seats are...I avoid it personally. But, certainly, it is possible to get to the area east of Lake Avenue after 7 and still find street parking within 3 blocks of the parade route, as well as decent viewing from the sidewalk. And the folks behind us, with bleacher seating, were in line when we got there...and for a long time thereafter.

Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles
posts: 15,157
reviews: 58
6. Re: I have tickets. How early do I need to get to the parade?

Generally the further east, the later you can arrive, as the parade will not start at any given location on the route until later on - the route is 5.5 miles and the parade speed is 2.5 mpg, so depending on exactly where you are going to try and watch the parade, a mapping tool and the above info can be useful in figuring out how early to arrive.

7. Re: I have tickets. How early do I need to get to the parade?

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