The 129th Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade
Theme: Making a Difference
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Let Tour West America pave the way to the 2018 Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. You can be curb side to see it all. What better way to start the New Year than being part of the excitement of the world’s largest parade? Bands and equestrian units from all over the world participate. But the real stars are the flower covered floats. Millions of flowers such as roses, carnations, mums and thousands of orchids cover every inch of the magnificent floats with breathtaking color and texture.
Known as “America’s New Year Celebration,” the parade has been a grand tradition since 1890. The first Tournament of Roses was staged by members of Pasadena’s Valley Hunt Club, eager to use flower-laden horses and buggies to showcase Southern California’s glorious winter weather. “In New York, people are buried in snow,” announced Professor Charles F. Holder at a Club meeting. “Here our flowers are blooming and our oranges are about to bear. Let’s hold a festival to tell the world about our paradise.”
Today, more than 700,000 spectators line the parade route. Every Rose Parade features more than 90 marching bands from across the nation, equestrian units and elaborate floats. Each float must be completely covered with flowers and floral material. An average float requires as many as 100,000 blossoms and can cost $200,000 or more!
Day 1 – Happy New Year! Relax and enjoy the drive to the Los Angeles area. Visit beautiful Newport Beach. The pier offers stunning views to the north toward Huntington Beach, and looking south, you can see another structure, the Balboa Pier. Newport Beach offers fine, soft sand with plenty of room to stretch out and enjoy yourself. Surfers, swimmers and sunbathers all bask in the warmth of beautiful Southern California winter and summer days. Pelicans and seagulls also enjoy Southern California’s year round Mediterranean climate. The Balboa Fun Zone is one of Southern California’s oldest and last great coastal amusement areas and a popular family-friendly attraction for visitors to Newport Beach. Visitors can enjoy rides on the waterfront Ferris Wheel, play games in the arcade or tour the nautical museum while enjoying their favorite beach treats.
Ayres Hotel & Suites Description: Experience the allure of this boutique-style hotel. In the living room style lobby, feel welcomed by classic elegance with a marble fireplace and antiques. Enjoy the beauty of floral bouquets, oil paintings and rich tapestries. Stroll through the cobblestone courtyard, with beautifully landscaped gardens and a cascading fountain. Nicely appointed non-smoking rooms offer complimentary high speed WiFi, pillow-top beds, refrigerators, coffee-makers, and hairdryers. Hotel has fitness studio, two heated pools and spas. Treat yourself to a complimentary homemade cookie.
Day 2 – Rise and shine! The continental breakfast buffet opens early so eat hearty. Depart for Pasadena and our reserved parade seating along Colorado Boulevard. What a great way to begin the year 2017! Following the parade, we sight-see along the California coast in the Long Beach area. Delight in breath-taking scenery, take a boat tour of Rainbow Harbor. Visit the Aquarium of the Pacific or Chill! and the Queen Mary. Ride the complimentary shuttle. Many restaurants are available for a no-host meal before we return to the hotel. The hotel restaurant is open this evening.
Day 3 – After breakfast we return to Pasadena. The post-parade float-viewing event gets you up close and personal with these magnificent pieces of floral art.
See the variety of fruit, seeds, bark, grasses and of course, flowers that were applied by experienced professionals as well as hard working volunteers. Admire the decorating techniques. The Tournament of Roses is the largest consumer of flowers in the world, and flowers arrive from all over the world. It is estimated that it takes 60 volunteers working 10 hours a day for 10 days to decorate one float.
During the return trip to the Phoenix area, we stop for an included meal at Hometown Buffet in Palm Desert.
Note: Dress casually with layered outerwear and whatever will keep you warm & cozy during the early hours of the parade. Bring along a seat cushion, the stands can be chilly in the morning. Bring an umbrella; in the more than 20 years we have run this tour, it rained on our parade once. Wear comfortable shoes, this trip involved moderate walking. Don’t forget your camera!
This is a High Activity level tour. Some stairs, inclines and uneven ground is present at the destinations. Considerable walking is required, albeit at your own pace. At the float viewing and during free time in Newport Beach and Long Beach, you may tailor your sight-seeing to distances you are comfortable walking. Typically the bus is unable to park close at the float viewing — the return walk to the bus is uphill. Total walking distance to visit all the floats is about 2 miles. The hotel is elevator equipped. Persons of limited mobility should consider the appropriateness of this tour in relation to their physical abilities.5:30 am depart Apache Junction 6:00 am depart Mesa 7:00 am depart West Valley, Litchfield Rd Return evening, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
$619 pp/do … Escorted Tour includes deluxe motorcoach transportation, 2-nights accommodations at the Ayres Hotel and Suites, two hotel breakfasts, group dinner day one, post parade float viewing, reserved seating at the Rose Parade, snacks and refreshments after the parade, meal at Hometown Buffet. $779 single
December 31 – January 2
Sunday – Tuesday
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