Tournament of Roses: When you've been around for 13 decades, and you've seen hundreds and hundreds of flower-covered floats and thousands of participants, you've earned the honor of being one of the most superstarry parades in the Solar System (and beyond). The 130th Rose Parade presented by Honda rolls on New Year's Day, in Pasadena, with a music-tastic theme: "The Melody of Life." Grab some curb, or pay for a grandstand seat, or watch at home, then check out the Buckeyes and Huskies later on, at Rose Bowl Stadium. "American's New Year Celebration" is here!
Post Parade: A Showcase of Floats: Spying a blossom-strewn vehicle from the sidewalk or your couch at home? So thrilling, but so is the chance to approach the floats when they've come to a full stop. You can do so, during the afternoon of Jan. 1 and all day on Jan. 2, at E. Sierra Madre and E. Washington Boulevards. A ticket is $15 and is available through Sharp Seating Company. As for the volunteers standing by to help, answer questions, and make the experience even richer? Look for the Tournament's beloved White Suiters.
New Year's Eve: But before the floats roll, and the horses trot, and the footballs fly, there is a new year to welcome, and several spots around Southern California will do just that on the evening of Monday, Dec. 31. The mega-mega celebration at Grand Park is free, but there are other ticketed to-dos around town, including at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, Universal Studios Hollywood, and Union Station. Where will you throw the confetti and ring the noisemaker? Here's a list of some of the larger larks around the region.
Oshogatsu Festival: A free day of cultural performances and demonstrations, all to embrace the new year in a festive and hope-packed fashion? Go to Little Tokyo on Tuesday, Jan. 1 for this traditional and cheer-raising series of events. Events that will take place at a number of spots, including Weller Court, so peruse the schedule before heading to the DTLA destination for Taiko drumming, martial arts presentations, folk dances, calligraphy demonstrations, and more. Everything begins mid-morning on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019.
Surf City Splash: Run into the Pacific Ocean, at noon, near Huntington Beach Pier, all to raise money for and give the spotlight to the International Surfing Museum? A lot of brave-hearted people do so each year, as they will again on Tuesday, Jan. 1. There's a pancake breakfast before the whole sand-based shebang, and participants will get a certificate to show that they participated. Arrive in costume? Totally encouraged; check out the categories beforehand for inspo.