tournament of roses

A Rose Parade TV Special Will Roll on New Year's Day

The 2021 in-person event is cancelled, but a two-hour television treat will look back at a host of past highlights from the Pasadena spectacular.

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What to Know

  • Jan. 1, 2021 at 8 a.m. PST; the in-person Rose Parade is cancelled but the TV special will take its traditional timeslot
  • The two-hour "entertainment special" can be viewed via the parade's six broadcast partners
  • Marching bands, floats, special appearances, and more will be featured

The morning of New Year's Day with no Rose Parade to watch?

That's a pretty thorny notion for a lot of devoted watchers.

In fact, such a notion is like a float without wheels, a marching band without its brass, and a flower without any petals.

It is, in short, hard to picture for the plethora of parade fans who have tuned into the flowery Pasadena extravaganza since they were born.

And those fans are found all over: The Rose Parade presented by Honda, which can trace its hallowed history back to 1890, is watched by millions of people in the Los Angeles, the United States, and beyond.

Something as sweet as a rose's scent, though, is now wafting, and it involves the airing of two-hour "entertainment special" on the morning of Friday, Jan. 1, 2021.

For though the 2021 Rose Parade was cancelled as a safe response to the pandemic, it will still "roll forward" in a sense, at least in the form of a look-back televised celebration.

The Tournament of Roses made the announcement on the Rose Parade's social pages on Oct. 29.

"The show —'The Rose Parade's New Year Celebration presented by Honda' — will air during the time slot traditionally reserved for live coverage of the Rose Parade® presented by Honda," shared the Tournament of Roses team.

The special "... will feature a reimagined New Year celebration, including live-to-tape musical and marching band performances, heartwarming segments related to the Rose Parade, celebrity guest appearances, special Rose Bowl Game football highlights, equestrians, spectacular floats from years past, a behind-the-scenes look into the making of a float and a chance for you to be a part of the show!"

Even if you won't be sitting on the bleachers lining Colorado Boulevard on the first day of the year, you still will be able to connect with that quintessentially rosy vibe the iconic procession easily exudes.

And a bonus? You may spy a float or two from the past that you loved but haven't thought about in years.

New Year's Day 2021 will, in short, sport Rose Parade beauty, grandeur, and imagination.

And even if we're not craning our necks along Orange Grove Boulevard, or sitting on a curb somewhere around Old Pasadena, we can make pancakes, stay in our slippers, and gratefully gaze back at nearly 13 wonderful decades of a wonderful event, all while looking, with hope, to 2022.

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