While the spectators who line Orange Grove, Colorado, and Sierra Madre Boulevards on New Year's Day are fairly close to all of the Rose Parade action, there is a general longing, among some fans, to draw even nearer.
If you garden or flower arrange, you want to get closer to the petals and seeds covering the floats. If you play or adore music, you want to stand tuba-side, to feel the music inside your chest.
And if you're a horsey sort? You want to admire the equine beauties from steps away. That's made possible during Equestfest, the annual get-to-know-the-ponies to-do that clip-clops into the ring a few days ahead of the Rose Parade.
What to do, where to go and what to see
Many of the gorgeous, be-maned animals set to appear in the 126th Rose Parade presented by Honda will make an appearance at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank on Monday, Dec. 29. (It's true that most everything rosy is centered around Pasadena come the end of the year, but this is the equine exception.)
Look for "drills and dances" and "trick riding and roping" to be on full display in the arena, with riders showing off what they and their BAFF (best animal friend forever) do best together. It's stunning stuff, with real prowess and beauty on show.
Stable strolls and a chance to meet the riders are part of the festival, as are tack talks -- totally interesting and good to know -- and on-site vendors.
Tickets? You can lasso them through the Sharp Seating Company. They're fifteen bucks each.
The up-close opportunities that the Rose Parade delivers ahead of the main event, with the horses, bands, and floats, gives viewers the chance to connect with a favorite first before keeping an eye out for their favorite later, in the parade.
So best find that one animal you connect with the most during Equestfest, so you can be on the watch for your pony on New Year's Day, whether you're on a curb on Colorado or viewing from home.