Rose Parade Canceled for First Time Since World War II

Rose Parade
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

The Pasendena Tournament of Roses Association announced Wednesday that its annual Rose Parade held on New Year’s Day will not be happening in 2021.

In accordance with California Governor Newsom’s COVID-19 re-opening schedule and due to recent developments surrounding the ongoing pandemic, the association has chosen to cancel the 2021 celebration, the first time the Rose Parade has been canceled since World War II.

“The health and well-being of our parade participants and guests, as well as that of our volunteer members, professional staff and partners, is our number one priority,” said Bob Miller, 2021 President of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association. “Obviously this is not what any of us wanted, and we held off on announcing until we were absolutely sure that safety restrictions would prevent us from continuing with planning for 132nd Rose Parade.”

The Rose Parade, which is televised around the world and enjoyed by millions every New Year’s Day, was started in 1891 and has only been canceled on three other occasions in 1942, 1943, and 1945 amid the United States’ wartime days. Despite being five months away, preparation for the Rose Parade begins as early as February the year prior.

rose parade

(Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

“In addition to the advance planning required by our band and equestrian units, the construction of our floats takes many months and typically requires thousands of volunteers to gather in ways that aren’t in compliance with safety recommendations and won’t be safe in the coming months,” said David Eads, Executive Director/CEO. “While we are extremely disappointed that we are unable to host the parade, we believe that not doing so will prevent the spread of COVID-19, as well as protect the legacy of the Rose Parade for generations to come.”

The parade accompanies the Rose Bowl Game which is still moving forward as of now. “We continue to work with the College Football Playoff and our collegiate partners to explore what this year’s college football season will look like amidst COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines,” continued Eads.

While the tradition may be on hold, Miller said, “We will miss the joy of coming together and the making of memories… But know that we will not miss this opportunity to celebrate a New Year and healthy new beginnings on January 1, 2021.”

Despite not holding the event as planned, other alternatives are being discussed at this time so stay tuned.