Rose Parade Participants

The Rose Parade features three types of entries: floral-decorated floats sponsored by a participating corporation or community organization, equestrian units, and marching bands. The only cars that appear in the Rose Parade are those that may carry the Grand Marshal, the Mayor of Pasadena, the Rose Bowl Game Hall of Fame Inductees and the Tournament of Roses President. Many of the Rose Parade's participating organizations have long histories with the Tournament of Roses and have made numerous appearances in the parade.


The Rose Parade's elaborate floats have come a long way since the Tournament's early days. Today, float building is a multi-million dollar business and float construction begins almost immediately after the previous year's parade is concluded.

The process starts with a specially-built chassis, upon which is built a framework of steel and chicken wire. In a process called "cocooning," the frame is sprayed with a polyvinyl material, which is then painted in the colors of the fresh flowers or dry material to be applied later. Every inch of every float must be covered with flowers or other natural materials, such as leaves, seeds or bark. Volunteer workers swarm over the floats in the days after Christmas, their hands and clothes covered with glue and petals. The most delicate flowers are placed in individual vials of water, which are set into the float one by one.

Computerized animation has had an enormous impact on Rose Parade floats. Recent entires have featured King Kong stomping through a floral jungle, a guitar-playing dinosaur, pigs dancing the hula and a 60-foot-tall talking robot, all controlled by computers. But through all the changes, the Rose Parade has remained true to its floral beginnings, and each float is decorated with more flowers than the average florist will use in five years.



The first marching band to appear in the Rose Parade was the Monrovia Town Band in 1891, with fewer than 20 members. Today, it's not uncommon to see marching bands with 300 or more members in the parade. Well over 50 musical groups compete for as few as 12 openings every year.

Bands are selected approximately 15 months in advance to give the groups time to raise the money needed for the trip to Pasadena.

  • Alabama State University Mighty Marching Hornets (Montgomery, AL)
  • All-Izumo Honor Green Band (Izumo, Japan)
  • Banda Escolar de Guayanilla Puerto Rico (Guayanilla, Puerto Rico)
  • Banda Municipal de Acosta (Acosta, San José, Costa Rica)
  • Calgary Stampede Showband (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)
  • Cavalcade of Bands Honor Band (Mid-Atlantic Region)
  • Florida A&M University, The Incomparable Marching "100" (Tallahassee, FL)
  • Flower Mound High School Band (Flower Mound, TX)
  • Lincoln-Way Marching Band (Frankfort, IL)
  • Los Angeles Unified School District – All District High School Honor Band (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Mercer Island High School Marching Band (Mercer Island, WA)
  • Munford High School Band (Munford, TN)
  • Na Koa Ali`I - Hawai`i All-State Marching Band (Kaneohe, HI)
  • Pacific Crest Drum & Bugle Corps (Diamond Bar, CA)
  • Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band & Herald Trumpets (Pasadena, CA)
  • Pickerington Marching Band (Pickerington, OH)
  • Royal Swedish Cadet Band (Karlskrona, Sweden)
  • The Lassiter High School Marching Trojan Band (Marietta, GA)
  • The Salvation Army Tournament of Roses Band (Long Beach, CA)
  • United States Marine Corps West Coast Composite Band (San Diego, CA)

These bands will be joined by those from the two universities competing in the Rose Bowl Game.


Since the very beginning, horses have been part of the Rose Parade, with equines pulling flower decorated carriages on New Year’s Day 1890. Even with the advent of motorized vehicles in the parade, equestrian units have remained an integral component each year, highlighting a wide variety of breeds including graceful Andalusians, striking Percherons, and elegant Saddlebreds. Skilled riders, eye-catching costumes and hand-crafted tack add to the appeal year after year.



Please visit our Apply page for more information about applying to be a Rose Parade participant. Deadlines for floats, equestrian units and marching bands vary.

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