Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Lazy Man's Way To Attend The Rose Parade

The Tournament of Roses parade on New Year's day is indeed one of the great spectacles of Southern California.  It probably has singlehandedly brought more migrants to the Los Angeles area than any other factor.  As I previously wrote, it might rain on December 31, it might rain on January 2, but it never rains in Pasadena on January 1 when the parade is telecast to an otherwise freezing country.  (OK, it did rain once in the last 60 years on January 1.)

But as worthy of an event the parade might be, it can truly be a hassle to see it in person.  I remember once getting up in what seemed to be the middle of the night, driving to Pasadena,  looking for parking on the residential streets, then being totally confused when looking for my seats, barely being seated before the parade started.  And many thousands of others camp out overnight to watch the parade from the curb.   (Despite the sunshine at parade time, temperatures can still get quite nippy overnight.)

However, as I subsequently learned, there is another way to see the parade in person, which is almost laughable as to the lack of time and effort that it requires.  The parade route is quite long and I believe it takes almost two hours for the parade to reach the end. If you catch the parade route after it turns north from Colorado Blvd. onto Sierra Madre Bl., you'll find that the crowd is only a few people deep. And the start of the parade doesn't reach that point until 10 am which means you can sleep in and still go to the parade.

A couple of times we actually watched the first half of the parade on TV, then drove over to the end of the parade route and saw the whole thing in person. At that time of day it was clear sailing on the freeway since it was too early for Rose Bowl game traffic, while everyone attending the parade arrived a long time before and was safely parked.  Parking at this part of the parade route was pretty good.  We parked on the streets north of Colorado and west of Sierra Madre Bl., and probably had no more than a three block walk to the parade.

So if you've been deterred from seeing the parade after watching the TV news interviews of people camped out on the sidewalk, or the cost of grandstand seats, there is a better way.

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