a VirtualTourist member
I'm thinking of trying to see the Rose Parade by arriving on 1/1 in the early AM and sitting near the end of the parade route. Will there be decent viewing opportunities or am I nuts and just need to bite the bullet and arrive a day ahead?
No, you are not nuts but parking is the main issue, plus traffic exiting the freeway. I used to have a friend who lived about 6 blocks from the parade route so I'd park in her driveway and walk in the morning and somehow always found a spot. Some homeowners have gotten smart and charge for parking in their driveways or on their lawns. Some people take small stepladders with them to stand behind the crowds. You can also take a blanket to sit on the ground or in the street assuming you will get that close. I would plan to arrive by at least 5:00 a.m. or so. Take a thermos with coffee or whatever and some munchies. There are portable toilets here and there which are gross but what're you gonna do?! The parade lasts about 2 hours. Which way will you be approaching, from the 210 freeway or ??? Check out the parade route online to see what streets will be closed so you'll know what offramp to take. Good luck! Dress in layers since it usually gets warmer than anticipated.
Sorry, but yes, you are nuts. Completely.
The best place to observe the parade is on an ovestuffed couch with lots of food and friends in front of a big wide screen TV.
I saw the Rose Parade twice by taking the Gold Line train. I got off at Lake Station then walked to Colorado and found a spot behind the crowd. I timed it so that I was there at 8 a.m.; I didn't have to wait long for the leading elements of the parade to reach us. The only problem is that the parade gets ragged towards the end with some floats experiencing mechanical problems, and band members and horses getting tired.
Your best opportunity will be on Sierra Madre Blvd. The Parade turns from Colorado to Sierra Madre near the end of the route. Depending on your idea of decent you will need to get there anywhere from the day before to no later than 6am. The parade steps off at 8am and will hit this area at just before 9:30am. Your biggest issue will be parking and road closures. There are private lots who take this opportunity to make some money so they let you park for xx dollars(Usually about10). These are usually about a mile or so away. If you try to get there after 6am you will be hit with a lot more traffic, and road closures. If you do opt for street parking just be sure to pay attention to Parking Regulations, if you are illegally parked you will be towed.
If you want to spend the night you can start to stake out places after 12 Noon on New Years Eve. They do not allow tents(or at least did not in years past) so be sure to have a warm sleeping bag with you. This really is interesting if you are prepared and brings a new perspective on the parade.
If you don't want to deal with staking out a place they do sell bleacher seats at several places along the route. You can call Sharp Seating Company which is the one who handles all of these. They run from about 50 to 85 dollars a seat depending on location. They can also supply parking for25 that is within a close distance.
I have done the Camp out and seating for several years and again for this year so if you have any other questions feel free to e-mail me.