Neighborhood Travels

The Tournament of Roses Post-Parade

Have you ever wondered about the post-parade? What happens at the end of the of the Rose Parade?  All those bands, floats, and equestrian units have to go somewhere.  They head north toward Pasadena High School.  The old hospital (the former St Luke Medical Center) on Washington is the parking area for the horse trailers.  This entire area is closed unless you are a resident.  Lucky I was with one!

Post-parade Break time

The parade is almost six miles, and it starts early in the morning of New Year’s Day.  I arrived at the hospital around 11:00, when the horses were getting a much-needed rest at the end of a long day.

The US Forest Service unhitches its mules before dismantling the evergreen wagon
The US Forest Service unhitches its mules before dismantling the evergreen wagon, St Luke’s is in the background

All the animals were ready for a break.  The handlers quickly removed tack and started feeding and brushing them.  These two didn’t wast time before they tucked into lunch.

Horses eating after the Rose Parade
Yum, time for a much deserved snack!

While the horses rested, my daughter and I wandered down the street and came across the Calgary Stampede Showriders.  They were taking up the entire street and giving the residents a mini-parade.

The Calgary Stampede Showriders on a Pasadena residential street after the Rose Parade
The Calgary Stampede Showriders head back to their vans

The Big Horse Vans

In addition to the various riders, we also visited the big outfits like Wells Fargo and Budweiser.  Parked along with the familiar big red trucks was this horse van for the US Army.

US Army rider with his horse after the Rose Parade
“Be good. I’ll see you when we get home.”

I don’t know if this man is really talking to the horse, but they do seem to be having a post-parade moment.  For that matter, I don’t know if they’re heading to the same place!  I just like the pose.

The Wells Fargo Stagecoach came down Washington, and people quickly gathered around it.  I managed to get one quick photo of the driver.

Wells Fargo Stagecoach after the Rose Parade
Wells Fargo Stagecoach after the Rose Parade

The sunglasses surprised me. They took away some of the romance of the Old West.  Then again, he was driving east on Colorado all morning.  The sun must have been fierce.  The crew unhitched the horses and the crew set to work removing the flowers.  They gave away the extra stems, a nice souvenir for the passersby to take home.


What story isn’t complete without some of my tips?

  • The northeast corner of Pasadena is pretty much shut down to all but residents during New Year’s Day.  Take public transportation.
  • Be prepared to walk to the area on Washington.   You won’t find parking anywhere near the horses.
  • Be respectful of the teams.  They work hard and derserve some rest.
  • We stayed on the sidewalk and let the handlers deal with the horses.

As always, if you want to see more photos of the post-parade activities, please click here.




Elizabeth Boatman

Traveler, explorer, memory maker and someone who's just downright curious about stuff. It's all about finding joy.

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