PASADENA, California – The parade of roses 2021 has been canceled due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on New Year’s tradition planning and the risk of spreading infections among its general public and participants, announced Wednesday organizers.
The Pasadena, California Rose Tournament Association said the decision was postponed until organizers were certain that security restrictions would prevent the 132nd parade from being held.
Planning for the Rose Bowl college football game that traditionally follows the parade continues, the association said.
The parade takes place every January 1, except when New Years Day falls on a Sunday and the event is postponed to January 2.
Since its creation in 1891, the parade has not taken place during the war years 1942, 1943 and 1945, said the association.
“The health and well-being of our parade participants and guests, as well as those of our volunteer members, professional staff and partners, are our number one priority,” said Bob Miller, president of the association. in 2021, in a press release.
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The event is people-intensive, starting with hundreds of members of the association.
Thousands of spectators normally block the 8-kilometer parade route through Pasadena, with some camping overnight on the sidewalks to provide good views.
For days in advance, volunteers work to decorate the flowery floats that are the hallmark of the parade.
There are also brass bands from across the country and from around the world and equestrian units who participate not only in the parade but also in other events.
The association said a feasibility report by public health experts at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine found that even with intensive efforts to ensure social distancing and the use of covers – faces, the event would be a high risk environment for the spread of the virus.
He noted that many participants would belong to high-risk groups such as the elderly and that domestic and international travel could cause two-way transmission of infections.
The preparation of each parade normally begins during the previous month of February.
“In addition to the advance planning required by our band and our equestrian units, the construction of our tanks takes several months and generally requires thousands of volunteers to assemble in a manner that does not comply with safety recommendations and will not be safe in the months to come, “said David Eads, Executive Director and CEO.
The association said it was working with broadcast partners and sponsors on an alternative celebration and promised details in the coming weeks.
The January 1 Rose Bowl football game would be a semifinal of the college football qualifiers.
“While the safety and well-being of student athletes, university staff and fans is our top priority, we remain hopeful that everyone’s grandfather will take place on New Years Day,” said Eads.