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Tournament of Roses Parade 2012

Toronto, Canada
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Tournament of Roses Parade 2012

how early would we need to leave our hotel in Manhattan Beach in order to get to our reserved parking location and bleacher seat along the parade route. Given the throngs of people who attend the parade and the traffic I have heard so much about, I am rather concerned about arriving late!

Thousand Oaks...
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1. Re: Tournament of Roses Parade 2012

I would probably plan on getting on the road by 5am. Road closures, traffic, finding parking, and finding your seats will all take time bringing you close to parade time.

Note : the parade is on Jan 2 for the 2012 edition

Cuenca, Ecuador
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2. Re: Tournament of Roses Parade 2012

Hello, TorontoGal690 and welcome to TripAdvisor and the Pasadena forum.

The Los Angeles forum and the California forum (and this Pasadena forum dovetails back to where the California forum shows your topic) has many vibrant and participative folks who can answer in precise specifics as to their take on the *exact time* you should leave your Manhattan Beach lodging. I'll leave it to them to provide that particular "wisdom of crowds" advice.

I'll gladly talk strategy with you. I've attended many a Tournament of Roses Parade in my lifetime, including some fairly recently. My approach is to leave early enough to get there before the throngs crowd up the freeways and roads in the Pasadena area. How early to leave? I've left as early as 3:00 AM years ago from around Temple City - which is southeast of Pasadena in the vicinity - and got my free street parking space (3:45) and free curbside spot (4:30) just fine. That was for further down the parade route - toward the end, actually - and twenty years ago.

You, on the other hand, have a reserved parking space and a bleacher seat reserved for you, so you don't have that uncertainty. You just have to get there in time to beat the crowd of traffic. On the other hand, you are going to the beginning section of the parade route, which a lot of other people are also trying to get to at about the same time. I'd call it a wash timewise.

Think of it this way: don't anticipate a good night's sleep on New Year's Eve (or go to bed about 5 to 6 PM that night) and be ready to get up in pretty much the middle of the night to get out and travel to the Tournament of Roses Parade. Leaving at 12:00 AM (midnight) to 2:00 AM would be my window coming from Manhattan Beach/South Bay. I'm playing it very safe with that estimate. Sure, the parade starts at 8:00 AM Pacific Standard Time, but being in place well before that is the key. Being willing to inconvenience yourself for the reduced stress is the way to beat the stress of wondering if you will get there in time.

Map your way to the parade site. It's good to know the side streets and the downtown Pasadena street grid. Some streets are one way only, and others will be blocked off near the parade route. Remember to bring coats, gloves, and yes, an umbrella for that rare rain that takes place on this day. Water is always wise to bring, and munchies if you desire. Enjoy your stay with us.

Pasadena, California
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3. Re: Tournament of Roses Parade 2012

It depends partly on where your grandstands are and if you also bought parking. For the bleachers at the start of the parade you are supposed to be in your seat around 6:30 and if you don't have parking it is a long walk to the grandstand. There is also heavy security at the "TV Corner" so you need to allow extra time for that.

If your seats are farther east along the route you can arrive later and be OK. It is less crowded to the east and there is no security.

It can take about an hour to get to Pasadena from Manhattan Beach with no traffic. You will have traffic and there will be traffic jams getting off the freeway.

Also note that the little part of the 110 in Pasadena is closed for the parade so you may want to take the 405 N to the 101/134/210 East to Pasadena.

Arizona
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4. Re: Tournament of Roses Parade 2012

Where are your seats? The parade can take two hours to get from one end to the other...where you sit will impact your departure from MB.

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: Tournament of Roses Parade 2012

We are about 3/4 of the way down the parade route and we do have parking passes, Any further information you would like to provide is greatly appreciated. I am so happy that so many of you have taken the time to reply to my query.

Cuenca, Ecuador
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6. Re: Tournament of Roses Parade 2012

Hi TorontoGal, that extra bit of info helps a lot. Instead of leaving by 2:00 AM as I last stated - I was under the impression you were on "TV Corner" at the beginning of the parade route - you could leave Manhattan Beach by 3:00 AM and do very well.

Your morning's activities might look like this:

3:00 AM - Leave Manhattan Beach

4:00 AM - arrive in the Pasadena area

4:45 AM - have car parked at reserved parking location (allowing for heavy traffic, etc.)

5:30 AM - arrive at reserved bleacher seats (allowing for heavy pedestrian traffic and unfamiliarity of the area)

9:30 AM - view beginning of parade (at your routing location 3/4 the way east of the parade starting point)

11:00 AM parade ends (at your routing location)

Helpful hints: I have found it useful to know beforehand how other people operate while attending this event. From my experience, I've found that the majority of parking is south of Colorado Blvd. (or Sierra Madre Villa), because people are less familiar with what's north of the Blvd. Plus, most folks want to head south (or east or west) when the parade is over. If your reserved parking is north of the parade route, it will be easier to park, but harder to get out and leave due to the crush of traffic trying to head south - and others are ahead of you because they parked south of you.

If worst comes to worst, try to get to your bleacher seats at this eastern location by 8:00 AM. After that, it becomes more problematic to cross Colorado Blvd. as the throughofare is kept clear of pedestrians, etc. due to the impending parade about to march through.

Get into a restroom line before the immediate need. Lines can be long. Know where the nearest porta potty is once you've arrived at your seats. I like being by where Burger King is located on Colorado Blvd. near CalTech - the restaurant is open on parade day and the restrooms are, too!

So, if you like my way of thinking, you can see how the time is passed from say, 5::30 AM to 9:30 AM. . . quenching one's thirst and munching on New Year's day grub. Lots of folks do this patient waiting before the actual parade starts. . . and many not in bleacher seats bring their barbeque grills out for the occasion. Find a way to enjoy the passing of time here. . . pillows, blankets and seat cushions are good to bring too.

Pasadena, CA
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7. Re: Tournament of Roses Parade 2012

And by all means remember, the parade is NOT on New Year's Day in 2012, it is on Monday, January 2nd.

Pasadena, California
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8. Re: Tournament of Roses Parade 2012

Where are your seats, and where EXACTLY is your parking? I may be able to help you plan a route from MB to Pasadena. If you can provide the intersection or street address of your parking, it would be helpful. In any event, I see no reason to be on the road at 3 am.

Pasadena, California
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9. Re: Tournament of Roses Parade 2012

We go almost every year and unless you are parking and viewing the parade from a location near "tv corner", the difficulty is somewhat overblown.

Marengo
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10. Re: Tournament of Roses Parade 2012

We're coming for the first time (with 2 kids 7 & 4). Debating between tickets and sidewalk seating. Recommendations? Is it worth the $ for the seat or are we better off winging it taqking our chances with seats and parking?