#MatteosDream: Fun Rose Parade Facts

The 125th Annual Tournament of Rose Parade is just days away! Here are some fun facts to know for the parade:

  • The first Rose Parade was held on January 1, 1980. It was to be an American  version of the festival of Roses in Nice, France (You can read more about it here).
  • Not just anyone can enter a float or participate in the Rose Parade, its invitation only and guidelines are very strict.
  • The parade route is 5 ½ miles.
  • Lions Clubs International entered their first Rose Parade float in 1948. They decided it was too much work and didn’t enter another float in the parade again until 1967.

Lions Clubs International

  • After entering a float into the parade in 1967, Lions again decided it was too much work and didn’t enter again until almost 30 years later.
  • Lions began participating in the Rose Parade annually in 1992.
  • This year’s float, Matteo’s Dream, marks the first time Lions have based their design on an actual project. Read more about the inspiring project here.
  • Phoenix Decorating Company handles the construction and houses Lions’ float entry annually.
  • Float drivers actually cannot see the road. There are two compartments on the bottom of each float- one for the driver and the other for a second person who looks out a small opening of the float to guide the driver. The second person wears a headset to communicate directions to the driver, according to Phoenix Decorating Company spokesman Brian Dancel. Darcel also noted all drivers for their floats have over 10 years experience.
  • Since 1992, the International President and his wife have always ridden on the float.
  • Lions Clubs International float entries have always been 35-feet long.
  • You can watch Lions decorating the floats LIVE in Pasadena until Dec. 31 here.
  • A list of where to watch the Tournament of Roses parade on TV can be found here.
  • Check out the photo gallery of every float Lions Clubs International has entered into the Tournament of Roses Parade.

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