Welcoming in the New Year with a burst of flower power, this iconic parade in Pasadena is half of the city’s annual one-two punch of parade-and-football game. The parade features a rotating trio of spectacles—some of the world’s best marching bands interspersed with equestrian pageants interspersed with, of course, those colourful, flowered floats—handmade by pasting millions of petals to create patterns and designs. The ultra-popular parade draws huge crowds, with people often camping out the night before to secure a prime viewing spot along the parade route. If you’re not into sidewalk sitting (and camping), consider purchasing one of 70,000 grandstand seats.
Insider tip: There’s no charge (and no crowds) to watch many of the giant floats being constructed, petal by petal, at various locations around Pasadena; check the website for details.