ENTERTAINMENT

Tournament of Roses Parade Canceled for the First Time Since World War II

COVID-19 has been merciless in upsetting plans, showing no respect for tradition or history.

You probably watched at least a few minutes of the Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 1. Even if you didn’t, it was nice to know it was there, with its colorful floats, snazzily-attired equestrians and high school marching bands—a pleasant tradition that dates back to Jan. 1, 1890. If it’s all kind of corny and old-fashioned, that’s part of its charm, as people ease into a new year.

You’re going to have to ease into the new year on your own on Jan. 1, 2021. The Rose Parade –as most people call it–will not take place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, disappointed parade officials announced on July 15. It will be the first time the parade has not marched down Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, Calif. since it was put on hold from 1942-45, during World War II.

“For 132 years, the Tournament of Roses has been able to bring the hope and joy of the new year to people around the world,” David Eads, the Tournament of Roses’ chief executive, told the Los Angeles Times. “We’re really disappointed that we’re not going to be able to do that again this year, but the health and well-being of all our participants and guests is our top priority.”

Several weeks ago, the Tournament of Roses met with public health officials at the USC Keck School of Medicine to study the feasibility of going forward with the parade. They concluded that the parade and related activities would inevitably lead to large numbers of people being in close proximity, creating an unacceptably high risk for viral spread.

Eads said the Tournament of Roses is looking to team up with its broadcast partners to host a televised event for worldwide viewers as well as a local, socially distanced celebration. Plans for those events will be announced in coming weeks.

The Rose Bowl football game is still set to take place on Jan. 1, whether it is with a socially distanced audience or an empty stadium, Eads said.

The 63rd annual Grammy Awards are still set for Jan. 31 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, though COVID-19 has been merciless in upsetting plans, showing no respect for tradition or history.

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