2025 Rose Parade | Deadline Nears for City’s Float Design Concepts

Friday January 26 deadline looms for South Pasadena Rose Parade float design entries

PHOTO: Bill Glazier | The South Pasadenan | South Pasadena Tournament of Roses 2024 parade float: winner of the 'Founder Award'.
PHOTO: Bill Glazier | The South Pasadenan | South Pasadena Tournament of Roses 2024 parade float: winner of the 'Founder Award'.

The South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Committee is accepting ideas for its next float that will roll down Pasadena’s Colorado Boulevard in the 2025 Rose Parade. The theme is “Best Day Ever!” Got some thoughts on what South Pasadena’s float could look like? Better hurry! The deadline for submissions is Friday, January 26.

Ed Morales is counting on the 2025 Rose Parade to be the “Best Day Ever!” – which just happens to be the theme for the next floral spectacle to roll down Pasadena’s Colorado Boulevard and welcome in the new year next January.

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As the newest president of the Tournament of Roses, Morales will oversee the 136th parade and 111th Rose Bowl Game, looking forward to full day enriched with floats, bands, equestrian units and finishing up with football.

“The 2025 theme celebrates life’s best moments – those unexpected times that bring a smile, warm our hearts and fill us with joy. From a once-in-a-lifetime experience to the simplest pleasures, each is indelibly etched into our memory,” explained Morales in a statement. “Together, we celebrate where we’ve been and what we look forward to. It’s about family, friends, and community and what we have to celebrate – and to be thankful for. On New Year’s Day and throughout the year, let’s celebrate the times that make up our Best Day Ever!”

To match the vision Morales has for the parade, the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Committee (SPTOR) is looking for design concepts for its next float entry. Those with ideas are asked to act fast as the deadline is quickly approaching.

PHOTO: provided by Tournament of Roses | The South Pasadenan | 2025 Pasadena Tournament of Roses President Ed Morales
PHOTO: provided by Tournament of Roses | The South Pasadenan | 2025 Pasadena Tournament of Roses President Ed Morales

The city has been part of the float experience for more than a century and has collected its share of awards for float entries, especially in recent years.  At the start of the 2024 event, South Pasadena was honored with the prestigious Founder Award for its “Boogie Fever” entry with the theme: “Celebrating a World of Music: The Universal Language.”

Tournament of Roses officials describe it as the “most outstanding float built and decorated by volunteers from a community or organization.”

SPTOR Chair Ed Donnelly likes to describe it as the ultimate in city pride. “As the oldest all volunteer built float in the Rose Parade each year the South Pas entry reflects and represents our community,” he explained. “We ask for design ideas to be submitted to be sure we are embracing the spirit of the City.”

For those interested in tossing out an idea, the local float committee makes it clear what’s needed in its application:  “The design sketch must be: black and white, in pencil or pen on paper no larger than 8.5” X 11”. No color sketches or oversize paper entries will be considered. You may submit as many concepts as you like. Remember, this is the “concept” stage, so just a simple pencil drawing will do. You may include a short written description of the drawing and what you are trying to express. Design concepts will be judged based on relevance to the parade theme, practicality and popular appeal. If your concept is chosen you will be contacted.”

Donnelly, going into his second year at the helm as SPTOR chair, emphasized: “Anyone and everyone can submit a design idea.  It can be a simple crayon drawing or a full-blown illustration as long as it fits with the theme and with our small town South Pasadena culture.  We get design ideas from young kids all the way up to folks in their 90s – all are welcome.”

South Pasadena is part of six self-built floats – joining Burbank, Cal Poly, Downey, La Canada Flintridge and Sierra Madre – that are constructed and decorated entirely by volunteers. On top of that, each organization is asked to put long hours in to fundraisers and call on the community for financial support to pay for it.

“Continuing a tradition that began in 1893 and has been going continuously since 1913 is something to be proud of all on its own,” said Donnelly. “When you couple that with the incredible volunteer team, who have brought home awards from the Tournament of Roses for the past five parades, South Pas has a lot we can hold our heads high for.”

Complete rules for submitting ideas are in the entry and release form below. The entry and release form, can also be found at www.sptor.org/volunteer.html.

Mail or deliver entries and signed releases to:

South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce

1121 Mission Street, South Pasadena, CA 91030

Or Mail to:

SPTOR Design Committee

PO Box 3662, South Pasadena, CA 91030