Rose Parade 2023 | Crunch Time Party Days Away

The 2022 Crunch Time Party will be both in-person at the War Memorial Building on December 29 and online through an 8-day auction in support of South Pasadena’s float in the Rose Parade.

PHOTO: Tina Kistinger | South News | City of South Pasadena's float entry, "Spark of Imagination".

As the clock ticks down on the 134th Rose Parade, it soon will be “crunch time,” those frantic, frenzied, final hours before South Pasadena’s float is sent to the starting line.

It generally takes place the day after Christmas and concludes New Year’s Eve when the city’s entry slowly moves from its worksite, a giant tent behind the War Memorial Building in the 400 block of Fair Oaks Avenue, to Orange Grove Avenue in Pasadena where it is positioned prior to its sendoff.

This time around, however, on account of the parade’s never on Sunday rule, the event will take place one day later than normal – January 2, not the usual first – as float builders will have an extra day to get it ready.

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Centered around crunch time is a party to celebrate it, known as, well, the Crunch Time Party – a lavish affair, held each year on December 29 from 6-10 p.m. at the War Memorial Building. It’s a way community members can help chip into the cost and support the city float. Individual tickets are $75 or $700 for a table of 10. The major fundraiser, which traditionally brings in between $30,000 – $40,000, helps to offset the roughly $125,000 float expense for steel, flowers and other materials each year.

FILE PHOTO: Eric Fabbro | News | About 200 guests turned out for Sunday’s Crunch Time Party at the War Memorial Building in 2019

Labor to construct the city’s entry comes entirely from volunteers near and far, many checking off a bucket list item by traveling from all parts of the country to be a part of the fun and excitement as the stress-o-meter goes up – way, way up – as the deadline approaches.

“During Crunch Time, the day after Christmas up to New Year’s, we will have over 100 hundred volunteers per day leading up to our final judging which we anticipate will be held on January 1st sometime in the early morning,” explained South Pasadena Tournament of Roses President Brant Dunlap.

South Pasadena, no stranger to winning, earned the coveted Founder’s Award for its “Sky’s the Limit” last January. The 2021 parade was cancelled on account of COVID-19, but a year earlier the city walked away with the Mayor’s Award for “The Power of Hope” entry.

The city’s 2023 float – “Spark of Imagination” – will be viewed by millions of television viewers on variety of networks during the parade and thousands more, many bundled up to fight off the morning chill, along the parade route as it takes its 5.5-mile journey down Colorado Blvd.

PHOTO: Tina Kistinger | South News | City of South Pasadena’s float entry, “Spark of Imagination”.

The city’s newest float highlights imagination and creativity, depicting winners of a science fair with mice, looking like scientists in lab coats, earning the awards. A crazy house with spinning gears, a goofy clock, cranks, twirlers and more lies in front of three books – one on science, a second about atoms and a third covering chemistry, all designed to inspire learning.

“Hopefully, we’ll have another winning float this year,” said Dunlap. “To help make it happen, we could still use help from people in and around town.”

For Crunch Time Tickets, email:

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Donations to the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association can be made by visiting or by mail: SPTOR, P.O. Box 3662, South Pasadena, 91032.

Along with financial contributions, volunteers willing to donate their time and effort are encouraged to email: and

PHOTO: SPTOR | South News | SPTOR’s float design for the 2023 Rose Parade