The 2021 Rose Parade Has Been Canceled Because of COVID

It’s the first time the event has been canceled since World War II

The Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association has announced today that there will be no Rose Parade in 2021. This will be the first time that the parade has been canceled since World War II, and only the fourth skipped parade since the tradition began in 1891.

“The health and well-being of our parade participants and guests, as well as that of our volunteer members, professional staff and partners, is our number one priority,” Bob Miller, 2021 President of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, wrote in a statement. “Obviously this is not what any of us wanted, and we held off on announcing until we were absolutely sure that safety restrictions would prevent us from continuing with planning for 132nd Rose Parade.”

According to the Association’s statement, it commissioned a feasibly and safety study conducted by public health experts at the USC Keck School of Medicine. That report showed that, given our current understanding of the pandemic, even with the best efforts to enforce distancing and mask guidelines, there was still great potential for events related to the Rose Parade to become breeding grounds for the spread of COVID-19.

While there will be no physical Rose Parade 2021, organizers say plans are underway for “a new kind of New Year celebration,” perhaps online only.

“We may not be able to host our traditional five-mile march down Colorado Boulevard, but we are exploring new and safe ways we can collectively share in the celebration,” wrote Association CEO David Eads. “We look forward to announcing further details about our exciting new plans in the coming weeks.”

The Rose Bowl college football game itself is expected to still take place, though that’s subject to change.

RELATED: L.A. History in Objects #21: A Rose From the Rose Parade

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