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Tournament of Roses: Your Flowery 411

Bandfest, float decorating, and more bloomy to-dos festoon the grand celebration.

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    It's a time of spectacular floats, big football, rosy sights, and lavish brunches around the Crown City.

    THE FIRST THING TO KNOW, beyond the indisputable fact that, yes, The Tournament of Roses will again take place in Pasadena, California, its famous location since the late 19th century, is this: The Rose Parade Presented by Honda isn't always on New Year's Day. We know, we know, the parade and game are totally synonymous and partnered forever with the first day of the year, except when they aren't, and that will be the case in 2017. For this is the longstanding rule, and one that the tourney well abides by: The Rose Parade will never, ever happen on a Sunday. And as the first day of the coming year just happens to be a Sunday, well... Look for all of the lavish, dressy, float-tastic festivities to happen the day after, on Monday, Jan. 2. Good? Solid? You won't show up and grab some curb on New Year's Day, on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, only to be disappointed there aren't any floats passing by? Aces. So plan for...

    THE SECOND DAY IN JANUARY... for all of your float-based needs. As is tradition, though (and tradition is very, very big with this event), there are other to-dos, including a few just ahead of the Rose Parade. Look to the float decorating that goes down around town, both at the commercial float builders and the self-built floats. Many volunteers are required to carefully place petal after petal on the massive vehicles. Also? Bandfest will sound the trumpets in full, brassy form at Pasadena City College on Friday, Dec. 30 and Saturday, Dec. 31. This is your opportunity to see the bands that'll march in the parade in all of their musical glory (and to experience a full song in a single place, rather than hear it as it passes by in the parade). And while it isn't affiliated with the Tournament, look to The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, which is offering its first-ever New Year's Weekend brunches. The garden's beloved roses are a popular must-visit sight during all of the rosy doings, and the brunch adds a new and delightful dining dimension. And don't forget about the post-parade "A Showcase of Floats," where all of the floats may be eyed up-close.