The Rose Parade blossomed out of a promotional effort planted by Pasadena’s Valley Hunt Club in the winter of 1890. Club members invited their former East Coast neighbors, who were still buried in snow, to enjoy a mid-winter holiday of chariot races, jousting and polo under the warm California sun. Pasadena’s abundance of fresh flowers, even in the midst of winter, prompted the Club to add another showcase for the city’s charm: a parade, where entrants would decorate their carriages with hundreds of flowers and natural materials.

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