The Tournament of Roses and the city of Pasadena work together to coordinate three areas of accessible street-level viewing for the annual Rose Parade, and this year people with disabilities can make reservations online for the first time.
There are three accessible viewing areas offering reserved space to people with disabilities free of charge. This allows those with disabilities – and up to four guests – to avoid having to camp out to secure viewing space. In addition, there is some reserved parking available for a fee. Viewers will need to bring their own chairs or cushions, as no seats are provided in these areas.
Online registration is more convenient for families, but this also means the available space – which can accommodate a little over 2,100 people – is filling up faster than normal, according to the city’s Accessible Issues Coordinator, Ali Everett. Registration opened Oct. 3, and about half the space is already reserved. Accessible seating is usually completely full by early December.
The west Colorado area location, on the north side of Colorado Boulevard near the beginning of the parade route, allows drop-off until 3 a.m., and then allows passenger drop-off one block away after that. Reserved parking for that location is now full.
The Paseo Colorado area location, on the south side of Colorado Boulevard one quarter of the way into the route, allows drop-off until 7 a.m., and still has some reserved parking available. At that location, there will be audio description of the parade for the blind and visually impaired, and ASL interpretation of commentary for the deaf and hard of hearing.
Everett recommends the Sierra Madre viewing area, on the median on Sierra Madre Boulevard near end of the Rose Parade route, for families. This area, she says, is less crowded, and allows drop-off until 8 a.m., so families have a little extra time. No reserved parking is available at this location.
Viewing spaces are three to four rows deep at curb level at these locations, so Everett says the viewing is generally quite good there. Each location is also assigned a monitor to help make sure everyone is comfortable and can see, and all of the areas are served by accessible restrooms.
The new online registration system also allows Everett to collect email addresses of those who would like to receive notification when registration for accessible parade viewing opens each year. And she promises to add anyone who tries to register but isn’t early enough to secure space this year to that list, so they can register as early as possible for 2018.