PASADENA—The 2021 Rose Parade, an annual New Year’s Day parade that takes place in Pasadena has been canceled due to ongoing coronavirus concerns. A tweet from the Rose Parade reads: “With tremendous disappointment, we are unable to host the 2021 #RoseParade. We will miss the joy of coming together for the Rose Parade but will not miss this opportunity to celebrate a New Year and health new beginnings on January 1.”

David Eads, Tournament of Roses Chief Executive Director provided additional details about the cancelation in news release on Wednesday, July 15 that reads:

“While we are extremely disappointed that we are unable to host the parade, we believe that not doing so will prevent the spread of COVID-19, as we as protect the legacy of the Rose Parade for generations to come.”

The parade has been an annual tradition since 1981, and draws visitors from all over the country and around the world. It has only be canceled three times in it’s history, for three consecutive years during World War II in 1942, 1943, and 1945.

Parade officials have cited California Governor Gavin Newsom’s statewide reopening schedule, and current health restrictions as motivating factors for their reason to cancellation. Eads explained that planning for the parade typically begins in February of the prior year, and takes months of planning, recruiting and practicing, especially for band and equestrian units. Construction of the floats also takes many months and requires lots of volunteers who might not be able to social-distance and complete floats in a safe manner.

“The construction of our floats takes many months and typically requires thousands of volunteers to gather in ways that aren’t in compliance with safety recommendations, and won’t be safe in the coming months,” Eads further explained.

Besides preparation concerns, a statement on the Rose Parade’s website provides further explanation, including the details and logistics about specific circumstances surrounding the parade that could accelerate spread that reads:

“In considering the options for the 2021 Rose Parade, the Tournament of Roses commissioned a feasibility and safety report for hosting the Rose Parade during the COVID-19 Pandemic, conducted by public health experts from the Keck School of Medicine of USC. That report showed that even with intensive effort to ensure compliance with public health measures such as six-foot distancing and face masks, it is likely that Rose Parade activities before, during and after the event would inevitably lead to large numbers of individuals (many of whom represent high risk groups for COVID-19 complications, such as retirees over age 60) in close proximity to each other, potentially, in some cases, without masks. This creates a high-risk environment for viral spread, including super-spreader events. In addition, thousands of parade participants and spectators will travel to the Los Angeles region from across the nation and even the world, in many cases by plane.”

Officials will look for other ways to celebrate New Year’s Day and will announce additional details about plans as they develop.