Rose Parade Executive Director Discusses Event

Despite 2021’s cancellation, David Eads hopes the event can come back in 2022

The annual 2021 Rose Parade has been cancelled due to coronavirus concerns, marking the first time in 75 years since World War II it has been called off. According to Tournament of Roses Executive Director and CEO David Eads, this year would have marked the 132nd Tournament of Roses Parade held in Pasadena. 


“We have more than 6,000 people that participate in the parade every year,” he said in an interview with El Vaquero. “Out of concern for their safety and well being, back in July we made the decision that we just weren’t going to be able to move forward with hosting a parade this year.”


Eads continued, “While it was a great disappointment to us, we also realized that it was the right thing to do and for the safety and well being of people. We did not want to be a “super spreader” event, we did not want people to get sick from either participating in the parade or coming out and watching the parade.” 


The Tournament of Roses will also not be selecting a Queen or Royal Court this year as result of the cancellation. 


“While we were trying to pivot to do something different we just realized that their ability to bond as a group, their ability to learn, grow and experience interacting with people such as their ambassadors was going to be limited,” he said.” It just wouldn’t be a quality experience that we would want and that led to our decision not to do the Royal Court. What we are going to do is that anyone who was eligible for this year’s 2021 Rose Parade Court, will be eligible for the 2022 Rose Parade Court.”


Eads added that he hopes by Jan. 1, 2022 “that we will have our traditional parade and we will be far enough past the pandemic that we will be able to continue with our normal activities.” 


The Rose Bowl Game on January 1st, 2021 is still ongoing and will serve as a college football playoff semifinal. 


“Just like everything it will look much different than a traditional Rose Bowl Game. The power five conferences are all committed to playing football right now. The Pac-12 will be launching their season soon as well as the Big Ten,” Eads said. “The other three power conferences such as the ACC, SEC and Big 12 are already playing so we’re very hopeful that we will complete a college football season. We anticipate that the game will be played without fans in the stands, events of mass gatherings will not be allowed so it will be viewed on television.” 

Priscilla Caballero can be reached at [email protected].