California’s annual Rose Parade has officially been scrapped for 2021 due to coronavirus concerns, marking the event’s first cancellation in 75 years.
“After careful consideration, thoughtful consideration with the current restrictions and ordinances that are in place due to COVID, and then the governor’s Stage 4 reopening plans, we just felt that there was no way that we’d be able to host a Rose Parade this year,” said David Eads, CEO and executive director of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, to Los Angeles news station KTLA. “It’s really the safety of the general public and all of our members, our partners that has to be a priority. And it’s really hard to do this year.”
In its own statement, the Tournament of Roses Association — a nonprofit that produces the parade each year — said it is “exploring new and safe ways we can collectively share in the celebration, and we look forward to announcing further details about our exciting new plans in the coming weeks.”
Traditionally held in Pasadena on New Year’s Day, the Rose Parade marks the start of the Rose Bowl college football game. A plan for the game itself has not yet been announced, but organizers are reportedly hopeful that it can still take place on Jan. 1.
The parade has only been cancelled three times in the past, all of which took place during World War II. It now joins a long list of events to be postponed or cancelled amid the coronavirus outbreak, including sporting events, awards shows and fan conventions like San Diego Comic-Con.