PASADENA (CBSLA) — Usually, as New Year’s Eve approaches, Rose Parade fans are preparing for colorful floats and looking for the best spots to camp along Colorado Boulevard.
But not this year. Pasadena remained quiet Wednesday night, since the parade has been canceled for the first time in 76 years.
Jack Huang, who owns Sorriso in Old Town Pasadena, said this week was supposed to be one of his busiest all year.
“From Christmas throughout the New Year our business can double and all the hotels will have three- or four-day minimum stays,” he said.
Instead, just a few patrons were out on Wednesday night to support local restaurants and order takeout.
“It’s very scary,” Huang said. “I walk the street almost every day. I see stores that I know they’re not coming back.”
Streets that were lined with bleachers and families just a year ago are now empty. The corner of Orange Grove and Colorado, usually the site of a massive grand stand, is just an open field.
The absence of parade preparation is palpable.
“We grew up going to it, and seeing it on TV,” said Rachel McCaulsky. “I mean, we even would camp out for it. This year, I guess it’s just another thing that is totally different.”
In one way, the show will go on. The Tournament of Roses has produced a two-hour television special with a variety of musical guests and other performers. It will air nationwide on New Year’s Day.
For new Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo, New Year’s without the parade and Rose Bowl is quite a shock.
“I’m in the den of my home, and I’ll tell you this is not where I expected to be two days before the parade — ever,” he said. “It’s a sad time, but I know it’s a time that we’ll get over and we’ll celebrate again.”
The Pasadena Tournament of Roses has been around since 1891. The last time is was canceled was during World War II.