July 16, 2020 / 3:31 AM / 20 days ago

Rose Parade in California canceled for first time in 76 years due to coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: The Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band marches in the 125th Rose Parade in Pasadena, California January 1, 2014. REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn/File Photo

(Reuters) - The 2021 Tournament of Roses Parade, an annual spectacle held each New Year’s Day since 1891 in Pasadena, California, has been called off due to the coronavirus pandemic, its first cancellation in 76 years, organizers said on Wednesday.

The Rose Parade, an internationally televised procession of flower-bedecked floats, marching bands and equestrian teams, has only been canceled three other times in its history - during the World War Two years of 1942, ‘43 and ‘45.

“With reluctance and tremendous disappointment, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association announces that, in accordance with Governor (Gavin) Newsom’s Phase IV re-opening schedule, and after thoughtful consideration of the restrictions and guidelines in place as a result of COVID-19, we are unable to host the 2021 Rose Parade,” the association said in a statement.

While the 132nd edition of the parade itself was still five months away, preparation for the event typically begins in February.

The Tournament of Roses Association also hosts the Rose Bowl football game each Jan. 1, and planning for this year’s college playoff semifinal is still ongoing, the organization said.

Reporting by Daniel Trotta and Steve Gorman; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Tom Brown

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