These Vintage Rose Parade Photos Show 120 Years of Floral Floats & Fashion

See snaps from 1897 and beyond.

Tomorrow (a.k.a. Tuesday, January 1, 2019) marks the 130th Tournament of Roses parade, and much has changed since members of Pasadena's Valley Hunt Club kicked off the very first floral-filled fête in 1890. Originally created to showcase California's not-so-wintery weather, the legendary New Year's Day tradition has transformed from a procession of horse-drawn carriages (complete with a tug-of-war game and polo races) that attracted 3,000 attendees into a Honda-sponsored parade and college football game at Rose Bowl Stadium that draws an estimated 700,000 spectators.

Set to kick off at 8 a.m., the parade spans five-and-a-half miles on Colorado Boulevard and will feature 40 floats, marching bands, equestrian showcases, and more entertainment from local and national organizations and universities. Iconic funk singer/songwriter and philanthropist Chaka Khan will lead as the grand marshal of 2019's parade, which boasts the theme, "The Melody of Life."

Ahead of the grand festivities, we dug through the Los Angeles Public Library's digital photo archives to travel back in time through Rose Parades of decades past, starting with the year 1897. Take a blast through LA's past (well, at least up until 1980) and scroll through the gallery below, then head over to the Tournament of Roses' website for the full list of TV channels broadcasting the event here and find out how to see the larger-than-life flower floats in person here.

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