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What To Do In Pasadena On New Year’s Eve

If you’re a Penn Stater traveling to California for the Rose Bowl, there’s a chance you’ll be ringing in the new year in a city you’ve never been to before. Luckily, Pasadena is jam-packed with numerous New Year’s-themed parties and events. From celebrations at nightclubs to performances by live bands, the city will hold plenty of activities to keep you occupied for the evening. We’ve compiled a list of events going on in order to help you navigate your New Year’s Eve festivities a little more easily.

Note: Los Angeles is only a short drive away from Pasadena and will host its own fair share of big events for the evening. For the sake of this particular post, however, we’re going to assume you’ll be staying local for the night.

Live on Green Pasadena

The city of Pasadena will host its annual three-day event prior to the start of the Rose Parade. From December 30 through January 1, guests are invited to attend the festival free of charge. Located at the Pasadena Convention Center on 300 E. Green Street, the event will include food, drink, and performances from over a dozen different live bands. The festival will host a variety of fun events throughout the day, and city visitors of all ages are encouraged to check it out.

(Photo: Visit Pasadena)
(Photo: Visit Pasadena)

Rose Parade Float Decorating 

The Tournament of Roses invites volunteers to play their own roles in decorating floats for the annual Rose Parade. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and will be located at the Rose Palace on 835 S. Raymond Ave. Participants will be able to add a variety of finishing touches onto the floats such as flowers, grasses, and fruits. The cost for admission per person is $10 and free for children five and under.

Bandfest Performances

Music lovers are encouraged to check out this year’s Bandfest events beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, December 30, and continuing until the end of the day on Saturday. The event will take place at Robinson Stadium on 1570 E. Colorado Blvd. The Rose Parade hosts an assortment of talented bands each year, all of which will hold their own individual performances prior to the big event. The cost of entry per person is $15 and free for children five and under. Tickets can be purchased in advance through Sharp Seating Company or at the venue 30 minutes prior to performance time.

(Photo: Remo Bandfest)
(Photo: Remo Bandfest)

Enchanted Forest of Light

Descanso Gardens will present its annual interactive light experience Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The display is on 1418 Descanso Dr. and will take visitors on a one-mile walk through different ten different lights displays. Various food and drink items can be purchased at the event. Ticket prices range from $24 to $28 depending on the age of the guest, and visitors can purchase them online on the Descanso Gardens website.

Club 54 New Year’s Party 

If you’re more into the party scene, one of Pasadena’s most popular nightclubs will host its annual Club 54 New Year’s Eve Party. The club is located at 54 East Colorado Blvd. The event will include plenty of music and dancing, as well as performances by various live DJs. Doors open at 8 p.m. Saturday and tickets are $30.

New Year’s Party at Magnolia House 

Pasadena’s Magnolia House, located at 492 S. Lake Ave., will host its annual New Year’s Eve celebration beginning at 9 p.m. Saturday. Depending on the party size and reservation type, guests are invited to hang out in the lounge area, snag party favors, and indulge in numerous food and drink specials. The cost of entry is $30 and guests should refer to the event website in order to make reservations.

Queen Nation New Year’s Eve Party 

Those who wish to indulge in some good ol’ classic rock are encouraged to check out Queen Nation’s New Year’s Eve Party located at The Rose on 245 East Green Street. Queen Nation, the world’s largest Queen tribute band, will entertain the crowd with a performance featuring some of your favorite tunes. Doors open at 6 p.m. and tickets are available to purchase on the event website.

(Photo: Queen Nation)
(Photo: Queen Nation)

For a more comprehensive listing of local nightclubs and New Year’s Eve parties, click here. Cover fees and ticket prices will vary depending on the venue and the specific event. Have a fun and safe New Year’s, Penn Staters!

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About the Author

Claire Fountas

Claire Fountas is the student life editor for Onward State, as well as a junior pursuing a double major in journalism and psychology. She lives in a suburb of Chicago and strongly disagrees with anyone who hates the Cubs or the Blackhawks (so, pretty much anyone at Penn State). You can follow her @ClaireFountas or email her at [email protected]

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