Rose Parade canceled for first time since World War II

The annual 2021 Rose Parade has been canceled, officials said Wednesday.

The 132nd Tournament of Roses Parade, held every New Year's Day in Pasadena, California, has been canceled due to coronavirus concerns, parade officials said Wednesday.

"While we are extremely disappointed that we are unable to host the parade, we believe that not doing so will prevent the spread of COVID-19, as well as protect the legacy of the Rose Parade for generations to come," said David Eads, Tournament of Roses Chief Executive Director in a news release.

The parade, which has been held since 1891, has been canceled only three times before -- during WWII years of 1942, 1943 and 1945.

Parade officials cited Gov. Gavin Newsom's phase 4 reopening schedule and consideration of health restrictions as their reason for canceling the 2021 parade.

Eads said that planning for the parade typically begins in February the year prior, and advance planning is required by band and equestrian units.

"The construction of our floats takes many months and typically requires thousands of volunteers to gather in ways that aren't in compliance with safety recommendations and won't be safe in the coming months," Eads said.

Planning for the Rose Bowl Football game, which is the College Football Playoff Semifinal, is ongoing.

"We continue to work with the College Football Playoff and our collegiate partners to explore what this year's college football season will look like amidst COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines," Eads said. "While the safety and well-being of the student athletes, university personnel and fans is our top priority, we remain hopeful that the Granddaddy of Them All will take place on New Year's Day."

The Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association is still hoping to celebrate the New Year, though.

"We may not be able to host our traditional five-mile march down Colorado Boulevard, but we are exploring new and safe ways we can collectively share in the celebration," Eads said, "and we look forward to announcing further details about our exciting new plans in the coming weeks."

California recently reported its second highest single-day increase in new coronavirus cases and deaths with 11,126 new cases and 140 additional deaths, according to data from the California Department of Public Health.

The Golden State is second only to New York in total number of cases, with at least 349,180 confirmed cases as of Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University data. There have been over 7,000 deaths reported.

CNN's Sarah Moon, Braden Walker and Keith Allen contributed to this report.

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