Best of Rose Parade 2023: Floats and marching bands that got attention

Dozens of floats and marching bands lined up for the 5.5 mile Rose Parade route on Monday morning.

Some sparked more attention than others online. Here are the fan favorites.


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Favorite floats:

Travel Louisiana

Photo by Trevor Stamp, Contributing Photographer

After last year’s French Quarter-themed float, the Louisiana Office of Tourism returned with another of the state’s icons – a flower-covered riverboat sailing down, not the mighty Mississippi, but in this case, Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena.

Crewing the paddle-wheeler, which cost $350,000 to create, were 20 Louisiana pageant winners, including the Gueydan Duck Festival queen and the Breaux Bridge Crawfish queen, and country singer Lainey Wilson performed “LA” on the float. Shortly thereafter, the float stalled turning the corner. Luckily, it was being manned by a float-driving expert who has done it 50 times.

my favorite rose parade float so far

— sarah (@clouddottir) January 2, 2023

Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, in Partnership with Nouns float

Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer

Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, the production and animation studio known for the Emmy-winning “Robot Chicken,” and Nouns DAO, an NFT-centric project, made its Rose Parade debut.

Stars of this adventure were Mr. Blue (adorned with cut blue statice, poppy seed and seaweed), Mr. Green (green tea leaf, ground split pea, parsley flakes, ground rice and seaweed) and Mr. Orange (orange lentil, orange carnations, red carnations, light lettuce seed and green tea leaf).

Such a fun surprise to see a Nouns float in the Rose parade this year! My favorite float by far!

— Tania del Rio (@taniadelrio) January 2, 2023

Trader Joes

Photo by Trevor Stamp, Contributing Photographer

A 13-time award winner, Southern California based grocery chain Trader Joe’s marked two decades of Rose Parade participation.

Its food-centric entry featured a chef motoring along with a sackful of groceries and towing a boat filled with more edibles and several feathered friends.

Trader Joe’s has a beautiful float in the #RoseParade #RoseParade2023

— David Sollenberger (@Daveyspot) January 2, 2023

Trader Joe’s wins the Rose Parade.

— Tricia Bennett (@tlbennett09) January 2, 2023

Marching bands:

The Wisconsin Northwoods Marching Band

The Wisconsin Northwoods Marching Band is a composite band of eight high schools across north central Wisconsin, and Twitter users rushed to the platform to praise the group.

This first-of-a-kind composite band was the idea of 2023 Pasadena Tournament of Roses president Amy Wainscott who wanted a band to represent the small-town region she calls home.

Schools marching in the parade include Lakeland High School, Northland Pines High School, Three Lakes High School, Merrill High School, Antigo High School, Wausau East High School, DC Everest High School and Mosinee High School.

@RoseParade Northwoods Marching Band making Wisconsin proud in the Rose Parade today! Lookin’ and sounding great!

— Bill Mitchell (@Bill925WMBZ) January 2, 2023

Check out the coverage of the Northwoods Marching Band in the Tournament of Roses Parade

Amazing work!

— Katie Rosenberg (@katierosenberg) January 2, 2023

Shout out to the two bass guitarists in the Wisconsin Northwoods Marching Band #RoseParade2023

— One Killaherz (@one_khz) January 2, 2023

Spartan “Legion” Marching Band

The Spartan “Legion” Marching Band came to Pasadena from Norfolk State University, a public historically Black university in Norfolk, Virginia.

The band’s uniforms are reminiscent of the legendary 300 Spartan warriors, including a protective guard auxiliary unit and shiny gold helmets, and the drum major helmets are replicas from the original Spartan warrior design.

The band’s recognizable music selections sounded mighty and balanced, boasting a huge brass sound and driving percussion that utilizes three marching styles. Twitter agreed.

Norfolk State University Spartan “Legion” Marching Band Is Showing Out At The Rose Parade . #Behold

— LIGHT ON COLLEGE SPORTS (@LightOnSports) January 2, 2023

So happy to see the Norfolk State Spartan Legion marching band at the Rose Parade! Y’all did great! Behold the green & gold!

— Shana Fleming (@ShanaFleming17) January 2, 2023

This Spartan Legion Marching band is bringing it

Hope the rest of the country can see. #RoseParade

— Eduardo Big Year Ahead Peraza (@MrEduardo21) January 2, 2023

Triuggio Marching Band

Founded in 2004, the Triuggio Marching Band joined the Rose Parade all the way from Italy.

The band is made up of members from the Italian cities Triuggio, Monza and Brianza.

Members are teenagers and young adults who are deeply motivated by the spirit of fellowship, friendship and performing together. Their repertoire included pop songs, rock songs, movie soundtracks and classical pieces.

I am here to cheer for all the marching bands in the #RoseParade2023

CONGRATS #Triuggio Marching Band strutting their stuff from Triuggio, Monza and Brianza Italy!

Excellent work @RoseParade Grateful to see and hear the marching bands who worked so hard to get there!

— Lori Magno (@ModaMags) January 2, 2023

Triuggio Italy Marching Band playing Bad Romance. LOVE IT! #RoseParade

— Diana Gonzales (@trojanchick99) January 2, 2023

Welcome to California, Triuggio Marching Band. I hope to go to Italy someday. Maybe I should bring a marching band with me.#RoseParade2023

— PellaPusher (@PellaPusher) January 2, 2023

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