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109th Rose Bowl Game

Continuing the Tradition

Posted on January 19, 2023

Ringing in the New Year with aerial views of the Rose Bowl and Rose Parade

We look forward to the annual Rose Bowl Game and Rose Parade all year long -- it has become our New Year's tradition. Ever since 2009 when we captured a B-2 Stealth Bomber flying over the Rose Bowl Game, we've made it annual event to go up and see if we can get some photos of the Rose Parade, Rose Bowl Game, and the flyovers.

Each year it is a challenge to capture the flyovers, and some years we're more successful than others in capturing what we had in mind. This year was particularly challenging since the stealth bombers were grounded and two B-1 Lancers were sent instead. Trying to find two planes is difficult enough, but when they turn on their afterburners and speed up it gets even harder. Being able to photograph these moments adds an extra layer of excitement to the new year and we're happy that we can share that experience with others through our photos and videos.

The 134th Rose Parade

The Rose Parade usually happens on New Year's Day but this year it was on the 2nd of January 2023, due to a long-standing tradition of not having the Rose Parade on a Sunday. The parade began at 8 a.m., with Fitz and The Tantrums playing music while they sailed down Colorado Blvd on the Honda float "Forever Determined". The floats travel a 5 1/2-mile route beginning at Colorado Boulevard moving east, then northbound on Sierra Madre Boulevard ending up at Villa Street. From the air it is difficult to see the parade, but the grandstands filled with thousands of spectators along both sides of the streets are a big clue as to where the parade route is.

An aerial photo of the Fitz and The Tantrums playing during the Rose Parade Opening Spectacular. Rose Parade floats feature an array of intricately designed and brightly colored displays.

An aerial view of the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, California reveals a multitude of vibrant floral floats and marching bands, proudly marching along the parade route down Colorado Boulevard.

B-1s, not B-2s

This year we were treated to flyovers by the United States Air Force's B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing at Dyess Air Force Base, just outside of Abilene, Texas. They were sent instead of the B-2 Spirits, which have been doing the flyovers the past several years, due to an incident at Whiteman Air Force Base in December that grounded the B-2 Fleet.

Originally developed during the Cold War, the B-1 Lancer first entered service with the United States Air Force in 1986. It was unique compared to other bombers of its time due to its supersonic speed and its ability to penetrate enemy defenses using low-level flight paths. Despite being designed thirty years ago, the B-1 Lancer still stands out as one of most capable bomber aircraft in the world today. Crowds at the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl Game were treated to a show of the B-1's speed, as they conducted both flyovers with their afterburners on, creating loud roars for spectators below and setting off car alarms far and wide.

Two U.S. Air Force B-1 Lancers soar over the 134 Freeway and historic Rose Parade route in Pasadena, California, their engines vibrating the ground below as they fly in formation at high speed.

Video of the two B-1 Lancers flying over the Rose Bowl Game. The entire flyover lasts only a moment.

The 109th Rose Bowl Game

The Rose Bowl Game, otherwise known as “The Granddaddy of Them All," is one of the most prestigious college football bowl games in the country. On January 2nd, 2023, the Rose Bowl Stadium hosted the 109th annual Rose Bowl, which pit the Penn State Nittany Lions against the University of Utah Utes. The two powerhouse teams gave football fans a match to remember, but after a hard-fought battle, the Nittany Lions emerged victorious with a score of 35-21.


Pennsylvania State University Marching Blue Band

The Blue Band's performances are known to be breathtaking, featuring energetic beats, intricate formations, and unique visuals that add lots of excitement to any game day. With over 300 musicians and color guard members, the Blue Band always puts on an excellent show, and this year's Rose Bowl Game was no exception. Whether you're there for sports or just to enjoy a musical show, the Blue Band performance is sure to be an event to remember.

The Penn State Blue Band spelling out 'PSU' on the field of the iconic 2023 Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, California.

The University of Utah Marching Band

The Pride of Utah, The University of Utah Marching Band, performed during the flyover at the 2023 Rose Bowl Game. Whether performing at a collegiate football stadium or a local parade, The Pride of Utah marching band shows off the characteristic spirit and pride that have become exceptionally associated with their name. From its first note played to its last rose petal thrown, it is truly The Pride of Utah.

An aerial photo of the Pride of Utah proudly spelling "Utah" in script on the field of the 2023 Rose Bowl Game.

Goodyear Blimp

Goodyear has a long, rich history of utilizing the Goodyear Blimp at sporting events, often making an appearance in many of my pictures and videos. This year was no different. For many Angelenos, the Goodyear Blimp flying above is an indication that a big event is taking place and that traffic is probably abysmal in the general vicinity below.

The iconic Goodyear Blimp is seen majestically hovering above the Rose Bowl Stadium, right in the middle of my photo.

Another beginning of the year above the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl Game brought a lot of excitement and challenges. While we didn't get the warm, sunny weather of years past, seeing the B-1s over Pasadena was definitely something we will remember.

Happy New Year!!

Click here to see more photos from the 2023 Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game

Two B-1 Lancer jets soar through an endless sea of fluffy white clouds, disappearing off into the distant horizon after a successful Rose Parade flyover.