Want to put flowers on a Rose Parade float? Here are some tips

decoratingby Laura Berthold Monteros

Building a Rose Parade float is an expensive process for sponsors, and would not be affordable without volunteers who dedicate from a few to scores of hours working on them—volunteers who do not mind getting glue in their hair, cramped fingers from snipping strawflowers, or ruining an old pair of jeans.  Some volunteers even give up holiday shopping on weekends in December to prepare and glue dry materials.

Every inch of the float must be covered with flowers or other natural materials, such as leaves, seeds, grass, bark, sod, or even fruits and vegetables for it to be eligible for a trophy. Volunteers take a great deal of pride in their work and thrill at seeing the float they pasted mums and gerbera on go down the parade route.  Generally, dry decoration takes place on Saturdays in December and fresh materials go on during Deco Week between Christmas and Dec. 31, when the floats are judged.

Readers who are interested in volunteering should check on the websites of the float builders to see if there are still open slots.  Many are already booked up, but sometimes they need extra help for the big push.  Prospective volunteers can also show up at the decorating site and ask; however, there is no guarantee that a builder will take drop-ins and keep in mind they are very busy during Deco Week. Continue reading “Want to put flowers on a Rose Parade float? Here are some tips”

Make a real difference for the homeless with Real Change meters

real-changePasadena drivers are used to feeding the meter to secure a parking place, but now people—pedestrians, cyclists and motorists alike—can feed a meter and help end homelessness.  The Real Change Movement puts bright orange meters decorated with yellow happy faces in public places which collect change and credit transactions to provide homes for the homeless in Pasadena. Pasadena and homeless advocates throughout the city have been encouraging people not to give money to panhandlers, but to support local non-profits that provide real assistance instead.  Real Change meters make it easy. There’s a map app on the website to find the one closest to you.

The Real Change Movement was the first initiative of its kind within Los Angeles County.  It includes a public outreach campaign that tells residents, merchants and visitors about the movement and raises awareness about homelessness. The movement is a collaborative effort involving the City of Pasadena, Flintridge Center, County of Los Angeles, United Way of Greater Los Angeles, East West Bank, IPS Group, Pasadena City College, Art Center College of Design, and Pasadena Chamber of Commerce.

Art Center students were involved with the project from the beginning.  They came up with the idea and campaign strategy and designed the logo and color scheme.  The Pasadena In Focus newsletter for July and August, 2014 reported, “The students wanted to inspire the community to think about happiness in a more socially active way and to view the act of giving as an uplifting, positive experience.”

 

A joyful coronation of the 99th Tournament of Roses Queen Victoria Castellanos

The 2017 Tournament of Roses Royal Court: Princesses Shannon, Natalie, and Maya; Queen Victoria; Princesses Audrey, Autumn, and Emi. c.2016 LB Monteros
The 2017 Tournament of Roses Royal Court: Princesses Shannon, Natalie, and Maya; Queen Victoria; Princesses Audrey, Autumn, and Emi. c.2016 LB Monteros

by Laura Berthold Monteros

There could hardly be a Rose Queen with a more expressive face than Tori Castellanos. The shock and tears when her name was read as 99th Tournament of Roses Queen on Thursday evening, the huge smile when the she received the crown and roses, the seriousness displayed as she repeated the Queen’s Oath were spontaneous and heartfelt. That ability to quickly switch between joy and seriousness, to show her emotions on her face, is quite charming. With family, friends, schoolmates and teachers on hand to cheer, the celebration was truly a joyous event. Here’s how it happened.

Back to the beginning

An air of excitement and anticipation rippled over the patio on Oct. 20 as people waited for the doors of the historic Pasadena Playhouse to open for the announcement and coronation of the young woman who will reign over the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 2, 2017. The seven members of the Royal Court were escorted down the red carpet into the auditorium by white-suited members of the Queen & Court Committee. And then, the doors swung open. Let’s enter that door as if we didn’t know yet that Victoria “Tori” Cecilia Castellanos received the Mikimoto pearl crown.

Be sure to check out the photo gallery at the end of this article. It tells a lot of the story, and at the end, just for fun, there are a few shots of Tori in performances with Temple City High School.

Continue reading “A joyful coronation of the 99th Tournament of Roses Queen Victoria Castellanos”

1940 Rose Queen Margaret Huntley Main shines at the coronation of the 2017 Queen of the Tournament of Roses

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Chip Rubsamen, son of 1941 Queen Sally Stanton Rubsamen who cofounded the Queens Club with Main, escorted Queen Margaret to the coronation on Oct. 20.
Chip Rubsamen, son of 1941 Queen Sally Stanton Rubsamen who cofounded the Queens Club with Main, escorted Queen Margaret to the coronation on Oct. 20.

A Rose Queen Is Forever, Margaret Huntley Main wrote, and she is living proof that is true. The oldest living Rose Queen at age 95, she is still regal and still utterly in control of her surroundings. Main founded the Queen’s Club with fellow Rose Queen Sally Stanton Rubsamen, who passed away in April. She made a commanding appearance at the coronation of the 2017 Rose Queen, Victoria “Tori” Castellanos, on Oct. 20.

This was not Main’s first time on the stage at the Pasadena Playhouse. At age 14, she accepted the award for the best one-act middle school play. She told how the stagehands had dressed her as an elderly lady with a cane before she came onstage. “And here I am,” she said, “an elderly woman with a cane!”

She and Rubsamen founded the Queen’s Club in 1949 to welcome new Tournament of Roses queens and support former queens. In the past, the young women were simply dropped after the last seconds of the Rose Bowl Game, and it could take a toll on them. She stresses that the Tournament is better now, and has things for the Royal Court to do after the big celebration is over. But for much of its history, that was not the case.

“I watched former queens get sick,” Main said. She reminisced about her Rose Parade, the 51st. “It rained,” she said. The Tournament gave the girls cellophane rain bonnets to wear, but long about East Pasadena, she said, “the crowd yelled, ‘Take ‘em off!’” and they did. “1940 was the best parade of all!” she said. The enthusiasm of the crowd “just washes over you and forgives all your sins.”

Asked what advice she would give to her fellow Rose Queens, she replied, “Never give advice unless it’s asked.” She added tidbist on representing the Tournament and the city, queenly decorum, and getting help from former queens. “There’s no bill,” she smiled. And finally, “Never, never go running down the streets of Pasadena with two runny-nosed toddlers.”

 

All photos except archival copyright Laura Berthold Monteros

 

Victoria “Tori” Castellanos from Temple City HS is the 99th Rose Queen

Rose Queen Victoria is crowned by Pres. Brad Ratliff.
Rose Queen Victoria is crowned by Pres. Brad Ratliff.

by Laura Berthold Monteros

This is a moment that Tournament of Roses fans anticipate from the first Tournament of Roses Royal Court tryouts in September to the evening in October when the Rose Queen is announced and crowned in the splendor of Mikimoto pearls. Victoria “Tori” Cecilia Castellanos was chosen by the Queen and Court committee for an honor that only 98 women have held before. Possessing the poise of a Rose Queen, when her name was announced, she almost cried, but not quite.

Tonight’s coronation was a celebration of the 2017 theme “Echoes of Success” as well as the 2017 Royal Court, who will ride down Colorado Blvd. on Jan. 2, 2017. Queen Victoria is one of 771 people who tried out for the 2017 Royal Court, and one of seven young ladies who made it. She attends Temple City High School and is active in Brighterside Singers and musical theater. It was an exciting evening, and we will write more details tomorrow, along with my brief interview with Tori and a photo gallery of the people and event, For tonight, though, we’ll put it to be with a hearty congratulations to the 99th Rose Queen.

 

What are the Rose Parade float trophies and who gets them?

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Isabella Coleman Trophy at Tournament House. Photo copyright 2011 by LB Monteros.
Isabella Coleman Trophy at Tournament House. Photo copyright 2011 by LB Monteros.

By the time the spectacular floats begin rolling along Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena on New Year’s morning, they have been through a rigorous judging process.  Every inch of the float must be covered with some sort of botanical material—flowers, petals, seeds, bark, grass, fruit, beans, rice, and just about anything the float designers can imagine.

The Tournament of Roses awards trophies in 24 different categories for the outstanding entries in the Rose Parade.  A panel of three judges examines the floats twice during the decorating stage and once a few hours before the New Year.  One of the judges represents the floral industry; the others may be from different but related fields. Scores are based on criteria such as creative design, floral craftsmanship, artistic merit, computerized animation, thematic interpretation, floral and color presentation, and dramatic impact.  Scores from each session are combined to determine winners.

It’s sometimes a scramble for the decorators to get finished and ensure all the animation and mechanics are working by the deadline, but a missed deadline means a missed opportunity for a prestigious award. That’s a rare occurrence, and not something a builder wants to tell a sponsor.

Here are the titles and descriptions of the Rose Parade float awards.  Keep this list on hand as you watch the parade on television or along the route, and return to this space after the parade to find out which floats and builders won!

Animation: Best animation and motion
Bob Hope Humor: Most comical and amusing
Craftsman: Exceptional showmanship and dramatic impact – over 55’ only
Crown City Innovation: Best use of imagination and innovation to advance the art of float design
Director’s honoring Jacob Maarse: Outstanding artistic merit in design and floral presentation
Extraordinaire: Most spectacular, including floats over 55’
Fantasy: Most outstanding display of fantasy and imagination
Founders’: Most spectacular built and decorated by volunteers from a community or organization
Governor’s: Best depiction of life in California
Grand Marshal’s: Excellence in creative concept and design
International: Most beautiful entry from outside the continental US
Isabella Coleman: Best presentation of color and color harmony through floral use
Judge’s Special: Most spectacular in showmanship and dramatic impact
Lathrop K. Leishman: Most beautiful non-commercial
Mayor’s: Most outstanding city entry – national or international
National: Best depiction of life in the USA, past, present or future
Past Presidents’: Most creative use of floral and non-floral
President’s: Most effective floral use and presentation
Princess’: Most beautiful 35’ or under
Queen’s: Most effective use and display of roses in concept, design, and presentation
Sweepstakes: Most beautiful entry with outstanding floral presentation and design
Theme: Excellence in presenting parade theme
Tournament Special: Exceptional merit in multiple categories, including floats over 55’
Tournament Volunteers: Best floral design of theme 35’ or under

 

Live on Green is back! with the USAF, LA Rams, fun, and entertainment

USAF Color Guard at Live on Green 2015. c.LBM2015
USAF Color Guard at Live on Green 2015. c.LBM2015

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Last year’s debut Live on Green event entertained more than 30,000 people in the days before the Rose Parade. It’s back, bigger and more spectacular for 2016, with the largest display ever of Air Force equipment, technology, and memorabilia under one roof. The occasion is the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the United States Air Force. The centerpiece will be the latest stealth aircraft, the F-35A, which just started operation in August. The plane will be dismantled and boxed up, to be reassembled in the Pasadena Convention Center. It will be accompanied by an F-16 jet.

For two great videos about the F-35A, watch this from LockheedMartin and this from Fox.

Live on Green is a free family festival held at the Pasadena Convention Center complex, 300 E. Green St. on Dec. 30 and 31, 2016 (9 a.m.-4 p.m.) and Jan. 1, 2017 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.). The 128th Tournament of Roses is on Monday, Jan. 2 due to the “Never on Sunday” rule. It’s a fun place for locals and out-of-towners to find entertainment, activities, information, and good food at a decent price. It’s put together by Huerta Quorum (HQ) with support from commercial sponsors.

Barbara Cocks, president of HQ, told The Rose Examiner that the free event is “the result of great sponsors.” These include Dole Packaged Foods, Continue reading “Live on Green is back! with the USAF, LA Rams, fun, and entertainment”

128th TOURNAMENT OF ROSES CALENDAR LISTING

For inside tips on how to get the most out  of your time at the Tournament of Roses, read “Insider’s Guide to the Rose Parade and Events.”

THURSDAY, DEC. 29, 2016

Decorating Places presented by Giti Tire, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., $10 per person (age 5 and under free) for all three locations: Rosemont Pavilion, 700 Seco St., Brookside Pavilion, Lot I south of the Rose Bowl, and Rose Palace, 835 S. Raymond Ave. Tickets are sold onsite or online from Sharp Seating, (626) 795-4171.

Expo Village, Lot I in Brookside Park, runs concurrently with float viewing. Food, exhibits, souvenirs.

FRIDAY, DEC. 30, 2016

Decorating Places presented by Giti Tire, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., $10 per person (age 5 and under free) for all three locations: Rosemont Pavilion, 700 Seco St., Brookside Pavilion, Lot I south of the Rose Bowl, and Rose Palace, 835 S. Raymond Ave.

Expo Village, Lot I in Brookside Park, runs concurrently with float viewing. Food, exhibits, souvenirs.

Live on Green, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., free at the Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E. Green St. Activities for the family, exhibits and displays, food and music, and free shuttles to Decorating Places in the Rose Bowl area.

Equestfest, $15 per person (age 5 and under free), 10 a.m. at Los Angeles Equestrian Center, 480 Riverside Dr., Burbank. A VIP package is available for $40. Parking $10, paid at the site. Tickets are sold onsite or online from Sharp Seating, (626) 795-4171. THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED

Bandfest, Show 1, $15 per person (age 5 and under free), 1 p.m. on Robinson Field at Pasadena City College, 1570 E. Colorado Blvd. Parking is free. Tickets are sold onsite or online from Sharp Seating, (626) 795-4171.

SATURDAY, DEC. 31, 2016

Decorating Places presented by Giti Tire, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., $10 per person (age 5 and under free) for all three locations: Rosemont Pavilion, 700 Seco St., Brookside Pavilion, Lot I south of the Rose Bowl, and Rose Palace, 835 S. Raymond Ave.

Expo Village, Lot I in Brookside Park, runs concurrently with float viewing. Food, exhibits, souvenirs.

Live on Green, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., free at the Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E. Green St. Activities for the family, exhibits and displays, food and music, and free shuttles to Decorating Places in the Rose Bowl area.

Bandfest, Show 2, $15 per person (age 5 and under free), 9 a.m. on Robinson Field at Pasadena City College, 1570 E. Colorado Blvd. Parking is free.

Bandfest, Show 3, $15 per person (age 5 and under free), 1:30 p.m. on Robinson Field at Pasadena City College, 1570 E. Colorado Blvd. Parking is free.

SUNDAY, JAN. 1, 2017

Decorating Places presented by Giti Tire, $15 per person (age 5 and under free), 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Rose Palace, 835 S. Raymond Ave.

Live on Green, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., free at the Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E. Green St. Activities for the family, exhibits and displays, food and music, and free shuttles to Decorating Places in the Rose Bowl area.

Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, $40 for reserved seating with lunch & $10 general admission, noon at Rose Bowl Stadium Lot K tent. A food truck will be onsite. Limited tickets available from Sharp Seating, (626) 795-4171.

MONDAY, JAN. 2, 2017

128th Tournament of Roses Parade, promptly at 8 a.m., Colorado Blvd. between Orange Grove and Sierra Madre. Purchase grandstand seats online or by calling Sharp Seating, (626) 795-4171 or Pasadena Presbyterian Church, which also serves a continental breakfast and has indoor restrooms, (626) 793-2191.

Rose Bowl Game Public Tailgate Party, free, beginning at 8 a.m. in Lot H of the Rose Bowl. Food available for purchase, displays, entertainment. Contact the Rose Bowl Stadium, (626) 577-3100, for more information.

Showcase of Floats presented by Miracle-Gro including Park-N-Ride fare, $13 per person (age 5 and under free), 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sierra Madre and Washington boulevards by Victory Park. Free street parking or paid in local lots. Park-N-Ride shuttles are available at Pasadena City College, 1570 E. Colorado Blvd. Tickets are sold onsite or online from Sharp Seating, (626) 795-4171.

103rd Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual, 1:30 p.m. at the Rose Bowl. Television coverage on ESPN and ESPN Deportes; radio broadcast on ESPN Radio and XM Satellite Radio. Tickets are available from Ticketmaster and PrimeSport. More information here.

TUESDAY, JAN. 3, 2017

Showcase of Floats presented by Miracle-Gro including Park-N-Ride fare, $13 per person (age 5 and under free), 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sierra Madre and Washington boulevards by Victory Park. Seniors and handicapped may enter at 7 a.m. Free street parking or paid in local lots. Park-N-Ride shuttles are available at the Rose Bowl and Pasadena City College.

INSIDER’S GUIDE TO THE ROSE PARADE AND EVENTS

How to do the Rose Parade without stressing out

by Laura Berthold Monteros

4-basic-rules-border

There’s nothing quite like watching the Tournament of Roses Parade in person, seeing  the colors and textures on the floats as they skim along before your eyes, hearing the best high school bands in the country, and seeing the pageantry of costumed equestrians as they ride past.  The excitement of the crowd and the joy of parade participants are best experienced first-hand. But…how? This brief guide has tips that will help you plan ahead and have a glorious time at an event that has been going since 1890.

“America’s New Year Celebration” is not limited to one day.  It goes on for nearly a week to provide visitors with more than enough to do, see, and eat.  In addition to the Rose Parade, visitors can view the floats in the days before the parade as they are being decorated and at the post-parade Showcase of Floats.  The weekend before the parade is filled with Bandfest and Equestfest, opportunities to see the musical groups and equestrians display their skills.

We’ve posted a complete calendar of events with dates, times, venues, ticketing, and costs on this site. The Insider’s Guide will give you the nuts and bolts on how to take it all in. All events are family-friendly.

Where to get personalized information

The Pasadena Convention and Visitors Bureau operates a Tournament of Roses Hotline at (877) 793-9911 from a few days before the Rose Parade until the last event closes down. If you’re lucky, one of the members of the Royal Court might pick up the phone! The website posts maps and a smart phone app to download that gives you access to information about Pasadena dining and attractions. For access issues, contact  Robert Gorski, Accessibility Issues Coordinator, City of Pasadena at (626)744-4785 or rgorski@cityofpasadena.net. The Official Digital Rose Parade Program app includes photos, videos, and trivia. It can be downloaded to phones and tablets from the app stores.

SPECIAL NOTE FOR MODERN TIMES

Drones are prohibited at both the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game. Umbrellas and selfie sticks also are not allowed inside the stadium or within the secured grandstand area of the parade at TV Corner at the intersection of Orange Grove Boulevard and Colorado Boulevard.

PLAN AHEAD FOR A PERFECT DAY—OR WEEK

These tips will help you get the most out of your Tournament of Roses experience. There are some specific how-tos for various events, which are noted for each one. Continue reading “INSIDER’S GUIDE TO THE ROSE PARADE AND EVENTS”

One out of 7: How the Rose Queen is chosen from the Royal Court

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Rose Queen crown by Mikimoto. c. 2011 LBM
Rose Queen crown by Mikimoto. c. 2011 LBM

On a weekend in early September, nearly 1,000 young women walk by a dais of judges, hoping to be chosen for the Tournament of Roses Royal Court. One of these will become the next Rose Queen. She will preside over a court of six princesses and appear at some 100 events before and after the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game. How does the Queen & Court Committee make this seemingly impossible decision?

It begins with narrowing the field from 1,000 to about 350-400 girls in the quarter-finals, and then down to around 75 for the semi-finals. During this time, they are known only by the numbers pinned on their dresses. The 30-40 finalists who line up on the steps of Tournament House in late September are for the first time identified by name, age, and school. Less than a week later, the seven young ladies who make up the Royal Court are announced to a horde of reporters, and from these, the Rose Queen will be chosen.

Committee members become the “Court Parents,” who will watch over the girls and make sure they get to their engagements.  Unlike most of the Tournament of Roses committees, the Queen & Court Committee involves   Continue reading “One out of 7: How the Rose Queen is chosen from the Royal Court”