Hobnobbing with Rose Parade royalty in Pasadena

At last Friday’s reception for “Royals of Pasadena” at Pasadena Museum of History, 20 former and three current Royal Court members gave the classic Rose Parade wave.

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

The invitation said “Royal attire encouraged.” The Rose Examiner did not have royal attire, but we were in the courtly spirit at the reception for members of the Rose Parade Royal Court, past and present, at Pasadena Museum of History’s exhibit “Royals of Pasadena” on Sept. 8. More than 20 Rose Queens and Princesses attended. Each one received a special tiara from Laura Verlaque, Director of Collections as she entered. We were able to talk with several of the Royals, as well as one of the curators of the exhibit.

Be sure to check out the photo gallery in this article, and the stories of the Rose Queen crowns in the article below.

Gowns and wardrobe items were solicited from members of Royal Courts across the decades. Verlaque said that originally, PMH was going to send letters to the entire list of prior Court members that the Tournament of Roses had provided. Then, right before the letters were to go out, she realized that was a tremendous number of women, so the requests were limited to those who still lived in California. Even with that, 75 gowns were offered.

Elissa De Angelo is one of a group of volunteers who preserve the textiles in the PMH collection, and prepare them for display. As the dresses came in, she altered the mannequins to fit the dresses. “Boobs, shoulder pads, clothes from each decade were worn differently,” she said. Some of the dresses had to be cleaned or steamed, with care to the kind of fabric. She said a hair dryer was used to blow the dust off silk garments, because silk could not be cleaned.

“The French Hand Laundry was very helpful with offering expertise,” De Angelo said. (The business, a Pasadena fixture, has operated since 1912.) For more about PMH textile exhibits, read “Fabulous Fashions” (pdf).

She called our attention to the most recent dress, a sapphire gown worn by 2017 Rose Princess Shannon Larsuel. Asked if any of the queens had worn their dresses in their weddings, she directed us to the 1949 white gown worn by Queen Virginia Bower. Both are pictured in the photo gallery.

Beverlie Anderson MacDuff was a Rose Princess in Queen Virginia’s court. “I had a wonderful time,” she said. “I’ve always been happy that I was a princess.” Born in Pasadena, Princess Beverlie said she went to the Rose Parade “a babe in arms.” She never missed a parade after that.

 

All photos copyright 2017 by Laura Berthold Monteros

Crowning the Rose Parade Queens: Photo gallery

by Laura Berthold  Monteros

Since the first Rose Queen graced the flower-bedecked float that carried her along the Rose Parade route on Jan. 2, 1905 (the first was a Sunday), there have been different crowns for different eras. Some of the early queens did not have crowns, and wore garlands or hats instead. The Pasadena Museum of History has several on display in its “Royals of Pasadena” exhibit, now through Feb. 11, 2018.

A special crown was created exclusively for the 50th Rose Queen, but the Tournament of Roses tells us that the 100th Rose Queen will continue to wear the Mikimoto pearl crown. A couple of Tournament members, one formerly the chair of the Queen & Court Committee, noted how heavy this crown is. “Did you see how Tori’s head went back?” one asked, recalling Queen Victoria’s coronation last fall. She had to stand very straight to keep it balanced.

Click through the photos for descriptions of each crown, including who wore it. Do you have a favorite? Use the comments to give your opinion. We would also love to hear from Rose Queens about the crowns they wore! Unless otherwise credited, photos are by Joann Wilborn/Marlyn Woo and are copyrighted.

Royal Court hopefuls line up for an opportunity to be a princess in the 2018 Rose Parade

2017 Princesses Natalie Rose Petrosian, Lauren “Emi” Emiko Powers, and Maya Kawaguchi Khan performed one of the final Royal Court duties of orienting the hundreds of girls who were trying out for 2018.

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

For many teenage girls living in the Pasadena area, trying out for the Tournament of Roses Royal Court is a family or school tradition. They come with their friends and each has a story about why she wants to represent the Tournament and the community in the 129th Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2018 and throughout the year. Seven young women will be chosen to promote the 2018 theme “Making a Difference” by serving for a year on the 2018 Royal Court. One of those seven will become the 100th Rose Queen, an event so monumental that Pasadena Museum of History has an exhibit dedicated to the Royal Court.

We spoke with some of the teens who came on a beautiful Saturday morning with a cool high for the day of 90 degrees—much nicer than the 100+ temperatures of past tryouts. We caught them before their turn in front of the panel of judges to say, in a few seconds, why they wanted to be on the Court. They had a bit more time with The Rose Examiner! Here, with their photos, are their comments. Be sure to check out the gallery, too, which has lots of photos of the event. All the articles on the Royal Court are linked on this dedicated page as they are posted.

Olivia and Reagan

 

Olivia and Reagan attend La Cañada Flintridge High School. Olivia is a recipient of the Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts. She “loves volunteering,” and said serving on the Royal Court “would be the perfect icing on the cake.” She added that it would be a great experience to have. Reagan said she was very excited about the tryouts. “I’m a little nervous, actually,” she admitted. She thought about what she would say to the judges, “but I don’t want to sound too scripted.”

 

Savannah, Celine, Kasen, Jennifer, Delia, Bridgitte

Savannah and Celine attend AGBU Vatche & Tamar Manoukian High School in Pasadena (hereafter referred to as AGBU) and Kasen, Jennifer, Delia, and Bridgitte attend Arcadia High School. All of the girls understood the effect they could in the community. Savannah wants to promote equality for all, and Kasen, Jennifer, and Bridgette would like to inspire other youth. “I want to set a good example for them to live out their dreams,” Jennifer said. Delia would like to be a role model by “projecting self-confidence to young girls.” Celine took a different tack: She lives in the moment, she said, and relishes the experience of trying out for the Royal Court.

 

Kristen and Danielle

Kristen and Danielle are students at Marshall Fundamental High School in Pasadena. They talked about how they might make a difference on the Royal Court. “I’m part of the National Charity League,” Kristen said, “so I contribute a lot of time. With this, I can help even more.” Danielle said she has made a difference in her work with teaching swim classes and water safety to children.

 

Lara and Danielle

Lara, a student at AGBU, said, “I feel like being an Armenian on the Court would bring awareness to the Armenian community.” She noted that there is a large Armenian population in Pasadena, and we discussed that it goes back to the early years of the 20th century. She was proud that the American Armenian Rose Float Association would have a fourth float in the 2018 parade. Danielle attends Arcadia High School. “I really would enjoy this opportunity to inspire young girls,” she said, and to “really make a difference” in the community.

 

Ashley, James, Samantha

 

We always like to talk to at least one boy in the line. Ashley, James, and Samantha all attend La Salle High School in Pasadena. Sometimes the guys come just to get the pair of tickets to the Royal Ball that all applicants receive, but James assured us that he had more on his mind. Speaking with a polite tone, he said, “I’m here to make a difference. I’m here because this is a Tournament that seems to be sexist.” He isn’t the first young man to express that thought! Ashley (L.) said that the diversity and service she found speaks to her  heart. Samantha wants to represent student athletes. “I want bring something new,” she said. “I want to represent those who excel in their sports.”

 

Simone and Cathy

 

Simone, from Marshall, came with her mom Cathy. Born and raised in this city, Simone said. “I’m here today because I love Pasadena,” adding that she will “bring a positive energy to the Royal Court. I hope to get to the next round. I’m happy to be  here!”

 

Mariajosé and Kimberley

Mariajosé attends John Muir High School in Pasadena and Kimberley goes to Marshall. Mariajosé said, “I just want to try out. Everyone’s been talking about it in school.” She inspired The Rose Examiner with her candor when she added, “This is the first time doing something out of my comfort zone.” As we walk down the line, we can only speak with a few girls. Kimberley, with her rose-bedecked dress, stood out. “I wanted to show who I am,” she said. My culture shows who I am, and this dress shows my culture, because of the flowers.”

 

Filling out an application, standing in a long line in the sun, crowding onto the Tournament House porch for orientation, walking—usually nervously—up to a panel of 10 or 11 judges, and leaving Tournament House with a poster after a tour is a rite of passage for hundreds of girls who live within the boundaries of Pasadena City College. Some come to be with friends or for the experience, some come with grander ideas in mind. Some, like Lara and Kimberley, are proud of their culture and how it contributes to who they are as individuals. Some, like James, want to make a point. For some, like Mariajosé, it is a personal challenge. For writers like  The Rose Examiner, it is inspirational.

 

All photos copyright 2017 Laura B. Monteros

 

WASP float honoring female WWII pilots wins National Trophy in 2014 Rose Parade

“Our Eyes Are on the Stars” was built by Fiesta Parade Floats for the 2014 parade to commemorate WASP service in WWII. It won the National Trophy. Eight WASP and 14 Air Force pilots accompanied the float.
“Our Eyes Are on the Stars” was built by Fiesta Parade Floats for the 2014 parade to commemorate WASP service in WWII. It won the National Trophy. Eight WASP and 14 Air Force pilots accompanied the float.

by Laura Berthold Monteros

NOTE: This is a reposting of an article that appeared on Examiner.com on Jan. 9, 2014. It is being reposted in honor of the women who rode the float, all of whom have now taken their final flights.

When the Wingtip to Wingtip float passed the stands, Rose Parade viewers spontaneously stood to honor the women who undergirded the Allied air supremacy in World War II.  “Our Eyes Are on the Stars” was built by Fiesta Parade Floats for the 2014 parade to commemorate the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) units that were disbanded 70 years ago.  It won the National Trophy for Best Depiction of Life in the USA, Past, Present or Future.

Out of several thousand applicants, 1,102 were chosen to fly military aircraft all over the United States.  They ferried planes from builder to base, tested aircraft for the boys to fly in battle, and flew tow targets to train gunners.  The WASP flew 77 different types of American military planes, including AT-6, P-52 and B-29, more than 60 million miles. Thirty-eight gave their lives.

We were fortunate to interview three former WASP Continue reading “WASP float honoring female WWII pilots wins National Trophy in 2014 Rose Parade”

Happy 5th Anniversary, Curiosity! ‘We changed the world, everybody!’

Live from the Pasadena Convention Center, August 5, 2012: Members of the Mars Science Laboratory team at the Jet Propulsion Lab with Curiosity’s first two photos

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

This article first appeared in Altadenablog five years ago, on the day of the Mars Science Laboratory landing.

Seven minutes of terror: seven minutes between the time the Mars Science Lab capsule entered the Mars atmosphere and the MSL team at JPL learned whether the rover Curiosity had safely landed.

Fourteen minutes of jubilation: 14 minutes of nonstop cheering in the Pasadena Convention Center, as the Planetfest crowd heard the news that Curiosity had set all six wheels on the surface of the Red Planet at 10:31 p.m. PDT on Monday.  Punctuated by photos flashing onto the screens and urged on by Bill Nye and Bruce Betts of The Planetary Society, 2,000 people in the ballroom and another 1,000 at the Pasadena Civic Center chanted “JPL! JPL!”

 

Watch the video live from Planetfest

 

The folks at JPL, that real-life sci-fi community nestled at the top of the Arroyo Seco, had done it again, and we were there to catch it live.  Well, not quite live, since the signal took 14 minutes to get to earth, but live for us, and as exciting as all get out.  Scientists and engineers embraced each other, folks at the Convention Center high-fived strangers, and the orbiter Odyssey outdid itself by relaying not the “maybe one” photo that was promised, but four splendid, spectacular shots.

Preparing for news of the descent, the excited Nye, CEO of The Planetary Society said, “My friends, this is Continue reading “Happy 5th Anniversary, Curiosity! ‘We changed the world, everybody!’”

Tournament of Roses Foundation presents $200,000 in grants to SGV non-profits

Forty-five organizations received checks from the Tournament of Roses Foundation on May 31.

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

On Wednesday, the Tournament of Roses Foundation presented 45 non-profit organizations out of 81 applicants with grants totaling $200,000. Thirteen of the recipients were awarded grants for the first time. The Foundation is a tax-exempt non-profit public benefit corporation which has given more than $3 million to organizations in the San Gabriel Valley that work with children and adults in the areas of sports and recreation, visual and performing arts, and volunteer motivation and leadership development.

Tournament of Roses President Lance Tibbet said, “The Foundation’s goal is to give as much as we can.” Noting that the 2018 Rose Parade theme “Making A Difference,” he said, “You may be the only opportunity [someone] gets. You may be the only difference in their lives.” Continue reading “Tournament of Roses Foundation presents $200,000 in grants to SGV non-profits”

Self-builders share picnic goodies and 2018 float renderings

At the annual Self-Built Floats picnic on May 6, 2017, folks huddled under canopies to nosh on burgers and potluck.

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Self-Built float associations may compete for trophies in the Tournament of Roses Parade, but there is a lot of camaraderie and mutual aid among the volunteers and students who build the entries. Of the 40 to 45 flower-covered floats, all but six are built by professional float companies. The six associations take turns hosting an annual potluck get-together to display the renderings and share stories. The Rose Examiner was honored to attend today’s event, in anticipation of the 129th Rose Parade to be held on Jan. 1, 2018.

La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association hosted barbecue at Los Angeles County Fire Camp 2, a training facility tucked between the Jet Propulsion Lab and Hahamongna Watershed Park. Tables were filled with potluck sides and desserts while LCFTRA volunteers grilled burgers and hot dogs. A fragrant log fire warmed our hands in the steady rain. It was the end of a typical spring week in Southern California, which saw sunny 90-degree-plus days in the first half of the week drop to 60 degrees for the weekend.

The six self-builders are Burbank Tournament of Roses Association, Cal Poly Universities, Downey Rose Float Association, La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association, Sierra Madre Rose Float Association, and South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association. DRFA and SPTORA were unable to make picnic, but we have photos of the rest.

Live on Green celebrated USAF and the Rose Parade

United States Air Force airmen do rifle drills at Live on Green at the Pasadena Convention Center.
United States Air Force airmen do rifle drills at Live on Green at the Pasadena Convention Center.

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Sorting through Rose Parade photos, we came across these snapshots from Live on Green, so we put together an album to share some of the sights. Live on Green was held on the three days preceding the 2017 Tournament of Roses Parade. It’s a place for folks to drop in while they are waiting for the big day, whether they are from the community or in town for the Rose Parade.

The event focused on the United States Air Force in celebration of its 70th anniversary. One of the halls in the Pasadena Convention Center was filled with Air Force displays and interactive exhibits for science and engineering.  Another had beach volleyball and other sports, chalk drawing, and the Dole Whip booth. Music, entertainment, and celebrity chefs sharing their recipes were throughout the campus.

Representing the non-profits that enrich the community were Food Share, which collects food for its Ventura County food bank; Pasadena Humane Society, with the mobile adoption unit; Union Station Homeless Services, San Gabriel Valley’s largest social services agency; and ONE Archives Foundation from USC.

Mannequin members of the USC Trojan Marching Band and Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band guard the newly-minted Sweepstakes Trophy, given to the most beautiful entry in parade with outstanding floral presentation and design.

ONE has the largest collection of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) materials in the world. It was named after a magazine founded in 1952 specifically for the homosexual community. The archive has a collection of travel guides that lasted safe places for LGBTQ tourists to visit and stay. There are three million pieces in the collection, which make it a valuable resource for researchers. Some 720 used the collections in 2016, and 120 educational history panels are available to schools, non-profits, and community events.

Read the captions to the photos for more about what we saw!

Photo right: Mannequin members of the USC Trojan Marching Band and Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band guard the newly-minted Sweepstakes Trophy, given to the most beautiful entry in parade with outstanding floral presentation and design.

Related: Dole Packaged Foods presented with Sweepstakes cup

 

 

California Grown celebrates the Golden State in the Rose Parade

by Laura Berthold Monteros

It was 2011 when we first wrote about the California Grown credential awarded by the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC). The California Clock Company contacted us about their 2012 Rose Parade float celebrating their 80th anniversary and their most famous product, the ubiquitous Kit-Cat clock. They insisted on floral materials that were grown in California, and along with Cal Poly Universities, achieved California Grown status. In order to be certified, 85 percent of the floral materials on an entry must be grown in the Golden State.

By 2017, three floats and the Tournament of Roses vehicles carrying Rose Parade honorees, received certification, despite the years-long drought that plagued California agriculture until early 2017. The floats were Miracle-Gro “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” Cal Poly Universities “A New Leaf,” and California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) “Legacy of Generations.” We were able to attend the ceremonies at Fiesta Parade Floats for Miracle-Gro and CMAB, but there are photos of all the honorees below, along with links to more extensive articles on the Tournament of Roses entries.

At the ceremony on Jan. 1, 2017 at Fiesta, Karen Ross, Secretary of the California Continue reading “California Grown celebrates the Golden State in the Rose Parade”

Tournament of Roses celebrities and Salvation Army Band in 2017 Rose Parade

A special honor went to retiring Executive Director/CEO Bill Flinn with a ride in a 1936 Packard Phaeton, one of only 10 made in the last year of production. Floral designers chose reds and hot pinks to contrast the silver finish.

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Celebrities are not a big part of the Tournament of Roses Parade. Some float sponsors have celebrity riders, of course, but the Tournament itself generally only has four: Grand Marshal, Rose Bowl Hall of Fame inductees, Pasadena Mayor, and TOR President. The 128th Rose Parade had a whole slew of them, with three Grand Marshals, each in her/his own car, and retiring Executive Director/CEO Bill Flinn followed by his beloved Salvation Army Band added to the usual subjects.

All the cars were decorated by FTD floral designers J. Keith White, AIFD CFD and Peter Samek, AIFD. We wrote up the parade appearances of the Grand Marshals and Pres. Brad Ratliff with his 20 mules with great photos of the people and rides. Check out the photo gallery below for the rest of the 2017 Rose Parade celebrities. Continue reading “Tournament of Roses celebrities and Salvation Army Band in 2017 Rose Parade”