Cake & Conversation with the Royal Court

The 2018 Tournament of Roses Royal Court at Allendale Branch Library: Princesses Lauren Buehner, Alexandra Artura, Queen Isabella Marez, Princesses Julianne Lauenstein, Sydney Pickering, Savannah Bradley.

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Queen Isabella, 2018 Tournament of Roses Royal Court, listens to questions at Allendale Library.

What is it like to be on the Tournament of Roses Royal Court? Last Wednesday at Allendale Branch Library in Pasadena, people had the opportunity to find out more about how Rose Queen Isabella Marez and the Rose Princesses view their experiences since the Court was named in October, 2017. Cake and Conversation with the Royal Court has become an annual event at Allendale, and both girls and boys (and a sprinkling of men and women) were there to meet the seven young ladies who represent the TOR and City of Pasadena.

Librarian Veronica Fuentes Bernal acted as emcee, opening with a set of questions before turning it over to the audience. The responses of the young women manifested maturity, self-awareness, a deep interest in other people, and an understanding of their place in the community as ambassadors. This insight was reflected in the responses to a young girl in the front row, who asked what it is like to be on the Royal Court.

Princess Alexandra Artura replied, “It’s more of a job than you think it is, but it’s one I really enjoy.” She noted that the Royal Court represents the city, their schools, and their families.

“People don’t realize you’re not a princess yourself,” Princess Lauren Buehner said. “People want to see you for what you represent.”

Queen Isabella noted the sisterhood that the seven young women had formed, the changes they had made in the community, and making a difference in the world.

Later, Princess Julianne Lauenstein said, “The best moment was when we turned the corner from Orange Grove to Colorado and could see all the people lined up. That must indeed be an overwhelming moment; many queens and princesses throughout the years have mentioned it.

Boys and girls came to Allendale Library to hear the young women on the 2018 Royal Court.

Meeting people, from the many retirement homes they visited to talking to hospitalized children, was stated several times. Princess Savannah Bradley said she was inspired by the people she met, and disappointed that she had to stand in the hall at one of the hospitals because she had a cold. (Library assistant Terry Cannon asked about that; it turns out that with their busy schedules and fall maladies, all the girls got sick at one point or another.)

 

They mentioned celebrities like Grand Marshal Gary Sinise and the oldest living Rose Queen, Margaret Huntley Main. Queen Isabella recalled the interesting stories recounted by the residents of Monte Vista Grove Homes, a retirement community for Presbyterian church workers. The most meaningful people, however, were their fellow Court members.

One thing that all Royal Courts say is that the members have become sisters. Whether or not this is true in all cases, it is certainly true in some. “Every Court is different,” Isabella said, mentioning one that recently had a 20-year reunion. “Every experience is unique.”

Alexandra noted that members of the Court frequently get pulled out of school and away from their friends, so developing friendships on the Court is important. “I’m glad I’ve gotten to build such friendships,” she said. Savannah added that at school, you pick friends for what you have in common. On the Court, the girls are “thrown together” and find their connections. “It’s a sisterhood that will last for years.”

The young women first met each other during the four rounds of interviews prior to the Royal Court announcement. Though Lauren and Princess Sydney Pickering both attend Arcadia High School, with a student body of 3,500, the two girls had not spoken to each other prior to tryouts. Isabella mentioned that she and Julianne were numbers 469 and 470 (the participants are only known by number through the first rounds).

“She was the first girl I met,” Isabella said, but they only exchanged their high schools. “We were pretty nervous,” Julianne said. By the end, said Sydney, she and Princess Georgia Cervenka, who was in a basketball game for La Cañada High School that afternoon, were next to each other as numbers 682 and 672. “Others between us were gone. Even if we weren’t on Court, I think we’d still be friends.”

 

One of the more interesting questions the audience put to the Royal Court was “Is there a vice in yourself you would like to change?” The young women thought for a beat, and Lauren responded, “I am a bad driver. I’d like to improve.” Pretty normal for a teenager! Isabella’s answer was self-reflective. “I’d like to get closer to my spiritual self,” she said. “I grew up a Catholic.”

Overall, it was surprising to hear that for several of them, self-confidence and time management were issues, given that one thing the Queen and Court judges look for is self-confidence, and one skill they need, with school, extracurriculars, college applications, and scores of appearances, is the ability to manage a busy schedule.

The outlook and future plans of the individuals are strikingly similar. They all enjoyed the many people they met along the way, especially their new “sisters” on the Court. Most are looking for careers that serve people after college. Savannah wants to work with the disadvantaged, Julianne and Alexandra are looking towards physical therapy, Isabella wants to work in other countries as a physician’s assistant, and Lauren aspires to become a human rights attorney. Sydney hopes to study international relations and Georgia wants to go into engineering.

For more articles on the 2018 Royal Court, visit our special 2018 Royal Court page.

Keeping the Court on schedule

Bob French, the Queen and Court Committee scheduler, filled us in on the logistics of ferrying seven young ladies to 120-plus events. He keeps two calendars, one online and one in Excel, for events from the first in October to the last in March or April. Copies go to the Court, the committee, and the girls’ schools. In addition, the Queen has a few solo appearances at festivals in San Antonio, Macon, and Minneapolis.

“We don’t want them out of school every day,” he said.

The Q&C has to make sure the Royal Court gets where it’s going on time and properly dressed. Their mix-and-match wardrobes, chosen by the wives of the president and committee chair and the women on the committee, are provided by Macy’s. There are about 20 different combinations, and the girls are instructed which combination to wear to which events. They get to keep all their clothes when their term is done.

Queen Isabella

Over cake, Queen Isabella and The Rose Examiner had a short conversation. She has taken to heart the advice of Margaret Huntley Main: “Enjoy the moment. Be a sponge.”

“The Queen is like a team captain,” Isabella said. She leads the court and does more interviews and public speaking, but “otherwise we are all equal.” Like the other girls, she expressed that she had to mature a lot, and learn to present herself while still being herself. “I’ve gotten polished,” she said.

Isabella tried out for the Court because she, like Princess Savannah, was a student ambassador for the Tournament of Roses. She was also drawn to the theme “Making a Difference.” She said she approached each round with an open mind, and said when her name was called to be Queen, “I didn’t have a thought. I was so present and in the moment…. My mom says, ‘be in the moment.’

“On stage, I had nothing in my mind. [The president] called my name and everything went blank. Downstairs, I saw my parents and I just bawled.

“It was a magical night.”

When we interviewed Isabella at the announcement of the Royal Court, she mentioned being used to a softball uniform, so we asked if the fitted gown was uncomfortable. It is “very spacious,” she replied, adding that she wore sweats under it at the parade. “I wear a uniform for softball….  The dress is another uniform for my life.”

Isabella hopes to keep up with softball when she goes to college. She has applied to Drexel, Manhattan College, Sarah Lawrence, and  U Penn. Her ultimate goal? “I want to become president of the Tournament of Roses,” she said, “after I travel the world.”

Singpoli American BD ‘Rising Above’ wins Sweepstakes award at 2018 Rose Parade

by Laura Berthold Monteros

With a story of transformation, the 2018 Singpoli American BD float “Rising Above” won the Sweepstakes award at the 129th Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 1, 2018. The float was designed by Charles Meier and built by Paradiso Parade Floats. It is Meier’s and Singpoli’s second Sweepstakes award, which is given for the “most beautiful entry, encompassing float design, floral presentation, and entertainment.”

The float illustrated the Legend of Fish Leaping Over the Dragon Gate, which tells of fish who swim upstream to the gate at the source of the Yellow River. The fish who leap over the gate are Continue reading “Singpoli American BD ‘Rising Above’ wins Sweepstakes award at 2018 Rose Parade”

Grand Marshal Gary Sinise tries out his Rose Parade ride

The Grand Marshal sees his chariot for the first time. L-R: Moira Harris, designer J. Keith White, Gary Sinise, Kathy Perini from the Tournament Entries Committee

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

The Rose Examiner got a tip a couple days ago that 2018 Rose Parade Grand Marshal Gary Sinise would be at Rosemont Pavilion on Dec. 31 to try out the fit of the 1919 Dodge Brothers car that will take him along the parade route on Jan. 1. We weren’t disappointed and neither was Sinise. He and his wife Moira Harris seemed very pleased with the gorgeous floral decoration by J. Keith White, AIFD CFD and the classic beauty of the 1919 Dodge Brothers car.

The vehicle was driven by Jimmy Stewart in the 1947 movie It’s a Wonderful Life as the George Bailey family car. It is now owned by Keith and Marilyn Smith of Johnstown, Colo. It’s fitting that it will carry Sinise, a tireless advocate for veterans, through the Rose Parade, both because Continue reading “Grand Marshal Gary Sinise tries out his Rose Parade ride”

Conversations in the Rose Parade float barns

by Laura Berthold Monteros

We dropped into a couple float barns this week to get a look at the floats in their final stages. First was the new spacious and bright headquarters of Phoenix Decorating Company in Irwindale. Man-of-many-hats Chuck Hayes introduced us to assistant volunteer coordinator Jay DeCastro, who has worked for float companies since 1986, and Maryann Griffin who told us she “absolutely loves” being around people and ensuring they are welcome.

The next day, we went to Rosemont Pavilion in Pasadena, which has been used by many float builders over the years. This year, Paradiso Parade Floats and Cal Poly Universities drove their entries from the far east San Gabriel Valley to finish up the floral on their floats. The cars that will carry the dignitaries are being decorated there, too; more on that to come.

In the Phoenix Decorating Company barn

Laura Farber

Laura Farber, who will have her turn as president of the Tournament of Roses in 2020 greeted us by the Theme Banner float. Asked if she was preparing for the 131st Rose Parade, she said, “Yeah. That’s what we do!” She has her theme (big secret) and has a list of potential Grand Marshals (bigger secret). “We have an eight-year build-up,” she said, referring to the Tournament’s executive committee ladder, from vice president to secretary, treasurer, executive vice president, and finally president.

“The last four years go by super quickly,” she said, adding that she’s getting ready early because she is an “excessive planner.” She said it will be fun to do the job from a different perspective as the third woman president and first Latina.

“We’re trying to expand outreach to the global community…. We’re talking to people Continue reading “Conversations in the Rose Parade float barns”

Royal Court opens Pasadena CVB Visitor Hotline

2018 Royal Court: Princesses Georgia Cervenka, Sydney  Pickering, Julianne Laurenstein. Queen Isabella Marez, Princesses Alexandra Artura, Savannah Bradley, Lauren Buehner.

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

In the second of nine events scheduled for Dec. 29, the Tournament of Roses Royal Court opened the phones for the Visitor Hotline. Rose Queen Isabella Marie Marez, the 100th young woman to hold that title, cut the ribbon as the six Royal Princesses, Alexandra Marie Artura, Savannah Rose Bradley, Lauren Elizabeth Buehner, Georgia Jane Cervenka, Julianne Elise Laurenstein and Sydney Grace Pickering, looked on.

The Pasadena Convention and Visitors Bureau operates the service for the last few days of December every year. Information on all Tournament events is at the fingertips of the helpful volunteers. The hotline runs through Jan. 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

We asked Queen Isabella how callers reacted when she identified Continue reading “Royal Court opens Pasadena CVB Visitor Hotline”

2017 Rose Parade Opening & Closing Shows

Final words of the 128th Rose Parade from the Tournament of Roses and Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps.

American Honda presents spectacular opening show at the Tournament of Roses Parade, including a band and drill teams, the Theme Banner float, and the company’s own float. The crowd responds with loud cheers. First, though, is the contingent of Pasadena Police Department motorcycle cops, who do some fancy riding to get the folks warmed up, and the sound and pace cars. The show was especially rousing for the 128th Rose Parade, and is really best seen from the overhead cameras of KTLA. A post-parade video of the float is on YouTube.

As the parade finishes up, Wells Fargo takes the reins with a stagecoach and a patriotic performance that honors military veterans. In 2017, the entry focused on the American Red Cross’ assistance to veterans and their families. Coming at the official end of the parade is a mounted law enforcement group.

And then comes the “Second Parade,” a mass of folks organizing in what seems a spontaneous demonstration, but which is usually well-rehearsed so parade-goers will be entertained while the point is made.

 

For more articles on the Tournament of Roses, check out our 2017 Rose Parade main page.

All photos are copyright Ramona Monteros or Laura B. Monteros

Opening Show presented by American Honda

Closing Show presented by Wells Fargo

2018 Royal Court graces PMH open house event: Photo gallery

2018 Rose Princesses Julianne Lauenstein, Lauren Buehner, Georgia Cervenka, Alexandra Artura, Sydney Pickering, and Savannah Bradley at the Pasadena Museum of History Royal Court exhibit.

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Cowboy hat worn by 2011 Rose Queen Drew Washington at Equestfest.

The Tournament of Roses Royal Court visited the Pasadena Museum of History last week to get a glimpse into what women on past Courts wore and collected during their reigns. The “town and gown” displays encompassed formal gowns and Mod hats, a cashmere sweater, sweatshirts, and houndstooth jacket, all manner of accessories, and photos, posters, and other memorabilia. It was a 100-year trip into the world of the women who served as ambassadors for Pasadena and the Tournament.

“The Royals of Pasadena” exhibit, which is open through Feb. 11, 2018, has a dozen display cases and scores of photos of past courts and events on the walls. The items were either donated to the museum or on loan from the Rose Queens and Princesses. Photos of all the gowns and wardrobes are in the gallery below. Be sure to check the 2018 Royal Court page for more articles, and “Crowning the Rose Parade Queens: Photo gallery” for the crowns worn by the Rose Queens.

After the Royal Court had toured the exhibit, we asked Continue reading “2018 Royal Court graces PMH open house event: Photo gallery”

2017 Rose Parade Equestrian Galleries

Where there are equestrians, there are pooper scoopers. There are dedicated Tournament of Roses volunteers all along the Rose Parade route who clean up after the horses, so the bands and outwalkers don’t have to tread in the muck.

 

 

 

I have wanted to share all the wonderful photos taken of the Rose Parade equestrians by my daughter and photographer, but it’s been such a busy year that I haven’t been able to write them up with all the details of breed and tack. I’m taking a shortcut and posting photo albums of the equestrian units that have not already been covered separately. Enjoy clicking through the galleries! For articles on other units, check out the our 2017 Rose Parade main page.

 

All photos are copyright Ramona Monteros

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Out West

Wells Fargo Stagecoaches, Back Country Horsemen of California, Norco Cowgirls and Little Miss Norco Cowgirls, Valley Hunt Club, Los Hermanos Bañuelos, Union Rescue Mission, Budweiser Clydesdales, Sprit of the West Riders

 

 

Serving Others

Scripps Miramar Saddlebreds, Victorian Ladies Riding Society, Mane Attraction Equestrian Drill Team, 1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment, Seven Oaks Farm Miniature Therapy Horses, California Highway Patrol, Santa Barbara County Sheriff, Philippine Scouts Heritage Society, New Buffalo Soldiers

 

Whether current or historic, several of these equestrian units honor those in uniform. Others ride for charity. The Mane Attraction has donated more than $3,000 to charities, primarily NDR Therapeutic Riding facility that teaches children and adults with disabilities. Seven Oaks Farm has several programs that benefit seniors in assisted living and Alzheimer’s facilities, foster communication between police and community members, greet travelers at the airport, interact with children in reading and anti-bullying programs, and visit Ronald McDonald House in Cincinnati.

 

2017 Rose Parade Marching Band Galleries

Ooltewah High School Marching Band dressed as toy soldiers and carried balloons, kites, crayons, and gliders.

 

 

 

I have wanted to share all the wonderful photos taken of the Rose Parade by my daughter and photographer, but it’s been such a busy year that I haven’t been able to write them up with all the details of uniforms and identifications. I’m taking a shortcut and posting photo albums of the marching bands that have not already been covered separately. Enjoy clicking through the galleries!

 

These photo galleries contain images of marching units which have not been posted before. For articles on other bands, check out the our 2017 Rose Parade main page.

 

All photos are copyright Ramona Monteros

 

 

Stripes & Honors

Marine Corps Mounted Color Guard & Composite Band; Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Industrial No. 3, Xalapa,Veracruz, Mexico; Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band; Gifu Shogyo Green Band, Gifu, Japan; LAUSD All District Honor Band; Bands of America Honor Band; US  Air Force “Total Force” Band

High School Pride

Martin Luther King Jr. HS, Lithonia, Ga.; Westlake HS, Austin, Texas; Lawrence Township, Indianapolis, Ind,; Niceville HS, Niceville, Fla.; Broken Arrow HS, Broken Arrow, Okla.; Arcadia HS, Arcadia, Calif.; Foothill HS, Henderson, Nev.; Ooltewah HS, Ooltewah, Tenn.; Pulaski HS, Pulaski Wis.; Grove City HS, Grove City, Ohio

2017 Rose Parade Float Galleries

“Be Your Own Knight,” the City of Torrance 2017 Rose Parade entry, won the Tournament Volunteers Trophy.

I have wanted to share all the wonderful photos taken of the Rose Parade by my daughter and photographer, but it’s been such a busy year that I haven’t been able to write them up with all the flowers and folks on the floats. I’m taking a shortcut and posting photo albums of the floats, bands, and equestrians that have not already been covered separately. Enjoy clicking through the galleries as they are added!

These photo galleries contain images of floats which have not been posted before. For articles on other floats, check out our 2017 Rose Parade main page. For a description of the trophies, read “What are the Rose Parade trophies and who gets them.”

Captions indicate Trophy: Float Name, Sponsor; Builder, Designer. All photos are copyright Ramona Monteros or Laura B. Monteros

Trophy Winners

Going Places

BDK, A Singpoli Affiliate; Trader Joe’s, The Bachelor, Ragú, China Airlines, Farmer’s, Western Asset

Powerful Medicine

AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Donate Life, 24 Hour Fitness, Union Bank and the American Heart Association Western States Affiliate, Northwestern Mutual (promoting children’s cancer research)

Community Projects

Downey Rose Float Assn., The UPS Store (promoting Toys for Tots), Rotary, American Armenian Rose Float Assn., La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses, Sierra Madre Rose Float Assn. (video here), Torrance

Community Pride

Dedicated Folks

Burbank Tournament of Roses Assn., City of Hope, Occupational Therapy Association of California, National Hockey League, Kaiser Permanente, City of Alhambra, South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Assn.

Serving Others

Kiwanis International, Odd Fellows and Rebekahs, United Sikh Mission, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Lions Club International, Lutheran Laymen’s League

Just a few words about the Lutheran Laymen’s League float: The entry celebrates both the  quincentenary of the Protestant Reformation and the centenary of the LLL. Celebrations have occurred and are continuing all over the world. For Lutherans and Reformed churches, the Three Solas inscribed on the bells—scripture alone, faith alone, grace alone—are foundational doctrines.