The horse was integral to the American West, whether by the Spanish colonists, the indigenous people of the plains, or in the expansion of the United States. Equestrian units in the 129th Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 1, 2018, reflected this history with authentic garb and tack. The gallery below has photos of the historical equestrian groups that rode along Colorado Blvd. Also be sure to take a look at “Healing, helping, and glamour in 2018 Rose Parade equestrian units.” Marine Corps photos are here and Los Angeles Police Department are here.
Riders decked out in glitzy costumes on horses with silver-studded tack are a standing order in the Tournament of Roses Parade. The 129th Rose Parade, held on Jan. 1, 2018, added therapy horses and law enforcement units in uniform to the mix. The gallery below has photos of khaki-and-olive drab mounted officers, angelic miniature horses, and shiny rhinestone cowboys and cowgirls. For authenic costuming, check out “The American West on horseback in the 2018 Rose Parade.” Marine Corps photos are here and Los Angeles Police Department are here.
Equestrian units pictured in the gallery
So Cal Mini Horse Sanctuary, Inc. (Hemet, Calif.)
Mini Therapy Horses (Calabasas, Calif.)
The Norco Cowgirls & The Little Miss Norco Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Teams (Norco, Calif.)
Scripps Miramar Ranch (San Diego, Calif.)
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Mounted Enforcement Detail (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Mane Attraction Equestrian Drill Team (Riverside, Calif.)
California Highway Patrol Mounted Patrol Unit (Sacramento, Calif.)
Broken Horn Ropers (Baldwin Park, Calif.)
The Valley Center Vaqueros (Valley Center, Calif.)
The Tournament of Roses announced on Friday the 18 equestrian units that will be in the 130th Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2019. There are the regulars, of course, and a few returning units, with three brand-new units, which is always exciting to see. They are Blue Shadows Mounted Drill Team, Gold Rush Fire Brigade, and Parsons Mounted Cavalry. The units showcase a variety of breeds, riding styles, and unique tack and costumes.
The groups are invited to participate in Equestfest on Dec. 29, 2018 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. During Equestfest, groups perform trick riding, drills, dancing and roping skills, and attendees can walk through the stables and speak with the riders. Tickets are available through Sharp Seating Company.
Equestrian groups selected for the 2019 Rose Parade
The 375-member Los Angeles Unified School District All District High School Honor Band made its 46th appearance in the 129th Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 1, 2018.
by Laura Berthold Monteros
I will state my bias right up front. I am and always will be an Angeleno. I’ve lived in the Pasadena area for the past few decades, but my hometown is one of the many communities in the megalopolis that is LA. Thus, there is a bit of pride in seeing the longest-standing city entry—it goes back 120 years—rolling down the Tournament of Roses Parade route. The 2018 float was part of a cluster of entries representing Los Angeles. The theme of the 129th Tournament of Roses Parade was “Making a Difference.”
Salvation Army Tournament of Roses Band, based in Long Beach, represents the Greater Los Angeles area. The Salvation Army Church serves in 128 countries. The band invites guest Salvation Army bands from around the world to join them at the Rose Parade; this year, it was a band from Angola, dressed in traditional regalia. This marked the SA band’s 99th consecutive year in the Rose Parade. Kevin Larsson directs the LA band.
Los Angeles Police Department Metropolitan Division Mounted Platoon is committed to children in the Los Angeles area. Members volunteer time with kids in Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and with those who have lost parents in the line of duty. Some of these youngsters walked behind. The unit was joined by an LAPD Honor Guard and the LA Police Emerald Society Bagpipe & Drum Band. This was Chief Charlie Beck’s final Rose Parade appearance. He retired from the LAPD in June, 2018.
The Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board sponsors float for the City of Los Angeles. “Everyone Is Welcome,” designed by Mike Abboud for Fiesta Parade Floats, expresses the city’s love for and nurturing of one of the most diverse populations in the world. LA welcomes people of every race, culture, and gender identity, who fill the air with hundreds of different languages and the scents of scores of different cuisines in neighborhoods throughout the city. At least 224 different languages are spoken by people from 140 countries.
Architecture ranges from the quirky lighted pylons at Los Angeles International Airport to the grandeur of the iconic Griffith Park Observatory, which the director calls “LA’s hood ornament” for its perch on Mt. Hollywood. Behind on the float is the Hollywood sign on Mt. Lee, with waving searchlights beckoning people to the city. Annually, LA hosts 47 million people. For flowering and riders, read the captions on the photos.
Los Angeles Unified School District All District High School Honor Band, directed by Tony White, represents the second largest school district in the county. The band was marking its 46th consecutive year in the Rose Parade. LAUSD educates children in neighboring cities, as well as in the City of LA, and the 375 members are drawn from all over the district. The unit reflects the great diversity of the area, both ethnically and economically. The students put in some 400 extra practice hours to be ready for the parade.
The band has five drum majors, 271 brass, 60 percussion, 14 banner carriers, and 30 color guard. Woodwind players in the district can try out for the Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band. Assistant Directors and Unit Leaders are Art Duardo, Darnella Davidson, Veronica Gonzalez, Ariel Legaspi, Victoria Lopez, Ramon Mendez, Erick Quintanilla, and Marc Manriquez. Assistants and volunteers are Bladimir Castro, Scott Martin, Danny Barcenas, David Profeta, Kevin Cisneros, Kyle Kawahara, Luis Sanchez, Allan Valladares, Davier Arroyo, Grover Castro. Dose Gamboa, Doselyn Gonzalez, Christian Melgoza, Dose Nava, Amir Parvinian, Miguel Velasquez, and Ernie Sandoval.
All photos are copyrighted. Contact administrator for permissions.
The four entries leading off the 2018 Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 1 formed a group tribute to veterans of United States military service: USMC Mounted Color Guard, USMC West Coast Composite Band, Grand Marshal Gary Sinise, and the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs float. The float, “Sacrifice to Serve,” was co-sponsored by the Military Order of the Purple Heart of the U.S.A., Inc. to honor recipients of the Purple Heart, which is awarded to service members who were injured in battle.
The color guard is a fixture at the front of the Rose Parade. Headquartered at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Barstow, Calif., it is the last remaining US Marine Corps Mounted Color Guard. The Marines ride rescued wild mustangs, adopted through the Bureau of Land Management’s Adopt a Horse program. GySgt Carlton Esswein is the Staff NCO in charge of the unit; MCLB Barstow commanding officer is Col. Sekou Karega and the base sergeant major is SgtMaj Sergio MartinezRuiz.
Small but mighty, the USMC West Coast Composite Band plays the Marine’s Hymn and other march favorites. For 2018, the band was comprised of Marine Band San Diego, First Marine Division Band, and 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Band led by drum major GySgt Hugh Wurts. CWO3 Christian Flores, Band Officer and MGySgt Brian Paradis, Bandmaster, direct the band. All band members are fully combat trained, and many have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Grand Marshal Gary Sinise has worked with veterans’ organizations for decades and established the Gary Sinise Foundation to better serve them. His work fits well with the parade theme “Making a Difference.” Sinise was thrilled to be chosen as the Rose Parade Grand Marshal, because he grew up watching the parade and realizes the honor and reach of this annual tradition.
The 1919 Dodge Brothers automobile that carried him and his wife, Moira Harris, was the car driven by Jimmy Stewart (himself a WWII veteran) in It’s a Wonderful Life and is used by owners Keith and Marilyn Smith to raise money for veteran groups. The movie was the holiday entertainment of choice for the family of Tournament of Roses Pres. Lance Tibbet, so the car is special to him, as well.
The Rose Examiner has posted several articles about Gary Sinise and the car:
“Sacrifice to Serve,” the 69th Rose Parade entry for Odd Fellows and Rebekahs Rose Float, Inc., won the Director Award for most outstanding artistic design and floral presentation. It was designed by Michelle Lofthouse and built by Phoenix Decorating Company. The float used 158,320 roses and other flowers, as well as a large variety of dry materials. Pampas and buffalo grasses, palm bark and palm bark fiber, and hand-cut corn husk feathers covered the imposing eagle. The purple heart at the front was created with dark blue iris, yellow and white mums, gold clover and flax seed, and fine-cut yellow strawflower. Floragraphs used onion powder, poppy seed, rice, ground split pea, strawflower, statice, walnut shell, and coffee.
The Rose Parade is a grand and glorious pageant, viewed by an estimated 80 million people around the world. It’s also a small-town parade, with the Queen and Court chosen from local young women and six of the 45 or so floats self-built by local cities and a university. Most of the equestrian units come from the Southwest, but the bands come from all over the world.
There are days of events preceding and following the Rose Parade. Pre-parade float decorating and post-parade Showcase of Floats, Bandfest, and Equestfest add to the excitement of America’s New Year Celebration. While tickets can be purchased on site, it’s easy to buy them in advance from Sharp Seating Company. Tickets can be purchased online, over the phone at (626) 795-4171 and in person at 737 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena (enter in the rear parking lot off Meridith Ave.). Children ages five and under are free at all events except Equestfest VIP seating.
Decorating Places (pre-parade float viewing) presented by Giti Tires, Dec. 28-31, 2018, $15 Deco Week is second only the Rose Parade in the excitement it generates in Pasadena. Floats in the final stages of decoration are on view for visitors to see how thousands of volunteers hustle to get every last seed or flower on the floats in preparation for final judging. The ticket price depends on the day of attendance, and provides entry to all locations. Times vary by day and location; check the website for details.
Bandfest presented by Remo, $15 per performance, Dec. 29, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. and Dec. 30 at 9:30 a.m. & 2 p.m.
In addition to marching six miles in the Rose Parade, the bands put on field shows at Pasadena City College in the days before the parade. There are three shows with different bands performing at each; the schedule will be released later in the year. These shows often sell out before the event, so make sure to order tickets ahead of time. Each show requires separate admission.
Equestfest presented by Wells Fargo, Dec. 29, 2018 at noon (venue opens at 10 a.m.), $15
Horse lovers get the opportunity to see the equestrian units perform in the Los Angeles Equestrian Center arena before they ride in the Rose Parade. Trick riding and reenactments are part of the fun. Merchandise and food are on sale at the venue and the horses can be viewed in the warm-up ring and stables. Parking costs $10 (paid at the venue) and is on an unpaved field or across the street for overflow. Early arrival is recommended to ensure parking inside the venue.
Equestfest Limited VIP Reserved Seating Package, $40
Included in this package are a preferred reserved seat, early VIP entrance, an official souvenir seat cushion, a goody bag with other surprises. For this package, guests of all ages require a paid ticket
Post Parade: A Showcase of Floats sponsored by Miracle-Gro, Jan. 1, 2019 from 1-5 p.m. and Jan. 2, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., $15 See the floats in all their glory, but standing still! Ticket price includes Park-N-Ride shuttles from two locations in Pasadena. Senior citizens and the handicapped can enter as early as 7 a.m. on Jan. 2. White Suiters and builders are on hand to offer details about the floats and flowering, and the animation on the floats is often running. There are food and merchandise vendors onsite and free water from the City of Pasadena. Ticket booths will sell admission tickets at Park-N-Ride locations and at the venue on Sierra Madre Blvd. Sales end at 3 p.m.
Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Dec. 31, 2018, noon to 1:30 p.m., $40
Enjoy a luncheon with the inductees into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Class of 2018. It’s held at the Rose Bowl Stadium in the Lot K Tent
“The Melody of Life” is the theme for the 2019 Tournament of Roses. The central events, the 130th Rose Parade and 105th Rose Bowl Game, are held on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019. Subscribe to “The Rose Examiner” to get news and articles throughout the year.
The 2019 Tournament of Roses in photos and stories
With bands from all over the world marching in the 130th Rose Parade and performing at Bandfest, “America’s New Year Celebration” promises to live up to the theme “The Melody of Life.” The days before and after the parade and 105th Rose Bowl Game are filled with things to do for people of all ages and abilities. Locals and visitors can attend Bandfest, Equestfest, Decorating Places, Showcase of Floats, and Live on Green
The big events, of course, are the parade and game, held on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019. The Rose parade is a two-hour extravaganza of flower-covered floats, cars carrying Tournament of Roses celebrities, marching bands, and equestrian units. The Rose Bowl Game pits top football teams in “The Granddaddy of Them All,” the oldest post-season collegiate bowl game.
Whether you watch online, on television, or live in Pasadena, The Rose Examiner will keep you informed. This page will be updated as new articles are added. Subscribe for free by filling out the box at the top of the left column, and be sure to bookmark this page and return to it frequently! You can also follow “All Things Rose Parade” on Facebook.
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.
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
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
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.