Gary Sinise and Pres. Lance Tibbet at the announcement of the 2018 Rose Parade Grand Marshal. Photo by LB Monteros
by Laura Berthold Monteros
The pictures tell the story—Gary Sinise accepts the honor to serve as the Grand Marshal for the 129th Rose Parade and 104th Rose Bowl Game for Jan. 1, 2017 from Pres. Lance Tibbet. Sinise was chosen for his exceptional humanitarian work with veterans and first responders. He embodies the theme “Making a Difference.” For more about the ceremony, read “Gary Sinise, humanitarian and actor, is Grand Marshal for 2018 Rose Parade.”
Preceding the announcement, the crowd was entertained with numbers from the World War II era played by the Fabus Four and sung by the San Andreas Sisters. The group was every bit as tight as swing era bands and had the style down to a T. Here’s their rendition of “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” We apologize for the quality of the video!
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Media and guests were entertained by the San Andreas Sisters swing singers before the announcement, so guesses about World War II vets or actors in WWII movies, since one of the hints beforehand was about the Academy Awards, were rampant. Tournament of Roses President Lance Tibbet took the stage and dropped the typical hints—“selfless service,” “incredible humanitarian,” “embodiment of the theme,” which is “Making a Difference.”
“The Tournament is about many things,” he said, “…but mostly, it’s about people quietly doing good things.” People who put the “kind” in humankind.
As is the wont of the presidents, Tibbet slowly narrowed the field. This person cofounded a theater company that is a training ground for actors, writers, directors. Charitable and altruistic efforts make this person (no male or female yet) special and unique. He rattled off a list of military-related charities, foundations, and honors, including an Academy Award nomination for a 1994 movie.
And then the name was announced: Gary Sinise. Perhaps his best known acting role was as Lt. Dan Taylor in Forrest Gump, but his work with veterans, military, and first responders is the stuff of legend. Since the Tournament of Roses has posted a press release with all his many activities, we will cut to the remarks he made in accepting this latest honor.
Sinise opened with a story about the time he lived in Pasadena. In front of his house was a speed hump with the word BUMP painted on the street. “Someone painted out the ‘B’ and made it ‘G’, he said. A few days later, a Pasadena Police officer dropped by to warn him that there had been some burglaries, and asked if he had seen anything suspicious. And then the officer handed the actor a script!
“We moved to Malibu after that,” he said.
Sinise loves the Rose Parade, and watched enviously when he lived in wintry Chicago. When he moved to Southern California, he wanted to be part of it. Standing behind the lectern as the new Grand Marshal, he grinned, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.”
“I feel blessed,” he said, after mentioning that he is looking forward to bringing his first grandchild, now only two months old, to the parade. Later, we were able to ask if he enjoyed being a grandad. “Oh, yeah, she’s a beautiful little thing, beautiful!” he proudly replied. We remarked that he is getting her off to a good start, taking her to the parade.
Sinise told another reporter that he was so touched when he got the call inviting him to serve. In his acceptance speech, he said that it will be an opportunity for him to do something positive for veterans and Gold Star families.
“If shining a little spotlight on me can shine a spotlight on them, I am very glad to do it,” he said.
Isabella Marie Marez stepped up to receive her crown as the 100th Rose Queen tonight at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. The Mikimoto pearl crown was placed on her head by Lance Tibbet, president of the Tournament of Roses. Queen Isabella will lead a Royal Court of six princesses as they make appearances and perform community service in the next several weeks, capped by a ride in the Rose Parade on the Queen and Court float on Jan. 1, 2018. As the 100th Rose Queen, Isabella will hold a special place in the history of the Rose Parade.
The Rose Queen attends La Salle High School and lives in Altadena. She exemplifies the 2018 Tournament of Roses theme “Making a Difference” by her charitable work with her school, at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and in the many service clubs in which she participates. She is a Youth Ministry Leader and a leadership service commissioner at La Salle.
We had a short conversation with Queen Isabella after the ceremony, and will be posting that and a gallery of the coronation event with more news about the goings-on tomorrow. Meanwhile, check out the articles on our 2018 Royal Court page.
Lance Tibbet, president of the 129th Tournament of Roses, presented the just-issued Sweepstakes cup to Dole Packaged foods for its 2017 float, “Spirit of Hawaii.” L-R, Dole Packaged Foods Pres. Brad Bartlett, VP Marketing David Spare, Fiesta Parade Floats Pres. Tim Estes, and Tibbet. All photos copyright LB Monteros
by Laura Berthold Monteros
With an unprecedented run of garnering the prestigious Tournament of Roses Sweepstakes award for six of the last seven years, Dole Packaged Foods had another first on Tuesday when the company was presented with the new silver Sweepstakes cup. The award was for the 2017 Rose Parade entry “Spirit of Hawaii,” a gorgeous tribute to the Dole relationship with that state. Lance Tibbet, president of the 129th Tournament of Roses that will be held on Jan. 1, 2018, made the presentation at DPF headquarters in Westlake Village.
Vice President of Marketing David Spare used the occasion to announce that Dole will sponsor an eighth entry in the 2018 parade, which has the theme “Making a Difference.” He said, “The theme is terrific and timely, and fits with the things Dole is doing [to help people] along the way.” The goal is always to create the most beautiful float possible, he said, praising the contribution
s of Tim Estes, president and Jim Hynd, VP and floral director of Fiesta Parade floats, as well as the Dole associates who decorate the float.
Brad Bartlett, president of Dole Packaged Foods, said he is humbled to be presented with the Sweepstakes Trophy. “We’re proud to be a part of the Tournament of Roses,” he said. “A brand is difficult to maintain over 129 years. We’re 166 years old. It fits very well with who our company is.”
Living history: Twenty Mule Team pulls replicas of the iconic Death Valley boron ore wagons down the 2017 Rose Parade route. In the wagons are the family of Pres. Brad Ratliff and people involved in bringing this piece of history to life. Copyright 2017 R. Monteros
by Laura Berthold Monteros
The last time the Twenty Mule Team pulled freight wagons along Colorado Blvd. in the Rose Parade was 1999, when Pres. Dick Ratliff chose the 110-year-old wagons as his personal conveyance. They were back on Jan. 2, 2017 for the 128th Tournament of Roses Parade at the request of Pres. Brad Ratliff, Dick’s son, in an illustration of his theme “Echoes of Success.” He and his family filled two wagons, this time brand-new replicas of the original 1882 lorries that hauled 10 tons of borax each. The Ratliff family was a light load by comparison, so the wagons had to be weighted with huge water tanks.
“Mules need the weight to pull,” Preston Chiaro, president of the Death Valley Conservancy (DVC), said adding that the weight also helps with braking. Plywood platforms and hay bales were included so the riders could stand and wave to the crowd.
The third appearance of the team was also an echo of its first Rose Parade appearance a century ago, when it also appeared in the inauguration parade of Pres. Woodrow Wilson. The wagons were decorated for the parade by FTD floral designers J. Keith White, AIFD CFD and Peter Samek, AIFD. White told The Rose Examiner during Deco Week that he wasn’t sure how he would flower what seem like gigantic wooden bins, but the photos show that they did an excellent job of nesting white and red roses in green garlands, with white tulips, carnations, baby breath, and other flowers as accents.
Be sure to check out the gallery below for photos and more information in the captions.
The 129th Tournament of Roses in photos and stories
The Tournament of Roses in Pasadena is more than the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2018. It is the week-long “America’s New Year Celebration,” chock full of floats, bands, equestrians, and family-friendly activities. Visitors can attend Bandfest, Equestfest, Decorating Places, Showcase of Floats, and Live on Green.
The 129th Rose Parade features bands from all over the world, equestrian groups, and around 45 flower-covered floats presenting the theme “Making a Difference.” The 104th Rose Bowl Game pits the top teams in “The Granddaddy of Them All,” the oldest post-season collegiate bowl game.
Read all about it by clicking on the links below, which contain information about the events and people involved as well as tips on attending the events and getting around. The list will be updated as articles are posted. Be sure to bookmark this page and return to it frequently!
“This theme is something near and dear to my heart,” incoming Tournament of Roses President Lance M. Tibbet told The Rose Examiner on Wednesday. We met at Tournament House for a conversation about the vision he has for his 2017-2018 tenure as the leader of the 129th New Year’s celebration. The theme, “Making a Difference,” reflects Tibbet’s optimism and commitment to kindness and selfless service, about doing something without reservation simply because it is the right thing to do.
Selecting a theme is usually a family process, and it expresses something about the president’s world view. “Making a Difference” evolved out of a Tibbet family tradition, watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” together every Christmas season. The movie reveals how the thoughtfulness and kindness of one person can change his community for the better. Tibbet said the title wasn’t going to work for the Rose Parade theme though, because “everyone doesn’t have a wonderful life.” But “Each one of us, without cost, can make a difference. We all have that ability.”