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.
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, FTD, New York Life, Once Upon a Time bookstore, Santa Anita Park, USAF, and Zhena’s. Dole has presented award-winning floats in the Rose Parade for the past six years, and FTD decorates the beautiful cars and carriages that roll down Colorado Blvd. on parade day.
New things to do and see are being added every day. Here’s a bullet list of some of the highlights.
- Experience the USAF with interactive exhibits including a flight simulator, videos, music, equipment, and history. Air Force personnel will be on hand to tell folks about the work the service does, from stem cell research to bomb disposal.
- Enjoy a Dole Whip at the Live on Green Bistro or grab a bite from Centerplate, the Convention Center caterers.
- Get free fingerprinting for children from New York Life.
- Learn new recipes and techniques from celebrity and local chefs—moved inside this year because, yes, it can be chilly outside in December.
- Test your football prowess with the LA Rams, who have returned home big time, on three inflatable obstacle courses.
- Be wowed by Splash Dogs diving into a 100-foot long pool.
- Laugh with the Shriners Hospitals for Children’s famous clowns and cars. The Shriners sponsor a Rose Parade float with a giant Fezzy Bear every year
- Discover the history and pageantry of the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game. Rose Queens and float designers will be on hand.
- Play beach volleyball sponsored by Dole or test your skills in the Family Fun Zone.
- Enjoy music and entertainment on the main stage and pop-up stages thought out the venue. HQ is looking for local groups; if you have an act you would like them to consider, email Barbara Cocks at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Learn what three local charities do to make our communities better, and how you can support them:
- Food Share, sponsored by Dole, will have food collection bins in Ventura County and Pasadena schools and at Fiesta Parade Floats, Paseo Colorado, and Live on Green. More than a dozen schools that collect the most food will be given either learning gardens or cash for their science programs
- Pasadena Humane Society will bring their mobile adoption unit with adoptable dogs and plenty of information for pet owners. If a dog isn’t your cup of tea, the volunteers can connect you with cats, rabbits, and reptiles.
- Union Station Homeless Services in Pasadena, the San Gabriel Valley’s largest social services agency, addresses the issues of homeless and low-income adults and children with nine programs including street outreach, intake/assessment, care coordination and navigation, meals, shelter, housing, employment development, benefits enrollment, and referrals to medical and mental health services.