Los Angeles entries in 2018 Rose Parade date back 120 years

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.

 

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Floral Design award winners in the 2018 Rose Parade

City of Hope has been transforming the future of health since 1913, through research, prevention, and treatment. The float depicts one of the Wishing Trees on campus, with notes of hope fluttering from the branches. It won the coveted Isabella Coleman Award.

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Since the foundation of the Tournament of Roses Parade is flower-covered floats, it may seem odd that in the new system of float awards there is a specific category for Floral Design. The floats that take home awards in this category display the most effective, beautiful, creative, and bountiful use of fresh botanical materials. One of the most prestigious awards, the Isabella Coleman, is in this category.

The winners in the 2018 Rose Parade are listed in the table below, and descriptions of flowering and animation are in the captions in the photo gallery. It’s a large gallery, but the floats are well worth the clicks.

Some interesting notes on a few of the floats:

City of Hope rider Daniel Bliley began donating platelets on his 18th birthday in memory of his mother, who died of leukemia when Daniel was 8. Fifteen years later, he has donated 200 times. Read more about this young man on the City of Hope website.

United Sikh Mission is a Southern California nonprofit founded by Rashpal Singh in 2006 to benefit the poor in rural Punjab. One of the major efforts is providing eye clinics. The dedication to service is foundational to Sikhism, which can be seen in this depiction of the Golden Temple kitchen (langar) which feeds 100,000 people a day. The Leishman Public Spirit Award, the organization’s first, is well-deserved.

A sapling from one of Hiroshima’s A-bomb survivor trees was on the Rotary float and slated to be planted in one Rotary’s Peace Gardens.

More than 97 percent of the flowers on the Cal Poly Universities float were grown in the State of California, which garnered them California Grown certification for the seventh year; the only Rose Parade float to do so. Masses of fresh flowers included 10,000 roses, 10,000 gerbera, 12,000 chrysanthemums, 12,000 button and cushion mums, and 1,000 irises.

Taiwan-based China Airlines signed the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce Buckingham Palace Declaration in 2017. The airline has pledged to not transport illegal wildlife and related products.

 

2018 FLORAL DESIGN CATEGORY
Award Sponsor “Theme” Builder, Designer
President Award for most outstanding use and presentation of flowers Western Asset Management Company “Oceans of Possibility” Phoenix Decorating Company, Michelle Lofthouse
Isabella Coleman Award for most outstanding presentation of color harmony through floral design City of Hope “Transforming Lives with Hope” Phoenix Decorating Company, Michelle Lofthouse
Queen Award for most outstanding presentation of roses Downey Rose Float Association “Working Together” Self Built, Jeff Shadic, Jason Redfox, Thom Neighbors
Leishman Public Spirit Award for most outstanding floral design and display from a non-commercial participant United Sikh Mission “Serving Kindness” Phoenix Decorating Company, Michelle Lofthouse
Princess Award for most floral display among entries 35 feet and under in length Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee “Planting the Seeds of Service” Phoenix Decorating Company, Michelle Lofthouse
Past President Award for most outstanding innovation in the use of floral and non-floral materials Cal Poly Universities “Dreams Take Flight” Self Built, N/A
Founder Award for most outstanding floral display built and decorated by volunteers from a community or organization Burbank Tournament of Roses Association “Sand-Sational Helpers” Self Built, Catherine Glandeon, Fred Fraleigh
International Award for most outstanding floral display among floats from outside the United States China Airlines “Caring for Our Sea” Artistic Entertainment Services, John Ramirez
Tournament Volunteer Award for most outstanding floral display of the rose parade theme among floats 35 feet and under in length Shriners Hospitals for Children “Caring for Kids Around the World” Phoenix Decorating Company, Cynthia McMinimy

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Float Design award winners in the 2018 Rose Parade

Torrance Rose Float Association “Protecting Nature…The Madrona Marsh Preserve” by Fiesta Parade Floats won the Mayor Award.

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

The flower-covered floats in the Float Design category in the Tournament of Roses’ new system of float awards display themes that touch our lives or have specific design elements. The winners in the 2018 Rose Parade are listed in the table below, and descriptions of flowering and animation are in the captions in the photo gallery. It’s a large gallery, but the floats are well worth the clicks.

Some interesting notes on a few of the floats:

  • The Sierra Madre float, its 86th entry, wrote, “Ten years ago we had the first grandmother to drive a Rose Parade float and this year we have the first great-grandmother to drive a Rose Parade float. Kay Sappington, our Chair of Float Decoration, has 13 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren, and to top it off, parade day is her birthday. The observer, LaDonna Gaydosh, is a grandmother with seven grandchildren.”
  • The new Torrance rose was featured on the Torrance float. Named after the city, it was introduced last year by the American Rose Society to mark its 125th anniversary.
  • La Cañada Flintridge had its own first. Driver Aram Dergharapetian, at 19 years, 5 months old, was LFCTRA’s youngest ever float driver and one of the youngest in Tournament history. 2018 was Aram’s second time on the float; he was the animator on “Backyard Rocketeer” last year. Another note: It’s said to be the only float in the parade equipped with a data recording system, similar to an airplane’s “black box.” Information is stored for analysis and can be viewed in real-time by the float operating crew.
  • The art department at Paradiso Parade Floats worked  on the Donate Life float Aztec calendar for two months, resulting in stunning detail. They researched and adapted the design to incorporate the memorial portraits.
  • “Make Your Own Momentum,” the entry from Amazon Prime and Paradiso, did indeed make its own momentum. It was the only human-powered float in the 129th Rose Parade and the first entry ever to be pushed by people down the 51/2 mile route. (Quite a few years ago, the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs float was a litter carried by several handsome and scantily-clad young men. It was quite the treat!)
2018 FLOAT DESIGN CATEGORY
Award Sponsor “Theme” Builder, Designer
Theme for most outstanding presentation of the parade theme Donate Life “The Gift of Time” Paradiso Parade Floats, Charles Meier
Bob Hope Humor for most whimsical and amusing entry La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association “Panda-Monium” Self Built, Renee’ Hoss-Johnson, Brianne Johnson
Director for most outstanding artistic design and floral presentation Odd Fellows and Rebekahs Rose Float “Sacrifice to Serve” Phoenix Decorating Company, Michelle Lofthouse

Note: Write up in the Grand Marshal article.

Crown City Innovator for most outstanding use of imagination, innovation, and technology The Grand Tour–An Amazon Prime Original “Make Your Own Momentum” Paradiso Parade Floats, Charles Meier
Grand Marshal’s for most outstanding creative concept and float design Dole Packaged Foods “Sharing Nature’s Bounty” Fiesta Parade Floats, Stanley Meyer
Fantasy for most outstanding display of fantasy and imagination Sierra Madre Rose Float Association “Chivalry!” Self Built, Joanne Garcia (concept)
Animation for most outstanding use of animation Underground Service Alert of Southern California (DigAlert) “Making It Safe for All” Fiesta Parade Floats, Stanley Meyer
Americana for most outstanding depiction of national treasures and traditions Farmers Insurance Group “Honoring Hometown Heroes” Phoenix Decorating Company, Dave Pittman
Golden State for most outstanding depiction of life in California City of Riverside “25th Annual Festival of Lights” Fiesta Parade Floats, Stanley Meyer
Mayor for most outstanding floral display from a participating city Torrance Rose Float Association “Protecting Nature…The Madrona Marsh Preserve” Fiesta Parade Floats, Irene Tsay (concept) & Art Aguirre

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Rose Parade floats with Entertainment Value wins: TJ’s, UPS Store, Ag PhD, AARFA

The UPS Store sea monster promoted reading in the 2018 Rose Parade.

by Laura Berthold Monteros

The 129th Tournament of Roses Parade ushered in a new system of float awards. The 24 awards are divided into three categories plus Sweepstakes, in 2018 by Singpoli American BD. The gallery below has photos of the four winners in the Entertainment Value category. The theme of the 2018 Rose Parade was “Making a Difference.” From food to books to raising families, the sponsors of these floats make a difference to people across America.

The four awards and winners in the Entertainment Value category are

Extraordinaire Award for the most extraordinary float: The UPS Store “Books Bring Dreams to Life,” designed by Charles Meier and built by Paradiso Parade Floats

Wrigley Legacy Award for the most outstanding display of floral design, float design, and entertainment: Ag PhD TV and Radio “Salute to Farmers,” designed by John Ramirez and built by AES

Judges Award for most outstanding floral design and entertainment: American Armenian Rose Float Association “Armenian Roots,” designed by AARFA board member Johnny Kanounji and built by Phoenix Decorating Company

Showmanship Award for most outstanding display of showmanship and entertainment: Trader Joe’s “Hats Off,” designed by Michelle Lofthouse and built by Phoenix Decorating Company

All photos are copyright 2018 by LB Monteros

Rose Parade rides: A car that’s a star and vintage autos for the celebrities

by Laura Berthold Monteros

J. Keith White, AIFD CFD takes a photo opp in the 1919 Dodge Brothers car while waiting for Grand Marshal Gary Sinise to arrive.

 

The Tournament of Roses Parade brings to mind huge floral floats with costumed riders gliding along Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena. But the best way to ride in the 2018 Rose Parade may well have been in a vintage Packard with a bullet hole in the side. Or at least, it might be the most evocative! The vintage vehicles that the Tournament Entries Committee picks out for the president, grand marshal, mayor, and Hall of Fame inductees often have colorful histories, and sometimes mysterious ones. It’s a mystery how that bullet hole got there, but it’s fun to think about.

J. Keith White, AIFD CFD and Peter Samek, AIFD are tasked with decorating the cars every year. We enjoy stopping by to chat with the always-welcoming gentlemen and to get a look at the creative adornments. The floral designers carefully choose the colors to complement both the cars and the riders.

Fall colors for the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame inductees in a 1933 Lincoln and 1909 Pope-Hartford brought to mind crisp autumn fields and cheering crowds. Florals in white on the 1929 Packard spoke to the dignity of  Pres. Lance Tibbet. The 1919 Dodge Brothers. that carried Grand Marshal Gary Sinise got several shades of purple that complemented the Pantone color of 2018, ultraviolet; read more about it here. Mayor Terry Tornek rode in 1924 Model TT jitney, decorated with baskets of florals and produce that recalled the bus’ first use as a produce truck.

The gallery with this article has photos of the vehicles in Rosemont Pavilion during deco week. Be sure to check out the captions for more on the flowering of the cars and some interesting facts. To see them in the parade, follow the links in the paragraphs above.

 

All photos are copyright 2017 by LB Monteros

Rose Bowl Game teams and Hall of Fame in the 2018 Rose Parade: Photos

by Laura Berthold Monteros

The Rose Parade is an opportunity for rivals on the Rose Bowl field to have a little cheer and marching rivalry in front of the 80 million people watching on the route or on video who won’t be at the Granddaddy of Them All. The band are loud and the cheerleaders extra enthusiastic as they pass grandstands full of fans from their universities. In between the two schools are the 2017 Rose Bowl Hall of Fame inductees, representing football greats of the past.

The 104th Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2018 was a hard-fought match between the Georgia Bulldogs and Oklahoma Sooners. Georgia pulled out a 54-48 victory in double overtime. The game was the College Football Playoff semifinal.

The Rose Bowl Hall of Fame pays tribute to athletes and coaches, and an occasional person of special significance, who have made outstanding contributions to the history and excitement of the game. This year’s inductees were Mack Brown (coach, University of Texas), Cade McNown (UCLA), Charles Woodson (Michigan), and Dr. Charles West (Washington & Jefferson). For more about them, read “Rose Bowl Hall of Fame 2017.” Inductees are honored with a plaque in the Court of Champions at the stadium.

All photos are copyright 2018, LB Monteros

Celebrity lineup in the 2018 Rose Parade: Rose Queen, Pres. Tibbet, PCC Honor Band

by Laura Berthold Monteros

The Tournament of Roses Parade steers clear of being a parade of personalities, but there are five VIP entries every year: Tournament president, Grand Marshal, Pasadena mayor, Rose Bowl Hall of Fame inductees, and of course, the Rose Queen and Royal Court. The gallery below includes the Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band and Herald Trumpets, because when it comes to Pasadena celebrities, they are right up there.

Today, center stage are Pres. Lance Tibbet, Rose Queen Isabella Marez and the Rose Princesses introduced by the Herald Trumpets, Mayor Terry Tornek, and the Tournament of Roses Honor Band. The information on each is in the captions with the photos. We’ve already written about Grand Marshal Gary Sinise in “Honoring vets in the 2018 Rose Parade” and will cover the sports aspect of the parade and more about the cars and flowering in upcoming pieces.

A bit about the band: It’s comprised of the PCC Lancer Band, plus 200 of the more than 500 high school music students who auditioned. Jack Taylor is the band director, Tad Carpenter is the percussion director, and Dr. James Arnwine, dean of the Performing Arts at PPC, served as the assistant band director.

 

All photos are copyrighted by LB Monteros. Contact for permissions.

Honoring vets in the 2018 Rose Parade with USMC, GM Gary Sinise, Purple Heart: Photos

by Laura Berthold Monteros

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:

Gary Sinise, humanitarian and actor, is Grand Marshal for 2018 Rose Parade

Photo gallery: Tournament of Roses 2018 Grand Marshal Gary Sinise

Grand Marshal Gary Sinise tries out his Rose Parade ride

“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.

All photos copyright 2018 by LB Monteros.

 

2018 Rose Parade exciting opening with music, dancing, planes, Honda float: Photos

by Laura Berthold Monteros

The 129th Tournament of Roses Parade opened with a rousing show that featured Broadway and YouTube star Todrick Hall, dancers, and the Riverside City College Marching Tigers Band and Color Guard. Playing off the theme poster for “Making A Difference,” the two-part set piece mimicked a cinder block wall with bright graffiti, and a garden of fanciful cutout animals. In the sky, there were birds, planes, and heroes and on the street were motorcycles and floats.

The Opening Show Presented by Honda has led off the Rose Parade since 2011. It’s definitely a made-for-TV production, because the full show is performed only in front of a small section of stands on Orange Grove Blvd. Television cameras capture the action from the street, cameras on booms, and the Goodyear blimp. Readers who missed it, can see it on KTLA.com, a bit over one minute in. We couldn’t get photos of Rose Queen Isabella Marez and Hall kicking off the festivities (they were on the off-camera side), but we got plenty of the show.

Check out the photo gallery below for the opening spectacle

The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber flyover is always a crowd-pleaser and is amazingly quiet until it is almost directly overhead. The plane carries a crew of two pilots and has a wingspan of 172 feet and weight of 175 tons. Its home base is Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.

The 2018 flyover added two F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters in a tribute organ donation. The F-35 to the left of the bomber represented giving life (organ donors) and to the right, receiving life (organ recipients). Organ donor USAF Maj. Benjamin “Chex” Meier piloted the plane on the left before he lost his life; it was flown by a close friend for the Rose Parade. Air Force officials joined with Major Meier’s family in a ceremony at Edwards AFB in California, where his squadron finished decorating a floragraph of the major for the Donate Life float. More about Maj. Chex Meier here and here.
American Honda “Power of Dreams Express” was spectacular and entertaining, with a dancing locomotive and three cars carrying musicians, Honda community volunteers, and representatives of charities that benefit children. The train was “crafted from enchanted musical instruments,” as the Honda media material read. Elements of brass, percussion, a calliope, and a piano created the joyful display. Fireworks shot from the horns, the cow catcher piano keys went up and down, the wheels turned, and the boiler on the locomotive rolled side to side and up and down. The clock on the front was set for the start time of the 2018 Rose Parade.

Riding in the center car were Honda Community Volunteers Cathy Hutchinson, Paul Mejia, Ruth Tsuji, and Nichole Whitley. In the caboose were Honda Philanthropy Partners were KTLA News anchor Frank Buckley and his son, Ben, representing Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation; Landin Aguilar and Marissa Hernandez representing National Youth Project Using Minibikes; and brain cancer survivor Michael Gates and his mother, Colleen representing Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

Honda floats are propelled by a specially configured hybrid, low-emission engine to help the float function more efficiently and reduce its carbon footprint, and Theme Banner float is powered by a low emission Honda hybrid engine. “Power of Dreams Express” was covered in more than 126,000 flowers, including hot pink and red carnations and roses, mums in a spectrum of colors, Amaranthus, and gladiolas. A large variety of dry materials were used to provide color and texture; tiny stars were yellow split peas applied one by one.

 

All photos copyright 2018, LB Monteros. Contact administrator for permissions.

Tournament House open for public tours through August

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Tournament House/Wrigley Mansion front porch. Copyright LB Monteros

The Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association invites the public into their home and headquarters for free tours from Feb. 1 through the end of August, 2018. The tours, led by white-suited docents, are given twice each Thursday at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. No reservations are required for individuals and small parties, but groups of 10 or more should call 626) 449-4100 for reservations. Before and after the tour, visitors are welcome to stroll in the gardens, which feature more than 1,500 varieties of roses, camellias and annuals.

Tournament House, also known as Wrigley Mansion, was once home to the Wrigley family of chewing gum fame. Ada Wrigley, the matriarch of the family, so enjoyed watching the Rose Parade from her upstairs window that she willed the mansion to the City of Pasadena for use by the Tournament of Roses. Since 1958, the house has been the nexus of operations for the Rose Parade, Rose Bowl Game, and a score of other events.

Tours start promptly, so it’s advised to arrive on the porch by the front door early.  The house is located at 391 S. Orange Grove Blvd., between Arbor and Lockehaven streets.  Street parking is available.