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.

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 Continue reading “Cake & Conversation with the Royal Court”

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”

List: 129th Tournament of Roses floats and awards

Rose Parade theme banner float for 2018 in the last stages of decoration

by Laura Berthold Monteros

All the Rose Parade floats are so beautiful and creative that we thought readers would like to know more about them all. Here’s a list of all the floats that were in the 129th Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2018, along with their designers and builders, and the awards won in both 2018 and 2017. This year’s winners are in bold.

Floats that did not compete in judging are presenting sponsor American Honda Motor Company, Tournament of Roses entries (theme banner float, the two football universities, Queen & Court), and Wells Fargo. For an explanation of the new awards for 2018, read “Rose Parade trophies get an update for 2018.”

129th Rose Parade Floats

Sponsor Title Builder Designer 2018 Award 2017 Trophy
24 Hour Fitness “Proud Sponsor of Everyday Athletes” AES John Ramirez Crown City Innovation
Ag PhD TV and Radio “Salute to Farmers” AES John Ramirez Wrigley Legacy
AIDS Healthcare Foundation “Keeping the Promise” Fiesta Parade Floats Art Aguirre Lathrop K. Leishman
Amazon Prime Grand Tour “Make Your Own Momentuum” Paradiso Parade Floats Charles Meier Crown City Innovator
American Armenian Rose Float Association “Armenian Roots” Phoenix Decorating Johnny Kanounji Judges Past Presidents
American Honda Motor Company “Power of Dreams Express” Phoenix Decorating Michelle Lofthouse
Burbank Tournament of Roses Association “Sand-Sational Helpers” Self-Built Catherine Glandeon, Fred Fraleigh Founder
Cal Poly Universities “Dreams Take Flight” Self-Built N/A Past President Founders’
China Airlines “Caring for Our Sea” AES John Ramirez International International
City of Alhambra, CA “Story Time” Phoenix Decorating Mike Abboud
City of Carson “Honoring the Past – Envisioning Our Future” Fiesta Parade Floats Art Aguirre
City of Hope “Transforming Our Lives with Hope” Phoenix Decorating Michelle Lofthouse Isabella Coleman
City of Los Angeles “Everyone Is Welcome” Fiesta Parade Floats Mike Abboud
City of Riverside “25th Annual Festival of Lights” Fiesta Parade Floats Stanley Meyer Golden State
City of Torrance “Protecting Nature…The Madrona Marsh Preserve” Fiesta Parade Floats Art Aguirre Mayor Tournament Volunteers
Dole Packaged Foods “Sharing Nature’s Bounty” Fiesta Parade Floats Stanley Meyer Grand Marshal’s Sweepstakes
Donate Life “The Gift of Time” Paradiso Parade Floats Charles Meier Theme Theme
Downey Rose Float Association “Working Together” Self-Built Jeff Shadic, Jason Redfox, Thom Neighbors Queen Governor’s
Farmers Insurance “Red Hot Mascot. Seen it, covered it” Phoenix Decorating Dave Pittman American Grand Marshal’s
Kaiser Permanente “Inspiring Healthy Communities” Fiesta Parade Floats Stanley Meyer
Kiwanis International “Racing to Serve Children” Phoenix Decorating Michelle Lofthouse
La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association “Panda-monium” Self-Built Renee’ Hoss-Johnson, Brianne Johnson Bob Hope Humor Bob Hope Humor
Lions Clubs International “Preserving Our Environment” Phoenix Decorating Michelle Lofthouse
Lucy Pet “Paws for Life” Fiesta Parade Floats Mike Abboud Extraordinaire
Lutheran Laymen’s League “Bringing Christ to the Nations” Phoenix Decorating Michelle Lofthouse
Miracle-Gro “150 Years of Growing” Fiesta Parade Floats Stanley Meyer Queen’s
Northwestern Mutual “Letting Kids Be Kids” Fiesta Parade Floats Stanley Meyer Animation
Odd Fellows Rebekahs Rose Float “Sacrifice to Serve” Phoenix Decorating Michelle Lofthouse Director
Queen & Court Fiesta Parade Floats
Rotary “Planing the Seeds of Service” Phoenix Decorating Michelle Lofthouse Princess Princess’
Shriners Hospitals for Children “Caring for Kids Around the World” Phoenix Decorating Cynthia McMinimy Tournament Volunteer
Sierra Madre Rose Float Association “Chivalry!” Self-Built Joanne Garcia (concept) Fantasy Mayor’s
Singpoli American BD “Rising Above” Paradiso Parade Floats Charles Meier Sweepstakes Fantasy
South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association “Booster Club” Self-Built SPTORA Design Committee
The Forum “The Story Lives On” Phoenix Decorating
The UPS Store, Inc. “Books Bring Dreams to Life” Paradiso Parade Floats Charles Meier Extraordinaire Isabella Coleman
Theme Banner Float “Making a Difference” Phoenix Decorating
Trader Joe’s “Hats Off” Phoenix Decorating Michelle Lofthouse Showmanship Tournament Special
Underground Service Alert of Southern California (DIGALERT) “Making It Safe for All” Fiesta Parade Floats Stanley Meyer Animation
United Sikh Mission “Serving Kindness” Phoenix Decorating Michelle Lofthouse Leishman Public Spirit
Wells Fargo Closing Show “America’s New Year Celebration” Phoenix Decorating
Western Asset Management Company “Oceans of Possibility” Phoenix Decorating Michelle Lofthouse President Director’s

 

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. This car has a special meaning for Tournament of Roses Pres. Lance Tibbet, because his theme, “Making a Difference,” was chosen in part out of a family tradition of watching the film every Christmas. It is now owned by Keith and Marilyn Smith of Johnstown, Colo. It’s fitting that it will carry Sinise, a 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”

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”

Photo gallery: Tournament of Roses 2018 Grand Marshal Gary Sinise

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!

All photos are copyrighted. Contact administrator for permissions.