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.
The Salvation Army Tournament of Roses Band was joined by a band from Angola for the 2018 Rose Parade
by Laura Berthold Monteros
The Tournament of Roses today announced the 20 marching bands that will traverse the length of the Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2019. They will also perform at Bandfest, Dec. 29 and 30, 2018. In addition to these 20, the bands of the two universities that are chosen to participate in the 105th Rose Bowl Game will also march in the parade. The theme of the 130th Rose Parade is “The Melody of Life.” Of note for 2019 is Banda Escolar de Guayanilla Puerto Rico, which is overcoming odds to make it to Pasadena.
Four bands have a standing invitation to the Rose Parade: Los Angeles Unified School District All District High School Honor Band, Salvation Army Tournament of Roses Band, United States Marine Corps West Coast Composite Band, and of course, Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band. The adjunct PCC Herald Trumpets announce the Royal Court float.
The rest have to pass a rigorous audition process, which includes musicianship, musicianship, marching ability and entertainment or special interest value. Band representatives must submit detailed applications, which include photos, video footage and letters of recommendation. They also have to be able to raise all necessary funds for travel and accommodations. Bands can apply for the 2020 Rose Parade on the Tournament of Roses website.
Bandfest is an opportunity to see the elaborate field shows put on by the organizations. Tickets are available at Sharp Seating for $15 per performance. Children under age 5 are free. Other than the Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band, each unit performs in only one of the three shows. The order will be announced later in the year.
The marching bands performing in the 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade are
Alabama State University Mighty Marching Hornets, Montgomery, Ala.
All-Izumo Honor Green Band, Izumo, Japan
Banda Escolar de Guayanilla Puerto Rico, Guayanilla, Puerto Rico
Banda Municipal de Acosta Acosta, San José, Costa Rica
The 130th Tournament of Roses Parade steps off on Jan. 1, 2019, but readers can start making plans now. It promises to be a delight to hear as well as see, with “The Melody of Life” as the parade theme. Pres. Gerald Freeny reminded us that “Music is the universal language. It’s something that soothes us, calms us, heals us.” It also gets folks dancing in the street.
Here’s the information you need to get a place in the grandstands so you can dance along, and a place in a lot for your car.
We’ll be posting information on all the Tournament of Roses events and how to do them between now and December. Subscribe to TheRoseExaminer by filling in the box in the upper left to get email notifications.
The official grandstand seating provider for the Rose Parade is Sharp Seating Company. Sharp sells tickets in person, over the phone at (626) 795-0896, via email, or online for the parade, parking, and other events. The sales office is located at 737 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; enter from the rear parking lot off Meridith Ave. Grandstand seats and parking are also available beginning in the summer at Pasadena Presbyterian Church, on the northwest corner of Colorado Blvd. and Madison Ave., (626) 793-2191, ext. 353.
Prices at Sharp Seating range from $55 to $100, depending on the location on the route. Seats on the north and west, or “off-camera,” sides of the route are generally less expensive. Sharp now
Portable restrooms for Sharp patrons are located behind the grandstands. Pasadena Presbyterian offers indoor restrooms and a continental breakfast included in the price.
Rose Parade programs can be ordered in advance from Sharp Seating, the Pasadena Museum of History gift shop and the Tournament of Roses, or purchased on parade day from Pasadena Presbyterian Church and vendors on the route. Various supermarkets and drugstores in the Pasadena and Altadena area also sell programs few weeks before the parade.
Both Sharp Seating and Pasadena Presbyterian Church sell reserved parking, as well as Easy Parking Service (626) 286-7576 and the City of Pasadena (626) 744-6470. Easy Parking Service provides free shuttles to the Rose Bowl from the parking lot. Overnight RV parking is also available. Closer to parade time, some merchants list reserved parking on Craigslist.
With the Tournament of Roses looking to add more “entertainment value” over the past few years, Pres. Gerald Freeny’s theme for the 2019 Rose Parade, “The Melody of Life,” seems tailor made. But it means more to Freeny than just the excitement that The Forum float with Earth, Wind & Fire brought to the 2018 parade. We had the opportunity chat at Tournament House on Monday about the 130th Rose Parade and 105th Rose Bowl Game, which will be held on Jan. 1, 2019.
“Music is the universal language. It’s something that soothes us, calms us, heals us,” Freeny said. It brings families together and makes enemies into friends, breaks down barriers, breaks down walls, identifies things we have in common. Music brings back memories of special people and loved ones. When Earth, Wind & Fire performed, he said, “everyone was dancing. It brought joy to everyone.”
With music touching nearly everyone, the theme opens many possibilities for float design. “The Melody of Life” fits well with serious and humorous themes, and opens opportunities for performers in all genres of music. Freeny noted that a choir could be on board a float, and music could be gospel, jazz, contemporary, Motown. With the Los Angeles Philharmonic celebrating its 100th anniversary, it could even be classical.
When we asked who his favorite artists are, he had to think. He definitely favors jazz saxophone players though; he mentioned Kenny G, Grover Washington, Jr., Boney James, and Stanley Turrentine, with a nod to guitarist Wes Montgomery. Motown’s high on his list, with the Four Tops, Earth, Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, and Lionel Richie getting first mentions.
Life in song
Freeny’s alma mater, John Muir High School in Pasadena, had a reputation for music and sports at the time. He chose sports, but he noted that there was music on in the locker room. On Sunday, he was watching ESPN and noticed how many headsets the players had as they walked out to the field and back into the locker room.
The Tournament of Roses makes two big announcements at the board of directors meeting on the third Thursday of January: the name of the president for the upcoming Tournament of Roses and the theme he or she has chosen. The first isn’t a surprise, due to the organizational structure of the Tournament, but the second is always a pleasant revelation.
Gerald Freeny was elected President for the 2018-2019 Tournament of Roses year on Jan. 18. In addition to providing leadership for the 130th Rose Parade presented by Honda and the 105th Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual, there are certain perks that come with the position. The president chooses the theme, grand marshal, and gets to wear a snazzy red jacket for the rest of his life. The theme Freeny chose, “The Melody of Life,” is one that can be lighthearted or serious and that strikes a chord in every person.
The theme for the events to be held on Jan. 1, 2019, Freeny said, “celebrates music, the universal language. Music has the power to not only bring us together but take us back to memories and moments as nothing else can. Rhythm, melody, harmony and color all come together to create the soundtrack that defines our lives.”
Freeny has been a volunteer member of the Tournament of Roses Association since 1988 and has been involved in the community as president of the San Gabriel chapter of NOBLE (National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives), the Pasadena Police Foundation Board, Pasadena Police Citizens Academy, Pasadena Rose Bowl Aquatics Board, University Club, Pasadena YMCA board, Black Support Group at Cal State LA, Urban League Board of Governors, United Way Fundraising Committee, Toast Masters, and the Pasadena NAACP. He has served on the Advisory Board of the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation since 2016, and is also a member of Legacy’s Museum Committee.
Freeny attended Pasadena Christian School and John Muir High School (Class of 1978) in Pasadena, and received a bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance from California State University, Los Angeles. Freeny is a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi and Gamma Zeta Boulé of Sigma Pi Phi fraternities, and Historic First Lutheran Church. He lives in Altadena with his wife, Trina, and their daughter, Erica.
We will have a conversation with Mr. Freeny early next week, and will post it on this website.
At the board of directors meeting on Jan. 18, newly-elected president of the Tournament of Roses Gerald Freeny announced the 2018-2019 Executive Committee which oversees the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2019. Newly elected to the committee is Terry Madigan, a sixth-generation Californian and volunteer member of the Tournament since 1993. He will serve as president of the TOR in 2026 for the 137th Rose Parade and 112th Rose Bowl Game.
Madigan was appointed a Tournament of Roses Chair in 2010 and a Director in 2013. He has served as Committee Chair for Host, Judging, Parade Operations, and Special Events; Vice Chair for Float Entries and Post Parade; and a committee member of Community Relations, Decorating Places, Equestrian, Formation, Parade Operations, Post Parade, and TV/Radio.
The Certified Personal Chef is owner of Just No Thyme, a personal chef service serving Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley. Before turning his passion for cooking into a full-time profession, he had a career in marketing and communications. He is a founding member and from 2012 to 2015, president of the Southern California Chapter of the United States Personal Chef Association (USPCA). He organized the USPCA’s 2014 National Conference in Long Beach, Calif. He also served as President of the Business Network International (BNI) Rose Bowl Chapter.
Madigan grew up in the San Gabriel Valley. While attending South Pasadena High School, he drove the South Pasadena float in the Rose Parade, twice. He was graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in political science and journalism from the University of Southern California and later from the California School of Culinary Arts with a Diplôme in Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts. He resides in South Pasadena with his husband, Kevin Sommerfield.
In addition, the following officers were elected to serve with Madigan on the 14-member Executive Committee: Gerald Freeny, president; Laura Farber, executive vice president; Robert B. Miller, treasurer; Amy Wainscott, secretary. Lance Tibbet, president of the 2018 Tournament of Roses, serves as past president.
Re-elected to the Executive Committee as vice presidents are Alex Aghajanian, Ed Morales and Mark Leavens. The five appointed at-large members are Zareh Baghdassarian, Teresa Chaure, James Jones, Janet Makonda and Herman Quispe. Freeny also announced the election of a new member to the Tournament of Roses board of directors, Ernesto Cardenas.