To all the wonderful folks who have followed my writing

From the time I started writing online with Examiner.com up to the final article I posted my own website, The Rose Examiner, I have appreciated all my readers and always tried to serve them with the stories I wrote. My goal in continuing to write about the Tournament of Roses after Examiner.com closed down was to inform and entertain those who have an interest in America’s New Year Celebration.

Over the past year or two, I came to realize that it is time for me to set aside this wonderful part of my life and return to my first love, creative writing—essays, children’s stories, and short stories. That’s where I excel, where the words seem to fly from my fingers to my keyboard to the virtual document on my screen. I can’t do both; there just isn’t time.

This decision was confirmed in the joy I experienced with a recent writing assignment for a group I’m in. It was based on a picture from The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, a picture book by Chris Van Allsburg. The book is ostensibly a collection of unrelated pencil sketches by a man named Harris Burdick, and without text, the reader is tasked with being storyteller as well. In this instance, I wrote about birds soaring out of the wallpaper in “The Third-Floor Bedroom.” It was a delightful fantasy, if I do say so myself.

While it’s time for me to move on from posting on The Rose Examiner, I will continue to keep up with my Facebook followers on All Things Rose Parade, at least for a while. I truly hope you enjoyed reading my articles and paging through my photos, and that the information was useful. I enjoyed meeting all the wonderful people, in person and online, that I would not have come to know without this work.

Be happy, stay healthy, and remember that life is beautiful, even if the bed of roses has a few thorns.

Laura Berthold Monteros

 

Celebrities in vintage cars at the 2020 Rose Parade

The biggest celebrities of them all: the 2020 Tournament of Roses Royal Court. L-R, Rose Queen Camille Kennedy, Rose Princesses Emilie Risha, Reese Rosental Saporito, Mia Thorsen, Michael Wilkins, Rukan Saif, Cole Fox.

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

At the Tournament of Roses Parade, the real celebrities are the gorgeous floral creations that float along the parade route on New Year’s Day. The 131st Rose Parade, held on Jan. 1, 2020, was no exception. But that doesn’t mean there are no human celebrities! Riding along Colorado Blvd. in flower-bedecked antique vehicles is a tradition for the people that the current president chooses to represent the theme she has chosen, this year, Pres. Laura Farber chose “The Power of Hope.”

You can read more about them by exploring the 2020 Tournament of Roses page on this website. You can see them, nestled in the seats of beautiful vehicles and waving to the crowds, in the gallery below. Information about the cars is in the captions.

 

Look up! Aircraft are part of the Rose Parade excitement

Barnstormer and daredevil C.P. Rodgers piloted the first plane to fly over the Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 1912. The plane in the photo is not his usual aircraft, the Wright Model EX Vin Fiz, but a spare Model B.

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Quick question: When did the flyovers of the Rose Parade begin?  If you said in 1997 at the 108th Tournament of Roses Parade, with the B-2 Spirit “stealth bomber” in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the US Air Force, you would be…wrong!

The first flyover was 85 years earlier, in 1912 at the 23rd Rose Parade.  Broadcaster and barnstormer C.P. Rodgers, after a historic cross-country flight from the Atlantic to the Pacific, flew over the parade in his plane Vin Fiz, a Wright Model EX.  He dropped flowers along the entire route; some say they were rose petals; others say it was 10,000 carnations.

Born Calbraith Perry Rodgers, the aviator had undertaken the transcontinental flight to garner a $50,000 prize offered by William Randolph Hearst, but he missed the deadline by 19 days. On April 3, his plane was hit by birds during an exhibition over Long Beach, Calif. and he died in the crash at age 33. This was the first recorded instance of a fatality resulting from a bird strike.

Such an impromptu flight would not be allowed today, of course, what with security and other aircraft taking up airspace over the route.

Nonetheless, he is remembered for his daring flights, his huge personality, and for being the first aviator to fly over the Rose Parade.  He was so popular with parade-goers that they gave him the title of King of the Rose Parade, the first in a short line of three.  There was no Rose Queen that year, so folks created their own royalty.

Parade-goers still enjoy looking up to see the B-2 and other Air Force wonders fly overhead, as well as the Goodyear blimp and the occasional small planes dragging banners or puffing out ads. Here are some examples.

B-2 Spirit at the 2020 Rose Parade

 

B-2 Spirit at the 2020 Rose Parade

It’s a marvel of engineering, the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber. The shape makes it difficult for radar detection, but most impressive to parade-goers—besides the sheer beauty of this war machine—is that it can’t be heard until it is almost overhead.  It has a wingspan of 172 feet and weighs 160,000 pounds, but for its massive size, it is frighteningly quiet. For the first time in Rose Parade history, the crew of two pilots included a woman: Lt. Col. Nicola “Rogue” Polidor with Major Justin “Rocky” Spencer

 

 

 

 

Goodyear blimp videos the 2020 Rose Parade

 

 

Goodyear blimp videos the 2020 Rose Parade

To residents of the Pasadena area, the Goodyear blimp is a frequent sight when games are held in the Rose Bowl Stadium.  On New Year’s Day, it does double duty in taking overhead video the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl Game.  A ride in the blimp is one of the exciting events that the Tournament of Roses Royal Court gets to do.

 

 

 

 

 

Pasadena parrots at the 2018 Rose Parade

 

 

Annual visitors—the parrots of Pasadena

People local to Pasadena love to come to the Rose Parade, but they aren’t the only ones who enjoy the festivities. Every year, the flocks that make their homes in or near Pasadena make an early morning trek to circle the over the grandstands. This photo is from 2018.

 

 

 

B-2 stealth bomber and F-35 fighters at the 2018 Rose Parade

 

 

In Memoriam

The 2018 flyover added two F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters in a tribute to 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Hawk flies beneath B-2 stealth bomber and F-35 fighters at the 2018 Rose Parade

 

 

And yet another feathered flyover

What appears to be a hawk flies below the Air Force formation. After all, the airspace is free to birds!

Photo albums: Award-winning floats in the 2020 Rose Parade

“Stories Change Our World” sponsored by The UPS Store won Sweepstakes in the 131st Rose Parade with its display of golden lion tamarin monkeys.

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

“The Power of Hope,” theme of the 131st Tournament of Roses, inspired floats with different stories to tell, but all with optimism and aspiration. From the humor of dodo birds flying a zeppelin to men and women in a cargo ship crossing the ocean in 1620 seeking freedom, the floats were a panoply of artistry, imagination, beauty, and hope.

Below are three photo galleries with images of the award winners in four categories: Sweepstakes, Entertainment Value, Float Design, Floral Design. There are six self-built winners and floats from professional builders AES, Fiesta Parade Floats, and Phoenix Decorating Company. The captions name the award and give a little information about each entry.

Rose Parade Trophies Get an Update for 2018 lists all the awards and what each one means. Rose Parade 2020 award-winning floats; The UPS Store takes Sweepstakes lists the 2020 winning floats, with sponsors, builders, and designers.

Sweepstakes and Entertainment Value

Float Design

Floral Design

Burbank and Sikh American floats had stories to tell in the 2020 Rose Parade

by Laura Berthold Monteros

For The Rose Examiner, the week between Boxing Day and the Showcase of Floats is packed with preparations for the Tournament of Roses Parade and visits to the barns to see the floats in the final stages. We especially like being able to talk to some of the people who are working on the floats.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a couple weeks since we spoke with folks during Deco Week. We had conversations with Linda Cozakos and Erik C. Andersen at Burbank Tournament of Roses Association, and Harry Gill and Maninder Minu Singh, creative director of the Sikh American Float Foundation, in the Phoenix Decorating Company barn.

Be sure to check out the photos in the gallery below for the two floats in progress

Burbank “Rise Up”

Erik C. Andersen and Linda Cozakos explain the various choices of botanicals for the beak of the phoenix on “Rise Up.”

Burbank’s 88th Rose Parade entry won the Leishman Public Spirit Award for most outstanding floral design and display from a non-commercial participant. In keeping with the parade theme “The Power of Hope,” the float depicted a giant phoenix being reborn from the ashes of the 8,527 wildfires that destroyed 1,893,913 acres of homes, businesses, farmland, and wildland in California 2018. A waterfall in front, surrounded by lush vegetation, offered hope that the land will be renewed.

Named “Paradise” in honor of the town that was nearly wiped out in the Camp Fire—two of designer Lisa Long’s nephews battled the fire there—the bird’s body rose and fell and head turned side to side. In a first for Burbank, three fireballs shot out of the tail feathers.

We talked to Cozakos and Andersen about the florals used for the colors and textures on the phoenix. Floral decorators always keep an eye out for new materials or ways to use old ones, and the beak of the bird had a rather unusual choice.

Cozakos said the frilly acorn caps lining the top of the beak can only be found in Griffith Park on one particular tree. One of the members of BTORA discovered them and has returned to collect them as needed. Mustard seed, fava beans, dried mango, and two purple potatoes for nostrils completed the beak, with vermilion Chinese lanterns around the eyes.

The feathers on the face and body were whole magnolia leaves and palm leaves that had been torn into thin strips. The leaves were covered with ground yellow and orange marigolds, sumac, and paprika to simulate the fiery colors of the phoenix.

Remembering a different kind of tragedy, roses with the names of the Saugus High School shooting victims attached were on the float, as well as dried agapanthus from the school. The roses will be returned to the parents after the parade.

Sikh American “Planting Seeds of Hope”

Harry Gill and Minu Singh stand before the Sikh American float.

The theme of the Sikh American float was realized with a fanciful garden and rotating carousel filled with children of various ethnicities. Through selfless service to humanity with love, respect, compassion, and humility, Sikhs hope to nurture an environment in which children can grow and thrive.

A sculpture of  Bhai Ghaneya Singh sat at the front, pouring water out of a leather bag. Bhai Ghaneya was a compassionate man who carried water to the troops in the 1704 war of Anandpur Sahib. Harry Gill told us the story behind the image.

Bhai Ghaneya gave water to both the Sikhs and their Mughal enemies, thus planting seeds of love. For this, he was brought before Guru Gobind Singh. Bhai Ghaneya’s defense was “I see God in every one of them.” The Guru replied, “Give everyone water and also apply medicine on their wounds,” Gill said. “He’s the forerunner of the Red Cross, more than 300 years ago.”

Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, said “there is only one God of the whole world; the same light shines in every person,” Gill said, regardless of color, creed, or gender. “Even emperors are born of women.”

Award winning-floats in the 2020 Tournament of Roses Parade

Deco Week galleries

 

 

 

Rose Parade 2020 award-winning floats; The UPS Store takes Sweepstakes

by Laura Berthold Monteros

For the second consecutive year, The UPS Store won the Sweepstakes trophy. “Stories Change Our World” was designed by Charles Meier and built by Fiesta Parade Floats.

Here’s the breakdown on the 131st Tournament of Roses Parade award-winning floats builders: AES, 2; Fiesta Parade Floats, 10; Phoenix Decorating Company, 6; self-builts, 6. The last time all six self-built floats won awards was 2016. The associations did a great job with animation, float design, and floral presentation this year.

Here are the winning designers: Michelle Lofthouse, 5 (Phoenix); Mike Abboud, 4 (Fiesta); Art Aguirre, 2 (Fiesta); Charles Meier, 2 (Fiesta); Stanley Meyer, 2 (Fiesta); John Ramirez, 2 (AES); Rachel Lofthouse, 1 (Phoenix)

To find out what each award means, read Rose Parade trophies get an update for 2018

For a listing of all the floats in the 2020 Rose Parade, read List of floats in the 2020 Rose Parade with titles, builders, designers

 

131st Tournament of Roses Parade Award Winners

 

Award Float Sponsor Builder/Designer
 
Sweepstakes Award The UPS Store, Inc. “Stories Change Our World” Fiesta Parade Floats

Charles Meier

Entertainment Value

Extraordinaire Award Chinese American Heritage Foundation (CAHF) “American Heroes” Fiesta Parade Floats

Mike Abboud

Wrigley Legacy Award Kaiser Permanente “Courage to Reimagine” Fiesta Parade Floats

Stanley Meyer

Judges Award Donate Life “Light in the Darkness” Fiesta Parade Floats

Charles Meier

Showmanship Award The Cowboy Channel “Walk Ride Rodeo” Phoenix Decorating Company

Rachel Lofthouse

Float Design

Theme Award Pasadena Celebrates 2020 “Years of Hope, Years  of Courage” AES

John Ramirez

Bob Hope Humor Award La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association “Dodo Bird Flight School” Self-Built

Ted Baumgart, Grant Delgatty

Director Award Cal Poly Universities “Aquatic Aspirations” Self-Built

Students

Crown City Innovator Award Trader Joe’s “It Takes a Flight of Fancy” Phoenix Decorating Company

Michelle Lofthouse

Grand Marshal Award Chipotle Mexican Grill “Cultivate the Future of Farming” Fiesta Parade Floats

Mike Abboud

Fantasy Award Northwestern Mutual “Spend Your Life Living” Fiesta Parade Floats

Stanley Meyer

Animation Award Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day “Plant a Garden…Believe in Tomorrow” Phoenix Decorating Company

Michelle Lofthouse

Americana Award General Society of Mayflower Descendants “The Voyage of Hope – 1620” Fiesta Parade Floats

Mike Abboud

Golden State Award Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens “Cultivating Curiosity” Phoenix Decorating Company

Michelle Lofthouse

Mayor Award South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association “Victory at Last” Self-Built

Michael Mera

Floral Design

President Award Sierra Madre Rose Float Association “Ka lā hiki ola” Self-Built

Jason Redfox

Isabella Coleman Award AIDS Healthcare Foundation “Hope for the Homeless” Fiesta Parade Floats

Art Aguirre

Queen Award Dole Packaged Foods “Sunshine for All” Fiesta Parade Floats

Mike Abboud

Leishman Public Spirit Award Burbank Tournament of Roses Association “Rise Up” Self-Built

Lisa Long

Princess Award City of Torrance “Our Garden of Hope and Dreams” Fiesta Parade Floats

Art Aguirre

Past President Award City of Hope “City of Hope” Phoenix Decorating Company

Michelle Lofthouse

Founder Award Downey Rose Float Association “On the Wings of Hope” Self-Built

Thom Neighbors, Carrie Redfox

International Award China Airlines “Dreams of Flying, Wings of Hope” AES

John Ramirez

Tournament Volunteer Award Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee “Hope Connects the World” Phoenix Decorating Company

Michelle Lofthouse

TOTALS AES 2 Fiesta 10 Phoenix 6 Self-Built 6

 

 

 

3 Rose Parade Deco Week photo galleries—self-builts, AES, Phoenix, Fiesta

South Pasadena does not have a float barn, and builds the float under the only concrete bridge designed by architects Charles and Henry Greene.

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Your Rose Examiner spent three consecutive days walking the float barns, and came back with tons of photos. For these galleries, I’ve chosen one of each float, shots I particularly like, just to give a flavor of the process and introduce readers to the floats that will glide along the Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 1, 2020.

The barns and decorating sites were pretty packed and the decorators were working furiously to get the dry dec on. I managed to fit in two conversations, one with Erik C. Andersen and Linda Cozakos at Burbank Tournament of Roses Association., and one with Harry Gill and Minu Singh at the Sikh American float in the Phoenix Decorating Company barn, which can be read here.

Photos in Gallery A were taken on Dec. 28 and 29, and include AES and five self-built floats (we didn’t go down to the Downey float barn). Gallery B was taken on Dec. 30 at Phoenix Decorating Company. Gallery C was also taken on Dec. 30, at Fiesta Parade Floats.

 

Deco Week Gallery A

Sierra Madre Rose Float Assn., La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Assn., AES, Cal Poly Universities, South Pasadena Rose Float Assn., Burbank Rose Float Assn.

Deco Week Gallery B

Phoenix Decorating Company

Deco Week Gallery C

Fiesta Parade Floats

2020 Rose Parade order of march

131st Tournament of Roses Parade opening float

by Laura Berthold Monteros

The 131st Tournament of Roses is packed with 90 entries, including bands, equestrians, opening and closing shows, a special mid-point Frozen extravaganza, and of course, flower-covered floats. The parade starts at 8 a.m. sharp on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. The order is subject to changes, but for now, this is what it is.

For those wondering about the floats that missed the cameras in the 2019 Rose Parade due to being behind the rather spectacular breakdown of the Chinese American Heritage Foundation float, they are back, and closer to the front in the 2020 parade. Underground Service Alert (DigAlert) has moved from 87 to 16 and South Pasadena Tournament of Roses is at 42, up from 85. It is hoped that being at that fortuitous number will ensure smooth sailing, even though the float is still behind CAHF, which is number 20.

For more about the Rose Parade and information about all the events between now and Jan. 3, check out these links:

2020 Tournament of Roses main page

2020 Rose Parade main page

INSIDER’S GUIDE TO THE 2020 TOURNAMENT OF ROSES

131ST TOURNAMENT OF ROSES CALENDAR

 

Order of March, 131st Tournament of Roses Parade

1. Rose Parade Opening Spectacular: Ally Brooke, Emilio Estefan, Farruko and the Chino Hills High School Drumline
2. U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit flyover
3. Honda float, Our Hope for the Future
4. United States Marine Corps Mounted Color Guard
5. United States Marine Corps West Coast Composite Band
6. Cal Poly Universities float, Aquatic Aspirations
7. Arabian Horse Association
8. General Society of Mayflower Descendants float, The Voyage of Hope – 1620
9. Rancho Verde Crimson Regiment
10. Burbank Tournament of Roses Association float, Rise Up
11. Grand Marshals Laurie Hernandez, Rita Moreno and Gina Torres
12. Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee float, Hope Connects the World
13. Japan Honor Green Band
14. Downey Rose Float Association float, On the Wings of Hope
15. Blue Shadows Mounted Drill Team
16. Underground Service Alert of Southern California float, The Power of Safety FIRST
17. The PRIDE of Owasso Marching Band
18. Chipotle Mexican Grill float, Cultivating the Future of Farming
19. 1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment
20. Chinese American Heritage Foundation float, American Heroes
21. Helsingør Pigegarde (Elsinore Girls Marching Band)
22. Lutheran Laymen’s League float, Anchored in Jesus
23. Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Herald Trumpets
24. Royal Court
25. Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band
26. Pasadena Celebrates 2020 float, Years of Hope. Years of Courage.
27. Mayor of Pasadena Terry Tornek and the Express Clydesdales
28. Rose Bowl Game, University Float A
29. Rose Bowl Game: University Band A
30. AIDS Healthcare Foundation float, Hope for the Homeless
31. Aguiluchos Marching Band
32. Westcom Credit Union, Better Together float: Hope Creates Community
33. Horsewomen of Temecula Wine Country
34. Trader Joe’s float, It Takes a Flight of Fancy
35. Baldwinsville Marching Bees
36. Northwestern Mutual float, Spend Your Life Living
37. Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Class of 2019: Eddie Casey, Cornelius Greene, Matt Leinart and Jacque Robinson
38. Rose Bowl Game, University Float B
39. Rose Bowl Game, University Band B
40. Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens float, Cultivating Curiosity
41. Banda Municipal de Zarcero
42. South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, Victory at Last
43. 2020 Tournament of Roses President Laura Farber
44. Alhambra Unified School District Marching Band
45. City of Alhambra float, Hope Keeps Us Going
46. Los Hermanos Bañuelos Charro Team
47. La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association float, Dodo Bird Flight School
48. Mid-parade Performance: Disney’s “Frozen” Broadway musical
49. The Valley Hunt Club
50. The UPS Store float, Stories Change Our World
51. 2020 Tournament of Roses Honored Guests: Jaime Jarrín, Sonia Manzano and Ellen Ochoa
52. Sikh American Float Foundation float, Planting Seeds of Hope
53. Greendale High School Marching Band
54. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day float, Plant a Garden … Believe in Tomorrow
55. Mid America Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team
56. Odd Fellows and Rebekahs float, First Responders Bring Hope
57. Pearland High School Marching Band
58. The SCAN Foundation float, Hope’s Heroes: Honoring Caregivers of All Generations
59. Mini Therapy Horses
60. Shriners Hospitals for Children float, Hope Knows No Limits
61. Centenaria Banda Colegial
62. Sierra Madre Rose Float Association, Ka lā hiki ola (The Dawning of a New Day)
63. Budweiser Clydesdales
64. Dole Packaged Foods float, Sunshine for All
65. Kamehameha Warrior Marching Band and Color Guard
66. City of Torrance / Torrance Rose Float Association float, Our Garden of Hope and Dreams
67. Scripps Miramar Ranch (equestrian unit)
68. Western Asset Management float, Growing a Better Tomorrow
69. Southern University “Human Jukebox” Marching Band
70. Kaiser Permanente float, Courage to Reimagine
71. Knott’s Berry Farm (equestrian unit)
72. Kiwanis International float, Soaring with Hope
73. The Cowboy Channel’s Rodeo New York Gold Buckle Brigade
74. The Cowboy Channel float, Walk. Ride. Rodeo.
75. Dobyns-Bennett High School Marching Band
76. Amazon Studios float, Troop Zero
77. Banda El Salvador: Grando Como Su Gente
78. Lions Clubs International float, Hope for 2020
79. Buffalo Soldier Mounted Cavalry Unit
80. Blue Diamond Growers float, Almond Breeze, The Best Almonds Make the Best Almond Milk
81. West Harrison Hurricane Band
82. City of Hope float, City of Hope
83. The Salvation Army Tournament of Roses Band
84. Donate Life float, Light in the Darkness
85. Spirit of the West Riders
86. Farmers Insurance float, Conveyor of Hope
87. Los Angeles Unified School District, All District High School Honor Band
88. China Airlines float, Dreams of Flying, Wings of Hope
89. Painted Ladies Rodeo Performers
90. Closing Show: “Where Flowers and Football Meet!” featuring Los Lobos and Alejandro Aranda

List of floats in the 2020 Rose Parade with titles, builders, designers

Chinese American Heritage Foundation 2020 Rose Parade Float

The Chinese American Heritage Foundation returns to the Rose Parade with a tribute to WWII Congressional Gold Medal honorees.

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

As promised, here is the most complete public listing of the floats that will appear in the 131st Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 1, 2020. The chart below lists the sponsor, title, builder, and designer for each of the 42 floats. The awards presented in 2019 are also noted.

New sponsors this year are General Society of Mayflower Descendants, celebrating 400 years since Plymouth Rock; Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, for its centennial; Pasadena Celebrates 2020, the centennial of the 19th Amendment; The Cowboy Channel, to promote its upcoming rodeo in Madison Square Garden; The SCAN Foundation; and Wescom Credit Union. Long-time sponsors who were in the 2019 parade are all returning, but still absent are Lucy Pet, Miracle-Gro, Singpoli, and the City of Los Angeles. Also missing are 24 Hour Fitness and the American Armenian Rose Float Association.

There are 39 sponsored entries, six of them self-built, and three Tournament of Roses entries, including the Royal Court float and two floats for the schools playing in the 106th Rose Bowl Game. Phoenix decorating company tops the numbers with 18 floats, followed by Fiesta with 11 and AES with five, seven if they build the team floats, which they have done in the past.

The most prolific designer is Michelle Lofthouse of Phoenix Decorating, with 18 entries. Sometimes, designers cross boundaries and create concepts for more than one commercial builder, but this year, they break down by company: AES, John Ramirez (4); Fiesta, Michael Abboud (4), Stanley Meyer (3), Art Aguirre (2), Charles Meier (2); Phoenix, Michelle Lofthouse (17), Rachel Lofthouse (3).

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131st Tournament of Roses Parade Floats

Sponsor Title Builder Designer 2019 Award
AIDS Healthcare Foundation “Hope for the Homeless” Fiesta Parade Floats Art Aguirre
Amazon Studios “Troop Zero” AES John Ramirez
American Honda Motor Company “Our Hope for the Future” AES John Ramirez
Blue Diamond Almonds “The Best Almonds Make the Best Almondmilk” AES John Ramirez
Burbank Tournament of Roses Association “Rise Up” Self-Built Lisa Long Animation
Cal Poly Universities “Aquatic Aspirations” Self-Built Student designed Extraordinaire
China Airlines “Dreams of Flying, Wings of Hope” AES John Ramirez International
Chinese American Heritage Foundation (CAHF) “American Heroes” Fiesta Parade Floats Mike Abboud
Chipotle Mexican Grill “Cultivate the Future of Farming” Fiesta Parade Floats Mike Abboud
City of Alhambra, CA “Hope Keeps Us Going” Phoenix Decorating Company Michelle Lofthouse Princess
City of Hope “City of Hope” Phoenix Decorating Company Michelle Lofthouse President
City of Torrance “Our Garden of Hope and Dreams” Fiesta Parade Floats Art Aguirre Tournament Volunteer
Dole Packaged Foods “Sunshine for All” Fiesta Parade Floats Mike Abboud Wrigley Legacy
Donate Life “Light in the Darkness” Fiesta Parade Floats Charles Meier Judges
Downey Rose Float Association “On the Wings of Hope” Self-Built Thom Neighbors, Carrie Redfox
Farmers Insurance “Conveyor of Hope” Phoenix Decorating Company Rachel Lofthouse Queen
General Society of Mayflower Descendants “The Voyage of Hope – 1620” Fiesta Parade Floats Mike Abboud
Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens “Cultivating Curiosity” Phoenix Decorating Company Michelle Lofthouse
Kaiser Permanente “Courage to Reimagine” Fiesta Parade Floats Stanley Meyer
Kiwanis International “Soaring with Hope” Phoenix Decorating Company Michelle Lofthouse
La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association “Dodo Bird Flight School” Self-Built Ted Baumgart, Grant Delgatty Founder
Lions Clubs International “Hope for 2020” Phoenix Decorating Company Michelle Lofthouse
Lutheran Laymen’s League “Anchored in Jesus” Phoenix Decorating Company Michelle Lofthouse
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day “Plant a Garden…Believe in Tomorrow” Phoenix Decorating Company Michelle Lofthouse Americana
Northwestern Mutual “Spend Your Life Living” Fiesta Parade Floats Stanley Meyer Bob Hope Humor
Odd Fellows Rebekahs Rose Float “First Responders Bring Hope” Phoenix Decorating Company Michelle Lofthouse
Pasadena Celebrates 2020 “Years of Hope, Years  of Courage” AES AES
Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee “Hope Connects the World” Phoenix Decorating Company Michelle Lofthouse
Shriners Hospitals for Children “Hope Knows No Limits” Phoenix Decorating Company Rachel Lofthouse Theme
Sierra Madre Rose Float Association “Ka lā hiki ola” Self-Built Jason Redfox Director
Sikh American Float Foundation “Planting Seeds of Hope” Phoenix Decorating Company Michelle Lofthouse Isabella Coleman
South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association “Victory at Last” Self-Built Michael Mera Mayor
The Cowboy Channel “Walk Ride Rodeo” Phoenix Decorating Company Rachel Lofthouse
The SCAN Foundation “Hope’s Heroes” Phoenix Decorating Company Michelle Lofthouse
The UPS Store, Inc. “Stories Change Our World” Fiesta Parade Floats Charles Meier Sweepstakes
Tournament of Roses 2020 Royal Court Phoenix Decorating Company Preston Bailey
Tournament of Roses Rose Bowl Game Team: University of Oregon N/A N/A
Tournament of Roses Rose Bowl Game Team: University of Wisconsin N/A N/A
Trader Joe’s “It Takes a Flight of Fancy” Phoenix Decorating Company Michelle Lofthouse Crown City Innovator
Underground Service Alert of Southern California (DIGALERT) “The Power of Safety FIRST” Fiesta Parade Floats Stanley Meyer Past President
Wescom Credit Union “Better Together: Hope Creates Community” Phoenix Decorating Company Michelle Lofthouse
Western Asset Management Company “Growing a Better Tomorrow” Phoenix Decorating Company Michelle Lofthouse Fantasy

Royal Court opens Pasadena Visitors Hotline for 2020 Tournament of Roses

Tournament of Roses President Laura Farber surrounded by the Royal Court: Princesses Rukan Saif, Mia Thorsen, Emilie Risha, Queen Camille Kennedy, Princesses Reese Rosental Saporito, Michael Wilkins, Cole Fox

by Laura Berthold Monteros

With a snip of oversized goldens scissors, Rose Queen Camille Kennedy and the Tournament of Roses Royal Court opened the 36th Annual Visitors Hotline phone bank on Dec.11, two weeks earlier than usual. The Pasadena Convention and Visitors Bureau hosts the hotline to provide fast and accurate information about the 131st Rose Parade, 106th Rose Bowl Game, and the City of Pasadena.

Christine Susa, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Pasadena Convention and Visitors Center, told The Rose Examiner that the earlier calls are “less hectic” and more about hotels and the Rose Bowl Game teams than those that come after Christmas. “It’s more, ‘We just got our tickets, now what,” she said.

Lined up behind the wide red ribbon, the girls on the court grinned widely when Queen Camille cut the ribbon to officially open the hotline. Each station has a phone and bound book with all—or at least most—of the information volunteers need to help visitors to the 131st Tournament of Roses. The phones started ringing immediately, but we had a little time between calls to speak with the young women. One thing that is evident in watching and talking with this court is the way they enjoy each other. There was a lot of laughter this morning. Be sure to check out the gallery below!

College dreams and special birthdays

We started with Princess Reese Rosental Saporito, the youngest and tallest member of the Royal Court.

“She just turned 17 yesterday,” Queen Camille piped up. Reese said that she “doesn’t feel super different;” after all, she isn’t heads above the others (nor very much younger, though Dec. 31 is the deadline for Royal Court members to be at least 17.). She did acknowledge that sometimes she has to squat a bit for photos.

Camille has a birthday of her own coming up. She will turn 18 on Dec. 22. While she had traditional birthday celebrations growing up, despite being so close to Christmas, her last two birthdays were in Tokyo with her host family. They went out for sushi, then came home to traditional Japanese cakes. They’re very small, she said, each slice is a quarter of the cake.

We asked Princess Rukan Saif about her application to Yale College. (A disclaimer here, one of the offspring of The Rose Examiner attended Yale.) She said she will hear on Monday. She plans on studying history with an eye to law school and a professorship.

“All of us are finding out very soon,” she said, sounding pretty excited about it.

Princess Mia Thorsen is also waiting to hear from the many colleges to which she has applied. Her first choice is Brown University in Providence. Princess Emilie Risha said she had applied to schools in California, and has already been accepted to Saint Mary’s College of California in the Bay Area, and has received the highly competitive Presidential Scholarship.

Covering all her bases for the Rose Bowl Game, Princess Cole Fox has been accepted to the University of Oregon and is waiting to hear from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Ducks and Badgers will face off in the 2020 Rose Bowl Game. Cole applied to colleges all over the country that have outstanding biology programs, in preparation for going to med school.

“I’m open to whichever school has the best opportunities,” she said.

We asked Princess Michael Wilkins if she was a celebrity at her school. “I get a few ‘Hey, Princesses,’” she said, and sometimes applause when she enters a classroom. She says she and her parents talk about her role on the court all the time.

Both Reese and Mia attend Marshall Fundamental High School in Pasadena, and shared that they get have fun together after school. Reese reminded us that the last princess from Marshall was Queen Madison Triplett in 2015. In honor of the two, the school is putting up a display in the hall. The official Tournament of Roses photos have just been sent over for the display.

“It’s exciting,” Reese said. “It’s a special experience for the school and for us.”

An innovative president

Laura Farber has expanded the boundaries of the Rose Parade. Her tenure has seen the inclusion of more women and Latinos than in the past, matching the diversity of the Pasadena area and the Tournament of Roses Association, and she has added a brand-new half-time show to the parade.

“It’s the largest international stage that exists,” she said in her introductory remarks. “This year is really spectacular,”  It’s the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote in federal elections, and a woman will pilot the B-2 in its flyover.

We asked her about the half-time show, “Frozen 2,” which will occur at the mid-point in the parade. Some followers of our Facebook page, All Things Rose Parade, have expressed concerns that the show will only perform for the video cameras on Orange Grove and Colorado.

“It’s been off-the-charts positive,” she replied. The performance will continue all along the parade route, not just for the cameras. “We want to give everyone a treat.”

“We’re trying to appeal to a broader audience,” she added, to balance the traditional and the innovative. “We have something for everybody, to appeal to everybody.”

In addition to Farber, officials attending were Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek and Vice-Mayor Tyron Hampton; Pasadena Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Michael Ross, Executive Director Jeanne Goldsmith, and Director of Marketing and Communications Christine Susa; and Tournament of Roses Executive Director/CEO David Eads.

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