Tournament of Roses announces 2018 float judges: Carrión, Kaye, Sutton

María Eugenia Carrión, Bradley Kaye, and James Sutton will choose the 2018 Rose Parade float trophy winners


by Laura Berthold Monteros (from reports)

The three judges chosen by the Tournament of Roses to award trophies to floats in the 129th Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2018 have impressive backgrounds in floral design, horticulture, floats, and pageantry, and they all fit the theme “Making a Difference.” The judges are María Eugenia Carrion, Bradley Kaye, and Jim Sutton.

They will award trophies to 24 of the 40-45 floats that participate in the parade using the updated award criteria for 2018, which include creative design, floral craftsmanship, artistic merit, computerized animation, thematic interpretation, floral and color presentation, and dramatic impact.

The 2018 Tournament of Roses President, Lance Tibbet said, “Being a horticultural professional, managing and owning a wholesale nursery, it’s an honor to welcome these professionals to the Tournament family. I’m excited to have these very talented members of the floral and design professions judge our floats this year.” He will announce the award-winning floats the morning of the parade on the front steps of Tournament House.

About the 2018 Rose Parade Float Judges

María Eugenia Carrión comes by her talent naturally. The daughter of Luis Justo Carrión Tejeda, a pioneer of the professional floriculture in México, “Maru” has been in the industry since 1968 when she began as Sales Manager of her father’s company, Viveros Mexicanos, S.A. She opened her first retail shop, Enviflora in Mexico City in 1979. In 1996, Carrión was the first Mexican accepted into the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) and to earn the European Master Certification (EMC) in Belgium in 2014.

As one of the few Mexican designers who had the opportunity to study abroad, Carrión has made a difference by actively working to bring the EMC to Mexico. EMC provides the knowledge and tools to appropriately express feelings through flowers while applying key design elements and principles. She has also promoted continuous education and strengthening ties among industry participants.

Bradley Kaye has been with Disney Parks Live Entertainment since 1998, starting with the Tokyo DisneySea opening entertainment design, and now as Principal Art Director based at the California Disney Resort. In addition to key projects in Disney parks around the world and on Disney cruise ships, Kaye designed the 2006 and 2013 Rose Parade floats for Disney. He has also worked on parades at the Disney properties and designed Disney floats for the Shanghai Tourism Festival parade.

Kaye makes a difference by donating his time designing shows for Chance Theater in Anaheim,  as well as having designed the lobby and marquee for their new venue. He serves on the advisory board for the Laguna Niguel Community Theatre, consulting on their shows, outreach program, and working with their volunteers in mentoring young design students.

Jim Sutton is the Display Designer for Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pa. Founded by Pierre S. du Pont, Longwood is one of the world’s great gardens, encompassing 1,077 acres of gardens, woodlands, meadows, fountains and a 4-acre conservatory complex. Sutton is the aesthetic gatekeeper for Longwood, responsible for conception, designing, and implementing Longwood’s renowned Conservatory displays. His aesthetic expertise and plant savvy have made him a sought-after judge at the prestigious Philadelphia International Flower Show and for the America in Bloom program, which promotes community enhancement programs through the use of flowers, plants, and trees.

Sutton made a difference as a former Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras. He implemented and demonstrated techniques for soil conservation and improvement and taught environmental awareness during his two-year assignment. In addition to his design role, Sutton teaches courses in floral design in Longwood’s Continuing Education Program and lectures on horticultural topics across the country.


Rose Parade 2017 recap and trophy winners

Rose Parade Sweepstakes Trophy. Photo courtesy of Pasadena Tournament of Roses.
Rose Parade Sweepstakes Trophy. Photo courtesy of Pasadena Tournament of Roses.

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Today’s Rose Parade was another wonder of the world. It went off without a visible hitch—no breakdowns, no gaps between entries, a good pace, more than a thousand Tournament of Roses volunteers directing the action, and law enforcement that was both present and respectful. There were floats that were spectacular, whimsical, imaginative, touching. The bands were spot on (except for a few ragged corners at Orange Grove and Colorado), the equestrians colorful and the horses well-behaved, and the vehicles for the dignitaries ranged from boron wagons pulled by 20 mules to a really spiffy 1937 Bentley.

It was cold, cold all day, which is unusual for Pasadena. The heavy overcast brought no moisture and kept the early temperature to 51 degrees, 20 degrees warmer than last year, but the sun never broke through. By parade’s end, Continue reading “Rose Parade 2017 recap and trophy winners”

What are the Rose Parade float trophies and who gets them?

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Isabella Coleman Trophy at Tournament House. Photo copyright 2011 by LB Monteros.
Isabella Coleman Trophy at Tournament House. Photo copyright 2011 by LB Monteros.

By the time the spectacular floats begin rolling along Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena on New Year’s morning, they have been through a rigorous judging process.  Every inch of the float must be covered with some sort of botanical material—flowers, petals, seeds, bark, grass, fruit, beans, rice, and just about anything the float designers can imagine.

The Tournament of Roses awards trophies in 24 different categories for the outstanding entries in the Rose Parade.  A panel of three judges examines the floats twice during the decorating stage and once a few hours before the New Year.  One of the judges represents the floral industry; the others may be from different but related fields. Scores are based on criteria such as creative design, floral craftsmanship, artistic merit, computerized animation, thematic interpretation, floral and color presentation, and dramatic impact.  Scores from each session are combined to determine winners.

It’s sometimes a scramble for the decorators to get finished and ensure all the animation and mechanics are working by the deadline, but a missed deadline means a missed opportunity for a prestigious award. That’s a rare occurrence, and not something a builder wants to tell a sponsor.

Here are the titles and descriptions of the Rose Parade float awards.  Keep this list on hand as you watch the parade on television or along the route, and return to this space after the parade to find out which floats and builders won!

Animation: Best animation and motion
Bob Hope Humor: Most comical and amusing
Craftsman: Exceptional showmanship and dramatic impact – over 55’ only
Crown City Innovation: Best use of imagination and innovation to advance the art of float design
Director’s honoring Jacob Maarse: Outstanding artistic merit in design and floral presentation
Extraordinaire: Most spectacular, including floats over 55’
Fantasy: Most outstanding display of fantasy and imagination
Founders’: Most spectacular built and decorated by volunteers from a community or organization
Governor’s: Best depiction of life in California
Grand Marshal’s: Excellence in creative concept and design
International: Most beautiful entry from outside the continental US
Isabella Coleman: Best presentation of color and color harmony through floral use
Judge’s Special: Most spectacular in showmanship and dramatic impact
Lathrop K. Leishman: Most beautiful non-commercial
Mayor’s: Most outstanding city entry – national or international
National: Best depiction of life in the USA, past, present or future
Past Presidents’: Most creative use of floral and non-floral
President’s: Most effective floral use and presentation
Princess’: Most beautiful 35’ or under
Queen’s: Most effective use and display of roses in concept, design, and presentation
Sweepstakes: Most beautiful entry with outstanding floral presentation and design
Theme: Excellence in presenting parade theme
Tournament Special: Exceptional merit in multiple categories, including floats over 55’
Tournament Volunteers: Best floral design of theme 35’ or under