Burgers and camaraderie at self-built float picnic

Cal Poly Pomona 2019 float team, L-R: Elizabeth Meyer, Nathan Muro, Stephanie Ferreya, Hana Haideri, Caitlin Yaneza, Wolfgang Breitenbach

by Laura Berthold Monteros

One might think that there would be a good deal of competition among the associations that build their own floats for the Tournament of Roses Parade. Indeed there is, but it’s all good-natured. Once a year, they get together for a picnic or potluck at one of the float sites to reveal the designs for the upcoming parade, talk shop, and share information. Your Rose Examiner dropped by the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Assn. build site on Saturday to chat with some of the folks and glimpse the design sketches for the 2019 parade.

The floats will end up looking a good deal like the sketches, but there will be tweaks along the way, some by the builders as they work on structural and floral elements and some from the TOR Float Committee. With the theme being “The Melody of Life,” there’s an emphasis on incorporating musical elements in each entry. In the case of Sierra Madre Rose Float Assn., acceptance of the design was contingent on adding an instrument to the float. The team added a koto player to “Harmony’s Garden,” a depiction of the Japanese Garden on the grounds of Sierra Madre Elementary School.

Check out the photos below!

Five of the six self-built associations were at the picnic—SPTOR, Burbank Tournament of Roses Assn., La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Assn., SMRFA, and Cal Poly Pomona—which form a sort of necklace along the foothills. The remaining builder is Downey Rose Float Assn., which is further south. San Luis Obispo, the northern half of the Cal Poly Universities Rose Float, gets together with the Pomona when it rolls down in October.

We met Janetta Mcdowell, the Cal Poly Pomona Rose Float Director, and spoke with six of the students who are on the team this year. Despite all the hours they put in, they get no academic credit. “It’s a club, not a class,” they said. During crunch time towards the end of the year, they will be joined by other volunteers. Here’s a little about the students in the photo above.

  • Elizabeth Meyer is working on the float for her second year, last year as a volunteer and this year as a team member. She works on the hydraulics, a messy job but one that is redolent with the scents of childhood spent with her mechanical grandfather. She’s studying mechanical engineering and working on the float is her senior project.
  • Nathan Muro volunteered for a year before joining the float team two years ago. He is the design committee chair and is majoring in electrical engineering.
  • Stephanie Ferreya is an assistant chair of the design committee and is in her second year on the float. She majors in biology.
  • Hana Haideri is an electrical engineering major; this is her second year on the float team after volunteering for a year.
  • Caitlin Yaneza works on the electronics on the float as part of the construction team. This is her second year on the team. She is a psychology major.
  • Wolfgang Breitenbach is on the team for the first year. His choice was the deco committee, which handles the floral design. His major is manufacturing engineering, which he simplified for us by saying that it about automation and assembly lines.

Cal Poly Universities are known for engineering and agriculture, so we asked if anyone was an agriculture major. The head of the decorating committee, which is in charge of ensuring that floral and botanical choices are made, fulfilled, and get on the float, is an ag major, we were told.

The all-volunteer associations are very proud that they give the professional builders a run for their money. One of the Burbank volunteers noted that the only trophy designated for self-builts is the Founder Award, but in recent years, self-builts have frequently taken four or five trophies overall. In 2016, all six groups won awards. For long-time Rose Parade aficionados, the self-builts are the heart of the parade. It will be exciting to see how they fare in 2019.

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 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.

 

2019 Rose Parade

 

 

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.

Tickets

Where to get tickets and parking for the 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade

There is no such thing as the Rose BOWL Parade!

Floats

General Information

Rose Parade trophies get an update for 2018

Rose Parade 2019 events: Buy tickets for Bandfest, Equestfest, Decorating Places, Showcase of Floats

Documentary ‘Float’ chronicles Burbank’s entry from concept to Colorado Blvd.

Building Rose Parade floats: The tools of the trade

Put flowers on a float! Some tips

Bands

Marching bands chosen to play ‘The Melody of Life’ in the 2019 Rose Parade

Equestrians

 

Rose Parade 2019 events: Buy tickets for Bandfest, Equestfest, Decorating Places, Showcase of Floats

Remo Drums of the world leads the crowd at Bandfest in tapping out rhythms.

by Laura Berthold Monteros

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.

 

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.

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