All photos copyright 2016 Ramona Monteros
The American West is not only those places north of the Rio Grande. Many of the cowboy traditions in the Southwest United States had Mexican roots. This is reflected in my choice of photos for this gallery. Native and African Americans also deeply influenced the cultures we think of as Western.
Western Asset Management Company employees were presented with seven different float designs and chose this fanciful rendition of typical National Park, with 28-foot high redwood and cavorting animals. The float was built by Phoenix Decorating Company.
Western Asset Management Company team members brainstormed suggestions for a float name that would reflect the Rose Parade theme of "Find Your Adventure." The winning entry was “Let Your Imagination Run Wild!”
Western Asset Management Company: A racoon created with various grasses looks like it might step off the float and into the crowd.
Western Asset Management Company: Uva grass and palm fiber were used to create the thick coat on this brown bear, who is trying to snag a jumping fish.
Wyoming All-State Marching Band from Cheyenne came up the Rose Parade route to the “Magnificent Seven” theme. The band has 298 members representing up to 32 different communities and 27 high school programs.
Wyoming All-State Marching Band marched in the Rose Parade for the fifth time. The drum major for the first entry in 1991 now has two children in the band.
South Dakota Department of Tourism entered its first Rose Parade float in 2016 with “Great Faces and Great Places of South Dakota,” built by Phoenix Decorating Company. Mount Rushmore Memorial was chosen to celebrate the centennial the National Park Service and the 75th anniversary of the completion of Mount Rushmore.
South Dakota Department of Tourism: The state has 71,800 Native Americans from nine different tribes. The float featured Great Plains icons—horse, bison with calf, peccary, bald eagle, corn, and feather. South Dakota is home to six National Parks.
South Dakota Department of Tourism float was double-sided, with the carvings of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln on both on- and off-camera sides. The faces used powered white rice, ground white and black pepper, ground poppy seed, and black onion powder.
Dakota Thunder Shires from Sioux Falls S.D., founded by Houston Haugo and Joe Biren, appeared in their first Rose Parade in 2016. The team is in the second year as the National Shire Six Horse hitch champion.
Dakota Thunder Shires are 17 to 19 hands (68 to 76 inches) high at the withers. Shires are the heaviest horses in the world, weighing up to 2,700 pounds.
Dakota Thunder Shires riders and roses reflect the black and gold of the wagon.
The Martinez Family rides in its 33rd Rose Parade, wearing authentic military-style charro suits dating back to the early 19th century. The horses are Andalusians, Aztecas, and Friesians with authentic charro saddles.
Martinez Family patriarch Benny Martinez twirls his lariat the entire parade route. The group is from Aguanga, Calif. in Riverside County, population 1,128.
The Martinez Family says that riding in the Rose Parade each year, surrounded by every living thing, people and every kind plants, reminds them to give thanks to God.
Centro Escolar José Maria Morelos y Pavón, Aguilas Doradas Marching Band, Puebla, Mexico is 201 members strong. 2016 was the unit’s second Rose Parade.
Aguilas Doradas Marching Band banner and flag bearers wear sequined skirts in the colors of the Mexican flag. The band played “Cielito Lindo.”
Aguilas Doradas Marching Band from Puebla honors one of the great heroes of Mexican independence, Jose Maria Morelos Y Pavón.
Aguilas Doradas Marching Band wear golden helmets shaped like an eagle’s head to emulate the Eagle Knight of the Aztec culture, which denotes courage, pride, and identity.
Hermanos Bañuelos Charro Team is from Altadena, just up the road from the Pasadena Rose Parade. The horses include American Quarter Horse, Andalusian, and Azteca, which is a cross between the Quarter Horse and Andalusian. Marshal: Ramon Bañuelos.
Hermanos Bañuelos Charro Team ropers do a variety of moves as they ride in their eighth Rose Parade. The charro saddle was created in Spain; Mexicans added the large horn for roping.
Hermanos Bañuelos Charro Team costumes are handmade authentic charro attire, made in Mexico and the United States. All the embroidery is by hand, including the roses on the shirts, in honor of the Rose Parade.
Hermanos Bañuelos Charro Team wears the mandatory long-sleeved collared shirt and bow tie of the charro, with authentic rabbit fur sombreros, rawhide chaps, and leather boots.
Hermanos Bañuelos Charro Team. The tack on this horse is a bit fancier than the rest of the unit, with silver on the breast collar and saddle.