Live on Green returns to Pasadena for pre-Rose Parade fun

Space Exploration Display, courtesy Huerta Quorum

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Adding excitement and just generally “things to do” in Pasadena in the days before the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game, Live on Green takes over the Pasadena Convention Center at 300 E. Green St. with music, demonstrations, food, and activities for all ages. The free event returns for a third year, Dec. 29 through 31, 2017, focusing on “Making A Difference,” this year’s Tournament of Roses theme. We sat down with Barbara Cocks and Alessandra Schulman of Huerta Quorum (HQ), the creative force behind Live on Green, to talk about what’s in store for visitors.

Cocks said HQ wants to create something that surrounds the Rose Parade with a sense of excitement. Its success last year with locals as well as people in town for the parade and game indicates Live on Green is well received. Of the 22,000 people who attended last year, 75 percent were from Southern California, and 25 percent from outside the area.

Each year, there is a signature organization that anchors the event and expands on the theme. Cocks enthused about the difference-makers that will be featured in 2017. NASA, JPL, Caltech, and the aerospace industry in general have had some of the biggest impacts on our lives. She noted that in addition to inspiring people, NASA technology has aided development of some items that are now in everyday use, and JPL research helps us to better understand what is going on here on earth. Medical breakthroughs, environmental data, engineering marvels, transportation safety, firefighting equipment, and LEDs have benefitted from that technology.

The Pasadena-based Planetary Society will be represented as well, and CNN has granted permission to use “The Space Race” episode from its documentary series, The Sixties. The United States Air Force, last year’s centerpiece, asked to take part again this year. Given how many early astronauts began their careers as pilots, it should be a good fit.

Live on Green is also working with Pasadena Museum of History to honor the 100th Rose Queen and to promote PMH’s exhibit, “Royals of Pasadena,” which focuses on the Queens and Princesses throughout the years. Some of the royalty will be speaking at the event and will be  available for photo opps and questions. PMH will have a mini-display at Live on Green, and will have extended hours for the exhibit. (For walkers, it’s about a half-hour stroll between the two.)

Taking place across the street at Paseo Colorado is a moving tribute to the men and women who gave the last full measure of devotion for our country. “Remembering Our Fallen” is a traveling memorial that displays images of those who have lost their lives in the War on Terror. Cocks said the panels will travel from Washington D.C. to the Reagan Library in Simi Valley and be installed at the Paseo for Rose Parade week, Dec. 29 through Jan. 1.

Things to see and do include the Coaches’ Challenge Family Fun Zone, Culinary Cues Stage, entertainment stage (at the Paseo), Spirit Pavilion with its tribute to space exploration and lots of activities and displays, and plenty of food and beverages (including the popular Dole Whip) at reasonable prices. Partners and charities include Union Station Homeless Services, Pasadena Humane Society, Food Share, Dole Packaged Food, One Archives Foundation, Smart & Final, Fiesta Parade Floats, LA Rams, Bob Hope USO, Lockheed Martin, and more than a dozen others. Visit the Live on Green website for all the info, and as the event gets closer, a schedule.

 

Hobnobbing with Rose Parade royalty in Pasadena

At last Friday’s reception for “Royals of Pasadena” at Pasadena Museum of History, 20 former and three current Royal Court members gave the classic Rose Parade wave.

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

The invitation said “Royal attire encouraged.” The Rose Examiner did not have royal attire, but we were in the courtly spirit at the reception for members of the Rose Parade Royal Court, past and present, at Pasadena Museum of History’s exhibit “Royals of Pasadena” on Sept. 8. More than 20 Rose Queens and Princesses attended. Each one received a special tiara from Laura Verlaque, Director of Collections as she entered. We were able to talk with several of the Royals, as well as one of the curators of the exhibit.

Be sure to check out the photo gallery in this article, and the stories of the Rose Queen crowns in the article below.

Gowns and wardrobe items were solicited from members of Royal Courts across the decades. Verlaque said that originally, PMH was going to send letters to the entire list of prior Court members that the Tournament of Roses had provided. Then, right before the letters were to go out, she realized that was a tremendous number of women, so the requests were limited to those who still lived in California. Even with that, 75 gowns were offered.

Elissa De Angelo is one of a group of volunteers who preserve the textiles in the PMH collection, and prepare them for display. As the dresses came in, she altered the mannequins to fit the dresses. “Boobs, shoulder pads, clothes from each decade were worn differently,” she said. Some of the dresses had to be cleaned or steamed, with care to the kind of fabric. She said a hair dryer was used to blow the dust off silk garments, because silk could not be cleaned.

“The French Hand Laundry was very helpful with offering expertise,” De Angelo said. (The business, a Pasadena fixture, has operated since 1912.) For more about PMH textile exhibits, read “Fabulous Fashions” (pdf).

She called our attention to the most recent dress, a sapphire gown worn by 2017 Rose Princess Shannon Larsuel. Asked if any of the queens had worn their dresses in their weddings, she directed us to the 1949 white gown worn by Queen Virginia Bower. Both are pictured in the photo gallery.

Beverlie Anderson MacDuff was a Rose Princess in Queen Virginia’s court. “I had a wonderful time,” she said. “I’ve always been happy that I was a princess.” Born in Pasadena, Princess Beverlie said she went to the Rose Parade “a babe in arms.” She never missed a parade after that.

 

All photos copyright 2017 by Laura Berthold Monteros

Crowning the Rose Parade Queens: Photo gallery

by Laura Berthold  Monteros

Since the first Rose Queen graced the flower-bedecked float that carried her along the Rose Parade route on Jan. 2, 1905 (the first was a Sunday), there have been different crowns for different eras. Some of the early queens did not have crowns, and wore garlands or hats instead. The Pasadena Museum of History has several on display in its “Royals of Pasadena” exhibit, now through Feb. 11, 2018.

A special crown was created exclusively for the 50th Rose Queen, but the Tournament of Roses tells us that the 100th Rose Queen will continue to wear the Mikimoto pearl crown. A couple of Tournament members, one formerly the chair of the Queen & Court Committee, noted how heavy this crown is. “Did you see how Tori’s head went back?” one asked, recalling Queen Victoria’s coronation last fall. She had to stand very straight to keep it balanced.

Click through the photos for descriptions of each crown, including who wore it. Do you have a favorite? Use the comments to give your opinion. We would also love to hear from Rose Queens about the crowns they wore! Unless otherwise credited, photos are by Joann Wilborn/Marlyn Woo and are copyrighted.

Even after 100 years, a Rose Queen is forever at Pasadena Museum of History

Pres. Brad Ratliff with the 99th Queen of the Tournament of Roses, Victoria “Tori” Cecilia Castellanos.

UPDATE: Pasadena Museum of History is pleased to extend the Blue Star Museums program offer of free admission to active duty personnel for the new exhibition Royals of Pasadena, which opened to the public Labor Day weekend. It is on view noon to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays through Feb. 11, 2018.

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

On Jan. 1, 2018, the 100th Rose Queen will ride a spectacular new float along Colorado Blvd. in the 129th Tournament of Roses Parade. In anticipation of this historic happening, Pasadena Museum of History is presenting an exhibit featuring crowns and gowns of past Rose Queens, including the one Margaret Huntley Main wore in the 1940 parade. Queen Margaret is the most senior living Rose Queen, the author of A Rose Queen Is Forever, and co-founder of the Queens Club with Sally Stanton Rubsamen.

“Royals of Pasadena,” runs from Sept. 2, 2017 through Feb. 11, 2018, so folks in town for the Tournament of Roses can plan a visit to PMH. In addition to stunning gowns by William Cahill and Tadashi Shoji, jewel-encrusted crowns of the past century are on loan from the signature sponsor Tournament of Roses. Photos and ephemera documenting this Pasadena tradition will be displayed, as well as daywear, accessories, and jewelry from the Court wardrobes, on loan from former members of the Royal Court. The exhibit will explore the traditions and history of the Royal Court, from the selection process to riding on a float in the Rose Parade.

A tidbit of history here: The upcoming parade will be the 129th, but the queen who will be chosen on Oct. 20 is only the 100th. Why is that? The answer is at the end of this article. Continue reading “Even after 100 years, a Rose Queen is forever at Pasadena Museum of History”

History Lit trio of plays at Pasadena Museum of History

Elyse Ashton and Morgan Zenith in “The Girl Who Owned a Bear” in the History Lit production at Pasadena Museum of History. Credit: Daniel Kitayama

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Three carefully chosen plays offer a spectrum of emotions in Unbound Productions History Lit at Pasadena Museum of History through July 31. This is the second time the company has mounted a trio of adapted short stories reflecting various historical periods at the museum. History Lit is immersive theater, where the action takes place in close proximity to the audience and the venue enhances the stories. Two of the plays, “The Garden Party” and “Two Pictures in One” were originally presented four years ago, and one, “The Girl Who Owned a Bear,” makes its debut.

Jonathan Josephson’s adaptation of a short story from American Fairy Tales by L. Frank Baum, “The Girl Who Owned a Bear” is a delightful confection that utilizes the current exhibit at PMH, “Flying Horses & Mythical Beasts: The Magical World of Carousel Animals.” It was the perfect setting for the fanciful tale of…well, you have to see it, but let’s just say that it’s the story of a resourceful and imaginative, if a bit spoiled, young lady who does not like to read. Morgan Zenith captured the credulity of Jane Gladys and Chairman Barnes brought humor to the affable author Peter Smith. Elyse Ashton, Mark Bate, and Melissa Perl played creatures only Baum could have dreamed up.
Continue reading “History Lit trio of plays at Pasadena Museum of History”