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

Tournament House open for public tours through August

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Tournament House/Wrigley Mansion front porch. Copyright LB Monteros

The Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association invites the public into their home and headquarters for free tours from Feb. 1 through the end of August, 2018. The tours, led by white-suited docents, are given twice each Thursday at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. No reservations are required for individuals and small parties, but groups of 10 or more should call 626) 449-4100 for reservations. Before and after the tour, visitors are welcome to stroll in the gardens, which feature more than 1,500 varieties of roses, camellias and annuals.

Tournament House, also known as Wrigley Mansion, was once home to the Wrigley family of chewing gum fame. Ada Wrigley, the matriarch of the family, so enjoyed watching the Rose Parade from her upstairs window that she willed the mansion to the City of Pasadena for use by the Tournament of Roses. Since 1958, the house has been the nexus of operations for the Rose Parade, Rose Bowl Game, and a score of other events.

Tours start promptly, so it’s advised to arrive on the porch by the front door early.  The house is located at 391 S. Orange Grove Blvd., between Arbor and Lockehaven streets.  Street parking is available.

Tournament of Roses Pres. Gerald Freeny sings ‘The Melody of Life’

Gerald Freeny, president of the 2019 Tournament of Roses, at Tournament House. Photo by LB Monteros

by Laura Berthold Monteros

With the Tournament of Roses looking to add more “entertainment value” over the past few years, Pres. Gerald Freeny’s theme for the 2019 Rose Parade, “The Melody of Life,” seems tailor made. But it means more to Freeny than just the excitement that The Forum float with Earth, Wind & Fire brought to the 2018 parade. We had the opportunity chat at Tournament House on Monday about the 130th Rose Parade and 105th Rose Bowl Game, which will be held on Jan. 1, 2019.

“Music is the universal language. It’s something that soothes us, calms us, heals us,” Freeny said. It brings families together and makes enemies into friends, breaks down barriers, breaks down walls, identifies things we have in common. Music brings back memories of special people and loved ones. When Earth, Wind & Fire performed, he said, “everyone was dancing. It brought joy to everyone.”

With music touching nearly everyone, the theme opens many possibilities for float design. “The Melody of Life” fits well with serious and humorous themes, and opens opportunities for performers in all genres of music. Freeny noted that a choir could be on board a float, and music could be gospel, jazz, contemporary, Motown. With the Los Angeles Philharmonic celebrating its 100th anniversary, it could even be classical.

When we asked who his favorite artists are, he had to think. He definitely favors jazz saxophone players though; he mentioned Kenny G, Grover Washington, Jr., Boney James, and Stanley Turrentine, with a nod to guitarist Wes Montgomery. Motown’s high on his list, with the Four Tops, Earth, Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, and Lionel Richie getting first mentions.

Life in song

Freeny’s alma mater, John Muir High School in Pasadena, had a reputation for music and sports at the time. He chose sports, but he noted that there was music on in the locker room. On Sunday, he was watching ESPN and noticed how many headsets the players had as they walked out to the field and back into the locker room.

“Music, as well as bringing people together, ties families together,” he said. On holidays when family Continue reading “Tournament of Roses Pres. Gerald Freeny sings ‘The Melody of Life’”

Gerald Freeny elected Tournament of Roses president; theme is ‘The Melody of Life’

from reports

Gerald Freeny, President 2019 Tournament of Roses

The Tournament of Roses makes two big announcements at the board of directors meeting on the third Thursday of January: the name of the president for the upcoming Tournament of Roses and the theme he or she has chosen. The first isn’t a surprise, due to the organizational structure of the Tournament, but the second is always a pleasant revelation.

Gerald Freeny was elected President for the 2018-2019 Tournament of Roses year on Jan. 18. In addition to providing leadership for the 130th Rose Parade presented by Honda and the 105th Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual, there are certain perks that come with the position. The president chooses the theme, grand marshal, and gets to wear a snazzy red jacket for the rest of his life. The theme Freeny chose, “The Melody of Life,” is one that can be lighthearted or serious and that strikes a chord in every person.

The theme for the events to be held on Jan. 1, 2019, Freeny said, “celebrates music, the universal language. Music has the power to not only bring us together but take us back to memories and moments as nothing else can. Rhythm, melody, harmony and color all come together to create the soundtrack that defines our lives.”

2019 Tournament of Roses poster

Freeny has been a volunteer member of the Tournament of Roses Association since 1988 and has been involved in the community as president of the San Gabriel chapter of NOBLE (National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives), the Pasadena Police Foundation Board, Pasadena Police Citizens Academy, Pasadena Rose Bowl Aquatics Board, University Club, Pasadena YMCA board, Black Support Group at Cal State LA, Urban League Board of Governors, United Way Fundraising Committee, Toast Masters, and the Pasadena NAACP. He has served on the Advisory Board of the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation since 2016, and is also a member of Legacy’s Museum Committee.

Freeny attended Pasadena Christian School and John Muir High School (Class of 1978) in Pasadena, and received a bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance from California State University, Los Angeles. Freeny is a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi and Gamma Zeta Boulé of Sigma Pi Phi fraternities, and Historic First Lutheran Church. He lives in Altadena with his wife, Trina, and their daughter, Erica.

We will have a conversation with Mr. Freeny early next week, and will post it on this website.

Tournament of Roses announces executive committee for 2018-2019

from reports

Terry Madigan

At the board of directors meeting on Jan. 18, newly-elected president of the Tournament of Roses Gerald Freeny announced the 2018-2019 Executive Committee which oversees the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2019. Newly elected to the committee is Terry Madigan, a sixth-generation Californian and volunteer member of the Tournament since 1993. He will serve as president of the TOR in 2026 for the 137th Rose Parade and 112th Rose Bowl Game.

Madigan was appointed a Tournament of Roses Chair in 2010 and a Director in 2013. He has served as Committee Chair for Host, Judging, Parade Operations, and Special Events; Vice Chair for Float Entries and Post Parade; and a committee member of Community Relations, Decorating Places, Equestrian, Formation, Parade Operations, Post Parade, and TV/Radio.

The Certified Personal Chef is owner of Just No Thyme, a personal chef service serving Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley. Before turning his passion for cooking into a full-time profession, he had a career in marketing and communications. He is a founding member and from 2012 to 2015, president of the Southern California Chapter of the United States Personal Chef Association (USPCA). He organized the USPCA’s 2014 National Conference in Long Beach, Calif.  He also served as President of the Business Network International (BNI) Rose Bowl Chapter.

Madigan grew up in the San Gabriel Valley. While attending South Pasadena High School, he drove the South Pasadena float in the Rose Parade, twice.  He was graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in political science and journalism from the University of Southern California and later from the California School of Culinary Arts with a Diplôme in Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts. He resides in South Pasadena with his husband, Kevin Sommerfield.

In addition, the following officers were elected to serve with Madigan on the 14-member Executive Committee: Gerald Freeny, president; Laura Farber, executive vice president; Robert B. Miller, treasurer; Amy Wainscott, secretary. Lance Tibbet, president of the 2018 Tournament of Roses, serves as past president.

Re-elected to the Executive Committee as vice presidents are Alex Aghajanian, Ed Morales and Mark Leavens.  The five appointed at-large members are Zareh Baghdassarian, Teresa Chaure, James Jones, Janet Makonda and Herman Quispe. Freeny also announced the election of a new member to the Tournament of Roses board of directors, Ernesto Cardenas.

Royal Court opens Pasadena CVB Visitor Hotline

2018 Royal Court: Princesses Georgia Cervenka, Sydney  Pickering, Julianne Laurenstein. Queen Isabella Marez, Princesses Alexandra Artura, Savannah Bradley, Lauren Buehner.


by Laura Berthold Monteros

In the second of nine events scheduled for Dec. 29, the Tournament of Roses Royal Court opened the phones for the Visitor Hotline. Rose Queen Isabella Marie Marez, the 100th young woman to hold that title, cut the ribbon as the six Royal Princesses, Alexandra Marie Artura, Savannah Rose Bradley, Lauren Elizabeth Buehner, Georgia Jane Cervenka, Julianne Elise Laurenstein and Sydney Grace Pickering, looked on.

The Pasadena Convention and Visitors Bureau operates the service for the last few days of December every year. Information on all Tournament events is at the fingertips of the helpful volunteers. The hotline runs through Jan. 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

We asked Queen Isabella how callers reacted when she identified Continue reading “Royal Court opens Pasadena CVB Visitor Hotline”

Photo gallery: Tournament of Roses 2018 Grand Marshal Gary Sinise

Gary Sinise and Pres. Lance Tibbet at the announcement of the 2018 Rose Parade Grand Marshal. Photo by LB Monteros

by Laura Berthold Monteros 

The pictures tell the story—Gary Sinise accepts the honor to serve as the Grand Marshal for the 129th Rose Parade and 104th Rose Bowl Game for Jan. 1, 2017 from Pres. Lance Tibbet. Sinise was chosen for his exceptional humanitarian work with veterans and first responders. He embodies the theme “Making a Difference.” For more about the ceremony, read “Gary Sinise, humanitarian and actor, is Grand Marshal for 2018 Rose Parade.”

Preceding the announcement, the crowd was entertained with numbers from the World War II era played by the Fabus Four and sung by the San Andreas Sisters. The group was every bit as tight as swing era bands and had the style down to a T. Here’s their rendition of “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.”  We apologize for the quality of the video!

All photos are copyrighted. Contact administrator for permissions.

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 Continue reading “Live on Green returns to Pasadena for pre-Rose Parade fun”

Tournament of Roses crowns 100th Rose Queen Isabella: Photo gallery

100th Rose Queen Isabella Marie Marez is flanked by (L-R) Rose Princesses Georgia Jane Cervenka, Sydney Grace Pickering, Julianne Elise Lauenstein, Alexandra Marie Artura, Savannah Rose Bradley, Lauren Elizabeth Buehner


by Laura Berthold Monteros

One of the most exciting events for Rose Parade aficionados—and that includes people all across America—is the Announcement and Coronation of the Rose Queen and Presentation of the Royal Court. This year, people were especially riveted, because the young woman who made it from one of 700 to one of seven would serve as the 100th Rose Queen. She will preside over the 129th Rose Parade and the 104th Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2018 and will be asked a thousand times what it is like to be Number 100.

The audience waited breathlessly last Wednesday evening as Pres. Lance Tibbet pulled the name out of the envelope he had been handed by Queen & Court chair Dave Link. Reporters and photographers had pens and cameras at the ready. The seven girls on the Royal Court held hands, some with eyes closed, and steeled themselves for the decision one way or another. And it came, so swiftly after what must have seemed like an eternity to them.

Pres. Tibbet announced, “The 100th Rose Queen, from La Salle High School, is Isabella Marie Marez!” The audience exploded. The princesses on the Royal Court swarmed Queen Isabella. The moment had arrived and passed, and the Queen for a Year retreated to change from her champagne and pink gown into pure white.

Making a Difference

The event is more than the announcement, of course. It’s about pageantry and history and fun, and the accomplishments of the young women who will serve as ambassadors for the Tournament of Roses. We attempt to capture some of that in this article; the photo gallery at the end of this article takes you there in images.

After a reception on the patio of the historic Pasadena Playhouse, also celebrating 100 years, the Continue reading “Tournament of Roses crowns 100th Rose Queen Isabella: Photo gallery”

Nominate a high school coach in the ‘Coaches Making a Difference’ contest

by Laura Berthold Monteros (from reports)

Do you know a high school coach who has inspired her players to do better in school and in the game? Here’s an opportunity to honor that person with a trip to the Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2018. The Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual, in conjunction with the National Football Foundation, will honor coaches with its “Coaches Making a Difference” contest.

The 2018 Tournament of Roses theme, “Making a Difference,” celebrates the power of kindness and the people in our communities that make a positive difference without reservation. Now through Dec. 4, individuals can nominate a high school coach that has made a difference in the lives of student-athletes in their community. The grand prize winner will receive a trip to the “Granddaddy of Them All,” the Rose Bowl Game. This year’s game will play host to a College Football Playoff Semifinal and feature two of the top teams in college football.

“Coaches play a significant role in the lives of the youth that they work with,” said Tournament of Roses President Lance Tibbet. “They do not only have the power to touch the heart of a young student-athlete but also engage and inspire the soul of a community.”

Coaches can be nominated for the contest by filling out a nomination form online. A panel of representatives from the Tournament of Roses and the National Football Foundation will select the six winners, which will include one grand prize winner and five finalist winners. Winners will be announced at noon on Dec. 8. This PDF has the full list of contest rules.