Bandfest, Equestfest, Decorating Places, Showcase of Floats for 129th Tournament of Roses

Get up-close shots like this at the Showcase of Floats post-Rose Parade event.
Get up-close shots like this at the Showcase of Floats post-Rose Parade event.

by Laura Berthold Monteros

The Tournament of Roses is not one day out of the year. America’s New Year Celebration goes on for an entire week. Pre-parade float viewing, field shows featuring the marching bands, an arena show with equestrians, and post-parade float viewing offer something for everyone. “Making a Difference” is the theme for the 129th Tournament of Roses. The central events, the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game, are held on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018.

There are also local events such as Live On Green at the Pasadena Convention Center and fun for the children at KidSpace in Brookside Park. We’ll be posting information on all the Tournament of Roses events and how to do them between now and December. Subscribe to by filling in the box in the upper left to get email notifications.

Sharp Seating Company is the official ticket vendor for Bandfest, Equestfest, Decorating Places.  Tickets can be purchased online, over Continue reading “Bandfest, Equestfest, Decorating Places, Showcase of Floats for 129th Tournament of Roses”

2018 Rose Bowl Game

copyright 2010 Ramona Monteros



The Granddaddy of Them All, the Rose Bowl Game, is the first post-season collegiate bowl game. It was known as the East-West Game until the Rose Bowl Stadium opened in 1923. The first game was played in 1902, but U. Michigan trounced Stanford so badly (49-0) that the founders turned to other post-parade entertainment until 1916.











There is no such thing as the Rose BOWL Parade!

104th Rose Bowl Game tickets go on sale Sept. 1

Rose Bowl Game tickets for Pasadena residents on sale Dec. 2

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


2018 Tournament of Roses

2018 Tournament of Roses Theme poster. Courtesy Pasadena TOR.



The 129th Tournament of Roses in photos and stories

The Tournament of Roses in Pasadena is more than the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2018. It is the week-long “America’s New Year Celebration,” chock full of floats, bands, equestrians, and family-friendly activities. Visitors can attend Bandfest, Equestfest, Decorating Places, Showcase of Floats, and Live on Green.

The 129th Rose Parade features bands from all over the world, equestrian groups, and around 45 flower-covered floats presenting the theme “Making a Difference.” The 104th Rose Bowl Game pits the top teams in “The Granddaddy of Them All,” the oldest post-season collegiate bowl game.

Read all about it by clicking on the links below, which contain information about the events and people involved as well as tips on attending the events and getting around.  The list will be updated as articles are posted.  Be sure to bookmark this page and return to it frequently!


General Information



There is no such thing as the Rose BOWL Parade!

Will it rain on my Rose Parade? The rules: No Sundays, water themes, or Supreme Court Justices equals no rain

What’s in a nickname? How Pasadena California is known to locals and the world

Tournament of Roses News & Events

Make a real difference with Real Change meters

Rose Parade 

Information, floats, marching bands, and equestrians

The 2018 Royal Court

Articles & albums about the Tournament of Roses Royal Court

Rose Bowl Game

Information, events, people

Special Events

Bandfest show schedule for 2018 Rose Parade marching units

Bandfest, Equestfest, Decorating Places, Showcase of Floats for 129th Tournament of Roses

Tournament of Roses Foundation presents $200,000 in grants to SGV non-profits

Phoenix Decorating Company chosen to design gateway arch to Arroyo Seco Weekend

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

Celebrities & Sponsors

Tournament of Roses Pres. Lance Tibbet is aiming on ‘Making a Difference’ in 2018 

David Eads of LA Chamber announced as new Executive Director/CEO of  Pasadena Tournament of Roses

Guessing game: Who will the 2018 Rose Parade Grand Marshal be?

Helpful Links

Tournament of Roses

Tournament of Roses Parade Day Guide

Visit Pasadena Rose Parade spectator guide

Pasadena Convention and Visitors Bureau

Rose Bowl Stadium

Visit Pasadena Rose Bowl Game spectator guide

Rose Parade official tours at PrimeSport

Rose Bowl Game official tours at PrimeSport

Tournament of Roses Pres. Lance Tibbet is aiming on ‘Making a Difference’ in 2018

2018 Tournament of Roses President Lance Tibbet in the living room of Tournament House.
2018 Tournament of Roses President Lance Tibbet in the living room of Tournament House.

by Laura Berthold Monteros

“This theme is something near and dear to my heart,” incoming Tournament of Roses President Lance M. Tibbet told The Rose Examiner on Wednesday. We met at Tournament House for a conversation about the vision he has for his 2017-2018 tenure as the leader of the 129th New Year’s celebration. The theme, “Making a Difference,” reflects Tibbet’s optimism and commitment to kindness and selfless service, about doing something without reservation simply because it is the right thing to do.

Selecting a theme is usually a family process, and it expresses something about the president’s world view.  “Making a Difference” evolved out of a Tibbet family tradition, watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” together every Christmas season. The movie reveals how the thoughtfulness and kindness of one person can change his community for the better. Tibbet said the title wasn’t going to work for the Rose Parade theme though, because “everyone doesn’t have a wonderful life.” But “Each one of us, without cost, can make a difference. We all have that ability.”

That’s what the Tournament of Roses is about, 935 people Continue reading “Tournament of Roses Pres. Lance Tibbet is aiming on ‘Making a Difference’ in 2018”

Photo gallery: Penn State, USC in the 2017 Rose Parade

USC's mascot, Traveler, lopes along the 2017 Rose Parade route while Tommy Trojan gives the USC salute.
Traveler at Rose Parade

by Laura Berthold Monteros

The University of Southern California Trojans may have won the 103rd Rose Bowl Game 52-49 on Jan. 2, but the Penn State Nittany Lions made them work for it. In honor of two great teams, here are photos of the bands and cheerleaders for both in the 128th Tournament of Roses Parade.

Sitting at TV Corner—the place where the Rose Parade route takes a 109 degree turn from going north on Orange Grove to east on Colorado—we got a great look at both bands. The Penn State fans behind us cheered loudly for the band, chanting “We are Penn State.” The band certainly deserved the cheers for the on-point square turn they made, but somehow the chant lacks the fearsome quality of, say, “Fight on!” or “U(dadada) C(dadada) L(dadada) A.” But that’s betraying our provincialism. Still, it did seem the Penn State Continue reading “Photo gallery: Penn State, USC in the 2017 Rose Parade”

USC Trojans prevail over Penn State Nittany Lions in Rose Bowl

trojans-rlm-1by Laura Berthold Monteros

In a game that went back and forth for four quarters, The University of Southern California handed a win to its fans in a 52-49 victory in the 103rd Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual on Jan. 2, 2017. Though Penn State had two big quarters, racking up 28 in the second and 21 in the third, USC was steady throughout with 13, 14, 8, and 17 over the four quarters. We are more Rose Parade than Rose Bowl Game fans over here at The Rose Examiner, so we’ll be posting lots of photos of the Nittany Lions and the Trojans in the next couple days.


And here are the photos of the Rose Parade

Photos: Royal Court cuts ribbon for 2017 Tournament of Roses hotline

by Laura Berthold Monteros

“Yes, I’m Queen Victoria!” When Tori Castellanos picked up the phone at the Visitor Hotline at the Pasadena Convention Center on Thursday, she had to assure the caller that indeed they were talking to the 99th Rose Queen. The hotline, +1 (877) 793-9911, is open from 10 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 30 and 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. It’s staffed by volunteers, and lucky callers might even talk to a princess.

The hotline room was packed with photographers eager to get shots of the 2017 Royal Court at the annual Visitor Hotline ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday. The girls were a bit late (ever try to get seven teenagers ready on time?), but happy to be there to open the phones. The Visitor Hotline, run by the Pasadena Convention and Visitors Bureau, is best way to get on-the-spot information on events, including the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game, places to eat, hotels, parking, and activities in the Crown City.

More information is on the “GoPasadena” app, which can be downloaded to mobile devices, and on the Visit Pasadena Facebook page, and don’t forget to check out the detailed info on The Rose Examiner at The Insider’s Guide and Tournament of Roses Calendar.

128th Tournament of Roses Parade Order of March

by Laura Berthold Monteros

The 128th Rose Parade takes place on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017 in Pasadena, Calif. and features spectacular marching bands, costumed equestrians, and of course, flower-covered floats. There are nearly 100 entries for the 2017 parade.

The Order of March is a bit unusual. The Tournament of Roses President, Brad Ratliff, appears rather late in the parade at No. 65, just ahead of his hometown float, La Cañada Flintridge. Like 2014 Pres. Scott Jenkins, he’ll be in a wagon pulled by equines. Speaking of equines, it is rare for two equestrian units to be placed back-to-back in the Rose Parade, but the Union Rescue Mission and Philippine Scouts are this year at Nos. 77 and 78. The LAUSD All District High School Honor Band is paired with the National Hockey League float, probably hoping for another Stanley Cup win by the LA Kings.

Tournament block:

Entries No. 33 through 48 all have a strong Tournament of Roses connection and lots of star power. It’s the largest block of Tournament-related entries we’ve seen. The City of Los Angeles float, which is the longest-standing Rose Parade float entry, drums up interest in hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics. It’s followed by the three Grand Marshals, all award-winning Olympians, and includes the 2018 Queen and Court, 2017 Rose Bowl Game Hall of Fame inductees, Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek, Rose Parade founders Valley Hunt Club, and retiring Tournament of Roses Executive Director/CEO William B. Flinn. Flinn, the conductor of The Salvation Army’s Pasadena Tabernacle Band, is followed by The Salvation Army Tournament of Roses Band, one of three bands guaranteed a Rose Parade slot. Floats are presenting sponsors Miracle-Gro (post-parade Showcase of Floats) and Northwestern Mutual (Rose Bowl Game), and the two Rose Bowl Game teams. The PCC Herald Trumpets and Tournament of Roses Honor Band, and the two Rose Bowl university bands provide music.

Order of March

Continue reading “128th Tournament of Roses Parade Order of March”

David Eads of LA Chamber announced as new Executive Director/CEO of Pasadena Tournament of Roses

David Eads has been hired as Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Tournament of Roses. Photo courtesy Pasadena Tournament of Roses.
David Eads, courtesy Pasadena Tournament of Roses.

by Laura Berthold Monteros

David Eads, currently Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, will officially take over the position of Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses in February, 2017. The position was held for many years by retiring William B. Flinn. Chair of the search committee and Executive VP Lance Tibbet made the announcement today.

Eads has attended every Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game since 2000 when he moved to Los Angeles from Wichita, Kansas to begin work at the LA Chamber. He was Executive Vice President of the Wichita Convention & Visitors Bureau for 10 years and developed the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission. Currently at the LA Chamber, he oversees Finance & Budget Management, Corporate Relations, Membership, Communications, Special Events, and the Chamber Foundation.

“We are confident that David, due to his many talents and attributes, coupled with outstanding leadership qualities, will be a tremendous asset to the Tournament of Roses organization and will be a great fit with our volunteer-driven, staff-supported Association.” added Tibbet, “We are pleased to welcome David to the Tournament family.”

Meet Bobby Bell, Ricky Ervins, Tommy Prothro, Art Spander at Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Copyright LB Monteros
Copyright LB Monteros

The Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Jan. 1, 2017 gives fans the opportunity to meet the inductees to the Class of 2016 the day before the Granddaddy of Them All. Limited tickets are available from Sharp Seating, (626) 795-4171 at $40 for reserved seating with lunch and $10 general admission. A food truck will be on site. The event is at noon in Rose Bowl Stadium Lot K tent.

The inductees are local hero from John Muir High School and University of Southern California, Ricky Ervins; Bobby Bell of University of Minnesota; Tommy Prothro, Duke player and Oregon State University coach; and Art Spander, award-winning journalist who has covered 53 Rose Bowl Games. More details of their careers here. The Rose Bowl Game takes place on Jan. 2, 2017.