Rose Parade Royal Court applications are open for the 100th Rose Queen

by Laura Berthold Monteros

There’s a special honor in store for the young woman who will be chosen as the Rose Queen for the 129th Rose Parade. She will be the 100th woman to grace the Queen’s float as it glides along Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena. She will be joined by six Princesses who share in experience of representing the Tournament of Roses and the City of Pasadena on Jan. 1, 2018 and throughout the year. Applications are now available on the Royal Court webpage.

2017 Rose Parade Royal Court: Clockwise from Queen Victoria Castellanos, Princesses Autumn Lundy, Audrey Cameron, Emi Powers, Shannon Larsuel, Natalie Petrosian, Maya Kawaguchi Khan
2017 Rose Parade Royal Court: Clockwise from Queen Victoria, Princesses Autumn, Audrey, Emi, Shannon, Natalie, Maya.

The first round of tryouts is held over two days, Saturday, Sept. 9 from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Monday, Sept. 11 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.at Tournament House, 391 S. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena. Schools are assigned specific time slots, but if an applicant cannot be there at that time, she can come during any of the tryout hours. In the first round, each applicant has 15 seconds in front of the Queen & Court Committee to state her badge number and why she wants to be on the Royal Court. The 11-member selection committee will not ask any questions nor ask the applicant to begin speaking.

Advice from previous Court members is to be confident, be genuine, and be yourself. The Tournament suggests wearing something that feels comfortable, reflects the girl’s personality, and will make a good first impression. This column has noticed that almost all the girls wear dresses, and many wear the same dress for the entire round of interviews. Participants are selected based upon a combination of qualities, including public speaking ability, poise, academic achievement, and community and school involvement.

To participate, an applicant must

  • Be an unmarried, female resident of the  Pasadena Area Community College District and able to provide verification of residence;
  • Be a senior in high school or enrolled as a full-time student (minimum 12 units) in any accredited school or college in the Pasadena Area Community College District (a list is on the webpage);
  • Possess at least a 2.0 (C) non-weighted grade point average in both the current and previous years’ course work and able to provide verification of same;
  • Be at least 17 years of age by Dec. 31, 2017, and not more than 21 years of age before Jan. 5, 2018, with no children;
  • Register and complete the official Royal Court online application;
  • Be available to participate in all scheduled interview sessions.
Queen & Court judges at the first round of Royal Court tryouts in 2016
Queen & Court judges at the first round of Royal Court tryouts in 2016

At the tryouts, former Royal Court members brief applicants on what to expect and are available to answer questions. Tours of the historic Wrigley Mansion are offered and all the applicants are gifted with a rose, photo, official Rose Parade poster, and a ticket for two to the Royal Ball, a semi-formal dance hosted by the Tournament of Roses at the Pasadena Convention Center on Sept. 22.

The court will serve from October, 2017 to October, 2018, but most of the activity happens from mid-October to the first week in January, with around 100 appearances during that time. For all the many hours they serve, the young women on the Royal Court receive both tangible and intangible benefits. They serve in a world-renowned volunteer community, develop public speaking and etiquette skills, and make lifelong friendships, as well as receive a small educational scholarship, full wardrobe for appearances, professional hairstyling, make-up application and instruction, and 50-yard-line seats at the 104th Rose Bowl Game.

The Royal Court is chosen from a field of around 900 applicants. Approximately 250 participants will be invited back for a second round of interviews; from that group, about 75 young women will be asked to participate in the third round of interviews. On Sept. 27, approximately 25 to 35 candidates will be announced as finalists. The seven-member Royal Court will be announced on Oct. 2 at Tournament House. The announcement and coronation of the Rose Queen is scheduled for the evening of Oct. 18.

Helpful links:

Online application

Brochure (pdf)

 

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

Usually I’m on the button side of the camera. Yesterday, I was the subject.

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Karl Preusser

It was a beautiful, move-to-California day at Tournament House yesterday, where I had the pleasure of being interviewed by composer and filmmaker Karl Preusser (behind the camera at left) for a documentary. Float is the story of how a self-built Rose Parade float gets from design to deconstruct, focusing on Burbank Tournament of Roses Association. Preusser and his wife have volunteered with BTORA for seven years, and he has recently moved up from the flower cage to learning welding. His wife served one year as decorating chair, a job that requires estimating and rounding up the botanical materials for a float.

Preusser had originally thought to do a sort of reality show, but he soon discovered that there is more camaraderie than conflict among the builders, which doesn’t make for a lot of drama. Competition for the float awards is tempered by the attitude that everyone, professional companies and self-built associations alike, have a shared goal of putting on a beautiful and entertaining parade. In many ways, the Rose Parade is still a hometown event.

Our conversation ranged over the history of the Tournament of Roses to the differences among various builders, the accommodations locals are willing to make to support the Rose Parade, and why it is such a special event. I like to talk, so it went on a couple hours, and I don’t envy Preusser the job of editing it down to a few minutes. His aim is to get the film ready to submit to the Sundance Film Festival by August. My piece was one of the last to fit in.

I don’t know that I had much original information, but I can opine on of what it is that makes the Rose Parade so exceptional, so enticing to 80 million viewers around the world and 700,000 along the parade route. When I interviewed R. Scott Jenkins, president of the 2014 Tournament of Roses, he talked about the Macy’s Parade and the huge balloons and Broadway acts. “What makes us unique in my view is floral-covered floats….That’s what puts us on the map.” I responded, “It’s that the Rose Parade has a soul.”

 

Self-built floats are entries that are designed and built entirely by volunteer organizations, or in the case of Cal Poly Universities, schools. Here are the six organizations that grace the Rose Parade every year:

Self-builders share picnic goodies and 2018 float renderings

At the annual Self-Built Floats picnic on May 6, 2017, folks huddled under canopies to nosh on burgers and potluck.

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Self-Built float associations may compete for trophies in the Tournament of Roses Parade, but there is a lot of camaraderie and mutual aid among the volunteers and students who build the entries. Of the 40 to 45 flower-covered floats, all but six are built by professional float companies. The six associations take turns hosting an annual potluck get-together to display the renderings and share stories. The Rose Examiner was honored to attend today’s event, in anticipation of the 129th Rose Parade to be held on Jan. 1, 2018.

La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association hosted barbecue at Los Angeles County Fire Camp 2, a training facility tucked between the Jet Propulsion Lab and Hahamongna Watershed Park. Tables were filled with potluck sides and desserts while LCFTRA volunteers grilled burgers and hot dogs. A fragrant log fire warmed our hands in the steady rain. It was the end of a typical spring week in Southern California, which saw sunny 90-degree-plus days in the first half of the week drop to 60 degrees for the weekend.

The six self-builders are Burbank Tournament of Roses Association, Cal Poly Universities, Downey Rose Float Association, La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association, Sierra Madre Rose Float Association, and South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association. DRFA and SPTORA were unable to make picnic, but we have photos of the rest.

Live on Green celebrated USAF and the Rose Parade

United States Air Force airmen do rifle drills at Live on Green at the Pasadena Convention Center.
United States Air Force airmen do rifle drills at Live on Green at the Pasadena Convention Center.

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Sorting through Rose Parade photos, we came across these snapshots from Live on Green, so we put together an album to share some of the sights. Live on Green was held on the three days preceding the 2017 Tournament of Roses Parade. It’s a place for folks to drop in while they are waiting for the big day, whether they are from the community or in town for the Rose Parade.

The event focused on the United States Air Force in celebration of its 70th anniversary. One of the halls in the Pasadena Convention Center was filled with Air Force displays and interactive exhibits for science and engineering.  Another had beach volleyball and other sports, chalk drawing, and the Dole Whip booth. Music, entertainment, and celebrity chefs sharing their recipes were throughout the campus.

Representing the non-profits that enrich the community were Food Share, which collects food for its Ventura County food bank; Pasadena Humane Society, with the mobile adoption unit; Union Station Homeless Services, San Gabriel Valley’s largest social services agency; and ONE Archives Foundation from USC.

Mannequin members of the USC Trojan Marching Band and Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band guard the newly-minted Sweepstakes Trophy, given to the most beautiful entry in parade with outstanding floral presentation and design.

ONE has the largest collection of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) materials in the world. It was named after a magazine founded in 1952 specifically for the homosexual community. The archive has a collection of travel guides that lasted safe places for LGBTQ tourists to visit and stay. There are three million pieces in the collection, which make it a valuable resource for researchers. Some 720 used the collections in 2016, and 120 educational history panels are available to schools, non-profits, and community events.

Read the captions to the photos for more about what we saw!

Photo right: Mannequin members of the USC Trojan Marching Band and Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band guard the newly-minted Sweepstakes Trophy, given to the most beautiful entry in parade with outstanding floral presentation and design.

Related: Dole Packaged Foods presented with Sweepstakes cup

 

 

Dole Packaged Foods presented with Sweepstakes cup for 2017 Rose Parade entry

Lance Tibbet, president of the 129th Tournament of Roses, presented the just-issued Sweepstakes cup to Dole Packaged foods for its 2017 float, “Spirit of Hawaii.” L-R, Dole Packaged Foods Pres. Brad Bartlett, VP Marketing David Spare, Fiesta Parade Floats Pres. Tim Estes, and Tibbet. All photos copyright LB Monteros

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

With an unprecedented run of garnering the prestigious Tournament of Roses Sweepstakes award for six of the last seven years, Dole Packaged Foods had another first on Tuesday when the company was presented with the new silver Sweepstakes cup. The award was for the 2017 Rose Parade entry “Spirit of Hawaii,” a gorgeous tribute to the Dole relationship with that state. Lance Tibbet, president of the 129th Tournament of Roses that will be held on Jan. 1, 2018, made the presentation at DPF headquarters in Westlake Village.

Vice President of Marketing David Spare used the occasion to announce that Dole will sponsor an eighth entry in the 2018 parade, which has the theme “Making a Difference.” He said, “The theme is terrific and timely, and fits with the things Dole is doing [to help people] along the way.” The goal is always to create the most beautiful float possible, he said, praising the contribution

This Sweepstakes Trophy is the first actual cup in decades to be awarded. The Tournament of Roses logo and name of sponsor, float, and builder are on the front. On the back is a medallion of roses.
This Sweepstakes Trophy is the first actual cup in decades to be awarded. The Tournament of Roses logo and name of sponsor, float, and builder are on the front. On the back is a medallion of roses.

s of Tim Estes, president and Jim Hynd, VP and floral director of Fiesta Parade floats, as well as the Dole associates who decorate the float.

Brad Bartlett, president of Dole Packaged Foods, said he is humbled to be presented with the Sweepstakes Trophy. “We’re proud to be a part of the Tournament of Roses,” he said. “A brand is difficult to maintain over 129 years. We’re 166 years old. It fits very well with who our company is.”

A trophy in hand

Float sponsors have not been given actual trophies for many decades, so the reinstatement of the Sweepstakes cup was quite an event. The award is for “most beautiful entry, encompassing float design, floral presentation, and entertainment.” Tibbet said the Tournament decided to have a tangible trophy “because in everybody’s mind, the Sweepstakes Continue reading “Dole Packaged Foods presented with Sweepstakes cup for 2017 Rose Parade entry”

Tournament of Roses celebrities and Salvation Army Band in 2017 Rose Parade

A special honor went to retiring Executive Director/CEO Bill Flinn with a ride in a 1936 Packard Phaeton, one of only 10 made in the last year of production. Floral designers chose reds and hot pinks to contrast the silver finish.

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Celebrities are not a big part of the Tournament of Roses Parade. Some float sponsors have celebrity riders, of course, but the Tournament itself generally only has four: Grand Marshal, Rose Bowl Hall of Fame inductees, Pasadena Mayor, and TOR President. The 128th Rose Parade had a whole slew of them, with three Grand Marshals, each in her/his own car, and retiring Executive Director/CEO Bill Flinn followed by his beloved Salvation Army Band added to the usual subjects.

All the cars were decorated by FTD floral designers J. Keith White, AIFD CFD and Peter Samek, AIFD. We wrote up the parade appearances of the Grand Marshals and Pres. Brad Ratliff with his 20 mules with great photos of the people and rides. Check out the photo gallery below for the rest of the 2017 Rose Parade celebrities. Continue reading “Tournament of Roses celebrities and Salvation Army Band in 2017 Rose Parade”

Twenty Mule Team brings back Death Valley Days with remarkable craftsmanship

Living history: Twenty Mule Team pulls replicas of the iconic Death Valley boron ore wagons down the 2017 Rose Parade route. In the wagons are the family of Pres. Brad Ratliff and people involved in bringing this piece of history to life. Copyright 2017 R. Monteros

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

The last time the Twenty Mule Team pulled freight wagons along Colorado Blvd. in the Rose Parade was 1999, when Pres. Dick Ratliff chose the 110-year-old wagons as his personal conveyance. They were back on Jan. 2, 2017 for the 128th Tournament of Roses Parade at the request of Pres. Brad Ratliff, Dick’s son, in an illustration of his theme “Echoes of Success.” He and his family filled two wagons, this time brand-new replicas of the original 1882 lorries that hauled 10 tons of borax each. The Ratliff family was a light load by comparison, so the wagons had to be weighted with huge water tanks.

“Mules need the weight to pull,” Preston Chiaro, president of the Death Valley Conservancy (DVC),  said adding that the weight also helps with braking. Plywood platforms and hay bales were included so the riders could stand and wave to the crowd.

The third appearance of the team was also an echo of its first Rose Parade appearance a century ago, when it also appeared in the inauguration parade of Pres. Woodrow Wilson. The wagons were decorated for the parade by FTD floral designers J. Keith White, AIFD CFD and Peter Samek, AIFD. White told The Rose Examiner during Deco Week that he wasn’t sure how he would flower what seem like gigantic wooden bins, but the photos show that they did an excellent job of nesting white and red roses in green garlands, with white tulips, carnations, baby breath, and other flowers as accents.

Be sure to check out the gallery below for photos and more information in the captions.

The commission to build the wagons came in January, 2016, and was given to Dave Engel, owner of Engel’s Coach Shop in Joliet, Mont. The shop builds and restores equine-drawn conveyances from sleds to broughams to Yellowstone coaches. He started on this project Continue reading “Twenty Mule Team brings back Death Valley Days with remarkable craftsmanship”

Nuggets from Rose Parade Decorating Places and Showcase of Floats, 2017

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Beverly Bliss and Kevin Monroe at Decorating Places
Beverly Bliss and Kevin Monroe at Decorating Places

When an attraction is frequented by more locals than tourists, it’s a sign of a great event. Decorating Places, presented by Giti Tires in the days just preceding the Tournament of Roses Parade, allows fans to see the final floral touches put on the magnificent creations. Showcase of Floats, presented by Miracle-Gro, is where the finished floats are on display immediately after the Rose Parade, and for the following day or two. Both are popular with residents and visitors to the Pasadena area.

We got a few shots at those events in the days just before and after the parade, talked to a couple people, and learned a lot. Check out the gallery below for a glimpse into these two must-do events. More photos to come, with the articles on each float. All the floats at Decorating Places were designed and built by Paradiso Parade Floats.

At the Donate Life float “Teammates in Life,” we spoke with crew chief Kevin Monroe and Beverly Bliss of RTI Donor Services. Monroe, who donated a kidney to his brother Elliott, said, “This is a special float. You won’t see another one like it.” He noted that Donate Life floats, with their floragraphs of deceased organ donors, has been in the Rose Parade for 14  years.

Bryce Hicks, a Tournament of Roses intern, at Decorating Places
Tournament of Roses intern Bryce Hicks at Decorating Places

Bliss has worked with organ and tissue donation for about 30 years, beginning with the Red Cross. She said she “helps out with anything.” Part of her impetus is that when her father passed away years ago, there was no tissue bank outside the Navy in San Diego.

Over at the UPS “Books Bring Us Together” float, we spoke with Bryce Hicks, a junior at nearby Occidental College and an intern for the TOR. The chemistry major said that today was extra work, beyond his usual assignment.

“The Tournament of Roses has been a big part of my childhood,” he said. “I’m going to be working on Parade Ops on parade day,” he said. He will also be involved in the drone flyover for the press, shooing people off the street, and collecting the white suiters’ scooters after the parade. “It’s a good gig. I’m excited.”

 

All photos are copyright LB Monteros

 

Rose Parade 2017 Sweepstakes Trophy returns to Dole, Craftsman won by Netflix

“Soar Beyond Imagination” by Netflix won the Craftsman Trophy in the 2018 Rose Parade. It depicted images from the film The Little Prince.
“Soar Beyond Imagination” by Netflix won the Craftsman Trophy in the 2017 Rose Parade. It depicted images from the film The Little Prince.

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Dole Packaged Foods once again won the Sweepstakes Trophy for “most beautiful entry in parade with outstanding floral presentation and design,” its sixth in seven years of Rose Parade participation. Newcomer Netflix took home the Craftsman Trophy for “exceptional achievement in showmanship and dramatic impact for floats longer than 55 feet” with a two-part creation in the 128th Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 2, 2017, “Echoes of Success.”

Be sure to check out the gallery below for detailed descriptions of flowering and riders.

“Soar Beyond Imagination,” designed by John Ramirez and built by AES, was essentially a promotion for The Little Prince, a family-friendly feature produced for Netflix. The float reflected the charm of the book on which the film was based and the whimsy of the film. The front float

“Spirit of Hawaii” by Dole Packaged Foods won the Sweepstakes Trophy, the sixth for Dole. The volcano shot real 20-foot flames and emitted smoke, and steam, and look closely for the fire Pele holds in her hands.
“Spirit of Hawaii” by Dole Packaged Foods won the Sweepstakes Trophy, the sixth for Dole. The volcano shot real 20-foot flames and emitted smoke, and steam, and look closely for the fire Pele holds in her hands.

presented the Little Prince on his personal planet with his beautiful red rose. The second float is straight from the movie, with the aviator from the book now an aged man, living with his memories. The theme was chosen “because success and imagination are inextricably linked,” Netflix says, “And, of course, you can’t ignore that a main character in The Little Prince is The Rose!”

“Spirit of Hawaii,” like previous Dole Packaged Foods floats, honors the places where Dole products are grown. Many of the materials used in the decoration came from Hawaii, including the fresh leis and head leis for the dancers, drummers, and riders. Designed by Stanley Meyer and built by Fiesta Parade floats, the float celebrated the history and legend of Hawaii with a 10-foot copy of the statue of King Kamehameha, bedecked with fresh leis, and the fire goddess and creator Pele holding flames in her hands. A 28-foot-tall working volcano and several waterfalls, including a 10-foot-wide cascade, created excitement. Unfortunately, the waterworks were not running as it went by camera corner. For more about Dole, including interviews, read “Dole Packaged Foods give employees a taste of Hawaii.”

 

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Where to get tickets and parking for the 2018 Tournament of Roses Parade

Just as the sun comes up at the 2017 Rose Parade
Just as the sun comes up at the 2017 Rose Parade

by Laura Berthold Monteros

We have often been told that the Rose Parade makes a difference in people’s lives, from the folks who take a trip to Pasadena to cross an item off their bucket list to the kids who march in the bands. It’s fitting, then that the theme President Lance Tibbet has chosen for the 129th Tournament of Roses Parade is “Making a Difference.” The parade will be held on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018. Here’s the information you need to get a place in a grandstand for yourself, and a place in a lot for your car.

We’ll be posting information on all the Tournament of Roses events and how to do them between now and December. Subscribe to TheRoseExaminer.com by filling in the box in the upper left to get email notifications.

The official grandstand seating provider for the Rose Parade is Sharp Seating Company. Sharp sells tickets in person, over the phone at (626) 795-4171, or online for the parade, parking, Continue reading “Where to get tickets and parking for the 2018 Tournament of Roses Parade”