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)

 

Cal Poly, Miracle-Gro win trophies with California Grown florals in 2017 Rose Parade

Miracle-Gro “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” won the Queen’s Trophy f or Most Effective Use and Display of Roses in Concept, Design and Presentation in the 2017 Rose Parade. It was designed by Stan Meyer and built by Fiesta Parade Floats. Four former Rose Queens were aboard. Copyright 2017 Ramona Monteros

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Two award-winning floats in the 128th Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 1 were covered in flowers and other materials grown right here in California. The two floats, representing Cal Poly Universities and Scott’s Miracle-Gro, have strong ties to California. Both received California Grown certification (more about that in an upcoming article). All the Miracle-Gro riders are also California Grown, and the Cal Poly float is built by the two Cal Poly Universities in San Luis Obispo and Pomona.

For more about the flowering, read the captions in the photo gallery.

Cal Poly “A New Leaf” won the Founders' Trophy for Most Beautiful Float Built and Decorated by Volunteers from a Community Organization in the 2017 Rose Parade. The family of chameleons reflects the theme “Echoes of Success” in the support Cal Poly families give their students.
Cal Poly “A New Leaf” won the Founders’ Trophy for Most Beautiful Float Built and Decorated by Volunteers from a Community Organization in the 2017 Rose Parade. The family of chameleons reflects the theme “Echoes of Success” in the support Cal Poly families give their students.

“Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” another stunningly beautiful float from Miracle-Gro, fittingly  won the Queen’s Trophy for Most Effective Use and Display of Roses in Concept, Design and Presentation with four former Rose Queens in a Cinderella carriage pulled by a flock of monarch butterflies. It was the 50th Rose Parade anniversary for Barbara Laughray Boyd (1967), who was joined by Aliya Coher (1995), Mary McCluggage (2007), and Madison E. Triplett (2015). DIY personality Ty Pennington was the coachman. Read more about each one on the Miracle-Gro Rose Parade site. The float was designed by Stan Meyer and built by Fiesta Parade Floats.

Cal Poly Universities “A New Leaf” won the Founders’ Continue reading “Cal Poly, Miracle-Gro win trophies with California Grown florals in 2017 Rose Parade”

2018 Tournament of Roses

2018 Tournament of Roses Theme poster. Courtesy Pasadena TOR.

 

“MAKING A DIFFERENCE”

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

INSIDER’S GUIDE TO THE 2018 TOURNAMENT OF ROSES

2018 TOURNAMENT OF ROSES CALENDAR

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

Queen Victoria and her Royal Court in the 2017 Rose Parade: Photos

Rose Queen Victoria Castellanos presides over her Royal Court, clockwise from Victoria’s left, Princesses Autumn Lundy, Audrey Cameron, Emi Powers, Shannon Larsuel, Natalie Petrosian, Maya Kawaguchi Khan at the 128th Rose Parade on Jan. 2, 2017. c2017 RLM

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Seven 17-year-old girls were chosen for the Tournament of Roses Royal Court on Oct. 4, 2016. Three months later, they glided along the Rose Parade route on seven black chairs that are better than thrones. They represented the Tournament, the City of Pasadena, and in a sense all the girls who dream of riding on the Queen and Court float one day. While the Rose Parade is the crowning event for the young women, that’s not all there is to being a princess.

The young women made some 100 appearances in that brief quarter of a year, and they gave up some of the things that  make the senior year of high school so memorable. They learned to get along with each other—indeed, part of the selection process is choosing seven girls whose individual personalities will mesh—and they learned how to walk and speak and eat with the correct utensils. One young woman was Continue reading “Queen Victoria and her Royal Court in the 2017 Rose Parade: Photos”

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.

Dole Packaged Foods gives employees a taste of Hawaii and the Rose Parade

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Every year, Dole Packaged Foods gathers its employees in the Fiesta Parade Floats barn right next to their float, and gives them a party that spans the holiday season. The event was held on Dec. 11, and was attended by both Santa Claus and the Tournament of Roses Royal Court. We dropped in for some photos, conversation, and a delicious luau, including haupia, a Hawaiian dessert. Check out the photo gallery below for snapshots of the fun.

The 2017 Dole float, “Spirit of Hawaii,” features three important and very different figures: King Kamehameha I, founder of the Kingdom of Hawaii; Pele, goddess of fire, lightning, wind, and volcanoes; and Sebastian, the parrot who rode with the late Raul Rodriguez on floats he designed. In the six years Dole Packaged Foods has entered the Rose Parade, the floats have won five Sweepstakes and one Director’s Trophy. The 2017 entry is designed by Stanley Meyer. It has a working volcano and four real waterfalls flowing down the side of the mountain and cascading from a floral bridge. Dancers, including a fire dancer, and drummers will accompany the float as outwalkers and on the bridge.

We spoke about the float with Monica Spiro, Associate Manager of Events for Dole, and Dave Spare, Vice President, Marketing, about the community involvement of the company. It’s a tradition for some of the riders to be the children of Dole associates, and this year, Spiro’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna will be aboard. Spiro said the company tries to match the parade theme in the float design. The 128th Rose Parade theme is “Echoes of Success.”

“‘Spirit of Hawaii’ makes sense, since the company started in Hawaii,” she said. She brings the float theme into the party with elements that will be fun for the families, which can be seen in the photo gallery. It’s a way of sharing the Dole vision and heritage with the associates and their families. All associates are invited, and about 250 came to the luau.

“It’s really nice, because it’s a way for associates who can’t go to the parade to experience the float,” Spiro said. Another way is for associates to participate in decorating the float. Fiesta Parade Floats brings the giant plumeria, that will encircle the float like a lei, to the company headquarters in Westlake Village for associates to decorate with rice, and about 15-20 people will come to the Irwindale barn to decorate. Part of the entryway is dedicated to the float, with animal sculptures from previous floats and photos of the floats.

“It’s a way to touch, see, and feel the float,” she said. “We try to look at all the different ways people can experience this.”

Dole is also part of Live on Green, a pre-parade event with activities, displays, food, and entertainment. The company sponsors a food booth where Dole Whips can be purchased, the special treat usually available only at Disneyland. Dole has sponsored the Tiki Room for 40 years, and even reserved the room for a national meeting, where dessert was served.

“We want everyone to have a good time and have fun,” Spiro said. “There’s something for everyone.” And, she added, “Sebastian is still in front” on the float.

Dave Spare shared Dole Packaged Foods’ commitment to aiding non-profits that help people in need. The president and CEO of one of those organizations will ride on the float on Jan. 2. Food Share, the largest food bank in Ventura County, receives millions of pounds of healthy food from Dole every year, Spare said. The food is still within its expiration date and includes frozen, canned, and prepared items and 99 percent of Dole products are non-GMO.

“We were way ahead of the GMO movement,” Spare said. “On the float, all the fruit is non-GMO. It’s more expensive, but [consumers] are getting purer fruit.”

In addition to products and cash, Dole employees volunteer thousands of hours each year to charity work, including Food Share, Spare said. He volunteers at Ventura County Rescue Mission. Employees can take time off work for volunteering, so they don’t have to use vacation days.

If the company works to create  community spirit among its US employees, it helps to create a community overseas. Spare said the Dole Packaged Foods operation in the Philippines is the largest in the world, but there’s a lot of poverty in that country. Dole has built roads, schools and hospitals, and offers free medical care and free schooling. With an increase in hiring, there is a shortage of housing, so the company built 74 homes this year and plans to build 72 next year.

“The employees help to build them,” he said. “It’s like Habitat for Humanity.” Spare has worked for Dole Packaged Foods for 20 years, and he said the other vice presidents have worked 15 to 30 years. “It’s just a great company,” he said.

Greg Louganis, Janet Evans, Allyson Felix are 2017 Rose Parade Grand Marshals

The three Grand Marshals for the 2017 Rose Parade, Greg Louganis, Janet Evans, and Allyson Felix are happy to be on stage with Sam the Olympic Eagle from the 1984 Los Angeles games. The announcement took place on Nov. 3, 2016. All photos copyright 2016 Laura Berthold Monteros

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

This morning at Tournament House in Pasadena, the biggest secret in town was revealed. Pres. Brad Ratliff announced that the Grand Marshals of the 128th Tournament of Roses Parade are Allyson Felix, Greg Louganis, and Janet Evans. All three are native Southern Californians who are world famous, multiple Olympic medal winners in multiple years, and world record holders. And all three serve on the LA 2024 Athletes’ Advisory Commission, ensuring that Olympians and Paralympians are involved in all aspects of the plans to bring the Olympic Games to Los Angeles in 2024.

Be sure to check out the album at the end of this article!

Ratliff, who chose the theme “Echoes of Success” for 2017, opened the ceremony by asking, “How cool is it that we’re at the house of the guy who built the World Series champion team?” Tournament House belonged to the William Wrigley family before it was donated to the City of Pasadena for use as the Tournament of Roses headquarters. He continued by rattling off numbers that can be considered indicators of success: 128 Rose Parades, 103 Rose Bowl Games, 935 volunteers and 37 staff members, 120 Grand Marshals, two of whom were puppets.

“All are successful in their own stories, even if their story is narrated by Kermit The Frog or Charlie McCarthy,” Ratliff said. He noted that it’s sometimes difficult to find a Grand Marshal who fits the theme of the year, “but not this year.” Indeed, he found three who are personally successful and whose success echoes in the many people they have inspired. Each swept through the golden curtains draping the front entryway and gave a short speech, and each mentioned that they grew up with the Rose Parade as a family tradition. Rose Queen Victoria Castellanos handed each a bouquet of long-stemmed red roses.  Continue reading “Greg Louganis, Janet Evans, Allyson Felix are 2017 Rose Parade Grand Marshals”

A joyful coronation of the 99th Tournament of Roses Queen Victoria Castellanos

The 2017 Tournament of Roses Royal Court: Princesses Shannon, Natalie, and Maya; Queen Victoria; Princesses Audrey, Autumn, and Emi. c.2016 LB Monteros
The 2017 Tournament of Roses Royal Court: Princesses Shannon, Natalie, and Maya; Queen Victoria; Princesses Audrey, Autumn, and Emi. c.2016 LB Monteros

by Laura Berthold Monteros

There could hardly be a Rose Queen with a more expressive face than Tori Castellanos. The shock and tears when her name was read as 99th Tournament of Roses Queen on Thursday evening, the huge smile when the she received the crown and roses, the seriousness displayed as she repeated the Queen’s Oath were spontaneous and heartfelt. That ability to quickly switch between joy and seriousness, to show her emotions on her face, is quite charming. With family, friends, schoolmates and teachers on hand to cheer, the celebration was truly a joyous event. Here’s how it happened.

Back to the beginning

An air of excitement and anticipation rippled over the patio on Oct. 20 as people waited for the doors of the historic Pasadena Playhouse to open for the announcement and coronation of the young woman who will reign over the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 2, 2017. The seven members of the Royal Court were escorted down the red carpet into the auditorium by white-suited members of the Queen & Court Committee. And then, the doors swung open. Let’s enter that door as if we didn’t know yet that Victoria “Tori” Cecilia Castellanos received the Mikimoto pearl crown.

Be sure to check out the photo gallery at the end of this article. It tells a lot of the story, and at the end, just for fun, there are a few shots of Tori in performances with Temple City High School.

Continue reading “A joyful coronation of the 99th Tournament of Roses Queen Victoria Castellanos”

Victoria “Tori” Castellanos from Temple City HS is the 99th Rose Queen

Rose Queen Victoria is crowned by Pres. Brad Ratliff.
Rose Queen Victoria is crowned by Pres. Brad Ratliff.

by Laura Berthold Monteros

This is a moment that Tournament of Roses fans anticipate from the first Tournament of Roses Royal Court tryouts in September to the evening in October when the Rose Queen is announced and crowned in the splendor of Mikimoto pearls. Victoria “Tori” Cecilia Castellanos was chosen by the Queen and Court committee for an honor that only 98 women have held before. Possessing the poise of a Rose Queen, when her name was announced, she almost cried, but not quite.

Tonight’s coronation was a celebration of the 2017 theme “Echoes of Success” as well as the 2017 Royal Court, who will ride down Colorado Blvd. on Jan. 2, 2017. Queen Victoria is one of 771 people who tried out for the 2017 Royal Court, and one of seven young ladies who made it. She attends Temple City High School and is active in Brighterside Singers and musical theater. It was an exciting evening, and we will write more details tomorrow, along with my brief interview with Tori and a photo gallery of the people and event, For tonight, though, we’ll put it to be with a hearty congratulations to the 99th Rose Queen.