NOTE: This is a reposting of an article that appeared on Examiner.com on Jan. 9, 2014. It is being reposted in honor of the women who rode the float, all of whom have now taken their final flights.
When the Wingtip to Wingtip float passed the stands, Rose Parade viewers spontaneously stood to honor the women who undergirded the Allied air supremacy in World War II. “Our Eyes Are on the Stars” was built by Fiesta Parade Floats for the 2014 parade to commemorate the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) units that were disbanded 70 years ago. It won the National Trophy for Best Depiction of Life in the USA, Past, Present or Future.
Out of several thousand applicants, 1,102 were chosen to fly military aircraft all over the United States. They ferried planes from builder to base, tested aircraft for the boys to fly in battle, and flew tow targets to train gunners. The WASP flew 77 different types of American military planes, including AT-6, P-52 and B-29, more than 60 million miles. Thirty-eight gave their lives.
It’s not easy to get tickets to the Granddaddy of Them All—most are set aside for the rival teams and dignitaries—but there are some available to the general public. Seats to the 104th Rose Bowl Game go on sale on Friday, Sept 1 at 9 a.m. PT online or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-653-8000. A maximum of four tickets per person will be available during the Rose Bowl Game ticket pre-sale. Individual ticket prices start at $185 plus Ticketmaster handling fees.
The 2018 game on Jan. 1 hosts a College Football Playoff Semifinal, featuring two of the top-four teams in the country. The four teams that will play in the College Football Playoff Semifinal will be announced on Sunday, Dec. 3 via a national broadcast on ESPN. The Rose Bowl Game will host either the semifinal between the No. 1 and No. 4 teams in the nation or the No. 2 and No. 3 teams.
In addition to the Ticketmaster pre-sale, fans can also purchase official Rose Bowl Game travel and VIP Ticket and Hospitality Packages online through PrimeSport. For more information about the 2018 College Football Playoff at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual visit www.tournamentofroses.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Forty-five organizations received checks from the Tournament of Roses Foundation on May 31.
by Laura Berthold Monteros
On Wednesday, the Tournament of Roses Foundation presented 45 non-profit organizations out of 81 applicants with grants totaling $200,000. Thirteen of the recipients were awarded grants for the first time. The Foundation is a tax-exempt non-profit public benefit corporation which has given more than $3 million to organizations in the San Gabriel Valley that work with children and adults in the areas of sports and recreation, visual and performing arts, and volunteer motivation and leadership development.
Usually I’m on the button side of the camera. Yesterday, I was the subject.
by Laura Berthold Monteros
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:
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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.