Honoring vets in the 2018 Rose Parade with USMC, GM Gary Sinise, Purple Heart: Photos

by Laura Berthold Monteros

The four entries leading off the 2018 Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 1 formed a group tribute to veterans of United States military service: USMC Mounted Color Guard, USMC West Coast Composite Band, Grand Marshal Gary Sinise, and the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs float. The float, “Sacrifice to Serve,” was co-sponsored by the Military Order of the Purple Heart of the U.S.A., Inc. to honor recipients of the Purple Heart, which is awarded to service members who were injured in battle.

The color guard is a fixture at the front of the Rose Parade. Headquartered at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Barstow, Calif., it is the last remaining US Marine Corps Mounted Color Guard. The Marines ride rescued wild mustangs, adopted through the Bureau of Land Management’s Adopt a Horse program. GySgt Carlton Esswein is the Staff NCO in charge of the unit; MCLB Barstow commanding officer is Col. Sekou Karega and the base sergeant major is SgtMaj Sergio MartinezRuiz.

Small but mighty, the USMC West Coast Composite Band plays the Marine’s Hymn and other march favorites. For 2018, the band was comprised of Marine Band San Diego, First Marine Division Band, and 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Band led by drum major GySgt Hugh Wurts. CWO3 Christian Flores, Band Officer and MGySgt Brian Paradis, Bandmaster, direct the band. All band members are fully combat trained, and many have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Grand Marshal Gary Sinise has worked with veterans’ organizations for decades and established the Gary Sinise Foundation to better serve them. His work fits well with the parade theme “Making a Difference.” Sinise was thrilled to be chosen as the Rose Parade Grand Marshal, because he grew up watching the parade and realizes the honor and reach of this annual tradition.

The 1919 Dodge Brothers automobile that carried him and his wife, Moira Harris, was the car driven by Jimmy Stewart (himself a WWII veteran) in It’s a Wonderful Life and is used by owners Keith and Marilyn Smith to raise money for veteran groups. The movie was the holiday entertainment of choice for the family of Tournament of Roses Pres. Lance Tibbet, so the car is special to him, as well.

The Rose Examiner has posted several articles about Gary Sinise and the car:

Gary Sinise, humanitarian and actor, is Grand Marshal for 2018 Rose Parade

Photo gallery: Tournament of Roses 2018 Grand Marshal Gary Sinise

Grand Marshal Gary Sinise tries out his Rose Parade ride

“Sacrifice to Serve,” the 69th Rose Parade entry for Odd Fellows and Rebekahs Rose Float, Inc., won the Director Award for most outstanding artistic design and floral presentation. It was designed by Michelle Lofthouse and built by Phoenix Decorating Company. The float used 158,320 roses and other flowers, as well as a large variety of dry materials. Pampas and buffalo grasses, palm bark and palm bark fiber, and hand-cut corn husk feathers covered the imposing eagle. The purple heart at the front was created with dark blue iris, yellow and white mums, gold clover and flax seed, and fine-cut yellow strawflower. Floragraphs used onion powder, poppy seed, rice, ground split pea, strawflower, statice, walnut shell, and coffee.

All photos copyright 2018 by LB Monteros.

 

Marching bands chosen to play ‘The Melody of Life’ in the 2019 Rose Parade

The Salvation Army Tournament of Roses Band was joined by a band from Angola for the 2018 Rose Parade

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

The Tournament of Roses today announced the 20 marching bands that will traverse the length of the Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2019. They will also perform at Bandfest, Dec. 29 and 30, 2018. In addition to these 20, the bands of the two universities that are chosen to participate in the 105th Rose Bowl Game will also march in the parade. The theme of the 130th Rose Parade is “The Melody of Life.” Of note for 2019 is Banda Escolar de Guayanilla Puerto Rico, which is overcoming odds to make it to Pasadena.

Four bands have a standing invitation to the Rose Parade: Los Angeles Unified School District All District High School Honor Band, Salvation Army Tournament of Roses Band, United States Marine Corps West Coast Composite Band, and of course, Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band. The adjunct PCC Herald Trumpets announce the Royal Court float.

The rest have to pass a rigorous audition process, which includes musicianship, musicianship, marching ability and entertainment or special interest value. Band representatives must submit detailed applications, which include photos, video footage and letters of recommendation. They also have to be able to raise all necessary funds for travel and accommodations. Bands can apply for the 2020 Rose Parade on the Tournament of Roses website.

Bandfest is an opportunity to see the elaborate field shows put on by the organizations. Tickets are available at Sharp Seating for $15 per performance. Children under age 5 are free. Other than the Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band, each unit performs in only one of the three shows. The order will be announced later in the year.

The marching bands performing in the 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade are

  • Alabama State University Mighty Marching Hornets, Montgomery, Ala.
  • All-Izumo Honor Green Band, Izumo, Japan
  • Banda Escolar de Guayanilla Puerto Rico, Guayanilla, Puerto Rico
  • Banda Municipal de Acosta   Acosta, San José, Costa Rica
  • Calgary Stampede Showband Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Cavalcade of Bands Honor Band, Mid-Atlantic Region
  • Florida A&M University, The Incomparable Marching “100,” Tallahassee, Fla.
  • Flower Mound High School Band, Flower Mound, Texas
  • Lincoln-Way Marching Band, Frankfort, Ill.
  • Los Angeles Unified School District – All District High School Honor Band, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Mercer Island High School Marching Band, Mercer Island, Wash.
  • Munford High School Band, Munford, Tenn.
  • Na Koa Ali`I – Hawai`i All-State Marching Band, Kaneohe, Hawaii
  • Pacific Crest Drum & Bugle Corps, Diamond Bar, Calif.
  • Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band & Herald Trumpets, Pasadena, Calif.
  • Pickerington Marching Band, Pickerington, Ohio
  • Royal Swedish Cadet Band, Karlskrona, Sweden
  • The Lassiter High School Marching Trojan Band, Marietta, Ga.
  • The Salvation Army Tournament of Roses Band, Long Beach, Calif.
  • United States Marine Corps West Coast Composite Band, San Diego, Calif.

 

Rose Parade 2016: Equestrians

Copyright 2016 Ramona Monteros
Copyright 2016 Ramona Monteros

Soldiers & Deputies

  • United States Marine Corps Mounted Color Guard and West Coast Composite Band
  • Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Mounted Enforcement Detail
  • Fort Sill Artillery Half Section
  • 1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment, Fort Hood
  • Long Beach Mounted Police

National Park Service

  • National Park Service
  • The New Buffalo Soldiers
  • Scripps Miramar Saddlebreds

Wild West

  • Spirit of the West Riders
  • Wells Fargo Stagecoaches
  • Calizona Appaloosa Horse Club

Fan Favorites

  • Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament
  • Valley Hunt Club
  • American Endurance Ride Conference
  • The Norco Cowgirls & Little Miss Norco Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team
  • Budweiser Clydesdales

 

Soldiers and Deputies

All photos copyright 2016 Ramona Monteros