From the time I started writing online with Examiner.com up to the final article I posted my own website, The Rose Examiner, I have appreciated all my readers and always tried to serve them with the stories I wrote. My goal in continuing to write about the Tournament of Roses after Examiner.com closed down was to inform and entertain those who have an interest in America’s New Year Celebration.
Over the past year or two, I came to realize that it is time for me to set aside this wonderful part of my life and return to my first love, creative writing—essays, children’s stories, and short stories. That’s where I excel, where the words seem to fly from my fingers to my keyboard to the virtual document on my screen. I can’t do both; there just isn’t time.
This decision was confirmed in the joy I experienced with a recent writing assignment for a group I’m in. It was based on a picture from The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, a picture book by Chris Van Allsburg. The book is ostensibly a collection of unrelated pencil sketches by a man named Harris Burdick, and without text, the reader is tasked with being storyteller as well. In this instance, I wrote about birds soaring out of the wallpaper in “The Third-Floor Bedroom.” It was a delightful fantasy, if I do say so myself.
While it’s time for me to move on from posting on The Rose Examiner, I will continue to keep up with my Facebook followers on All Things Rose Parade, at least for a while. I truly hope you enjoyed reading my articles and paging through my photos, and that the information was useful. I enjoyed meeting all the wonderful people, in person and online, that I would not have come to know without this work.
Be happy, stay healthy, and remember that life is beautiful, even if the bed of roses has a few thorns.
Tournament of Roses President Laura Farber surrounded by the Royal Court: Princesses Rukan Saif, Mia Thorsen, Emilie Risha, Queen Camille Kennedy, Princesses Reese Rosental Saporito, Michael Wilkins, Cole Fox
by Laura Berthold Monteros
With a snip of oversized goldens scissors, Rose Queen Camille Kennedy and the Tournament of Roses Royal Court opened the 36th Annual Visitors Hotline phone bank on Dec.11, two weeks earlier than usual. The Pasadena Convention and Visitors Bureau hosts the hotline to provide fast and accurate information about the 131st Rose Parade, 106th Rose Bowl Game, and the City of Pasadena.
Christine Susa, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Pasadena Convention and Visitors Center, told The Rose Examiner that the earlier calls are “less hectic” and more about hotels and the Rose Bowl Game teams than those that come after Christmas. “It’s more, ‘We just got our tickets, now what,” she said.
Lined up behind the wide red ribbon, the girls on the court grinned widely when Queen Camille cut the ribbon to officially open the hotline. Each station has a phone and bound book with all—or at least most—of the information volunteers need to help visitors to the 131st Tournament of Roses. The phones started ringing immediately, but we had a little time between calls to speak with the young women. One thing that is evident in watching and talking with this court is the way they enjoy each other. There was a lot of laughter this morning. Be sure to check out the gallery below!
College dreams and special birthdays
We started with Princess Reese Rosental Saporito, the youngest and tallest member of the Royal Court.
“She just turned 17 yesterday,” Queen Camille piped up. Reese said that she “doesn’t feel super different;” after all, she isn’t heads above the others (nor very much younger, though Dec. 31 is the deadline for Royal Court members to be at least 17.). She did acknowledge that sometimes she has to squat a bit for photos.
Camille has a birthday of her own coming up. She will turn 18 on Dec. 22. While she had traditional birthday celebrations growing up, despite being so close to Christmas, her last two birthdays were in Tokyo with her host family. They went out for sushi, then came home to traditional Japanese cakes. They’re very small, she said, each slice is a quarter of the cake.
We asked Princess Rukan Saif about her application to Yale College. (A disclaimer here, one of the offspring of The Rose Examiner attended Yale.) She said she will hear on Monday. She plans on studying history with an eye to law school and a professorship.
“All of us are finding out very soon,” she said, sounding pretty excited about it.
Princess Mia Thorsen is also waiting to hear from the many colleges to which she has applied. Her first choice is Brown University in Providence. Princess Emilie Risha said she had applied to schools in California, and has already been accepted to Saint Mary’s College of California in the Bay Area, and has received the highly competitive Presidential Scholarship.
Covering all her bases for the Rose Bowl Game, Princess Cole Fox has been accepted to the University of Oregon and is waiting to hear from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Ducks and Badgers will face off in the 2020 Rose Bowl Game. Cole applied to colleges all over the country that have outstanding biology programs, in preparation for going to med school.
“I’m open to whichever school has the best opportunities,” she said.
We asked Princess Michael Wilkins if she was a celebrity at her school. “I get a few ‘Hey, Princesses,’” she said, and sometimes applause when she enters a classroom. She says she and her parents talk about her role on the court all the time.
Both Reese and Mia attend Marshall Fundamental High School in Pasadena, and shared that they get have fun together after school. Reese reminded us that the last princess from Marshall was Queen Madison Triplett in 2015. In honor of the two, the school is putting up a display in the hall. The official Tournament of Roses photos have just been sent over for the display.
“It’s exciting,” Reese said. “It’s a special experience for the school and for us.”
An innovative president
Laura Farber has expanded the boundaries of the Rose Parade. Her tenure has seen the inclusion of more women and Latinos than in the past, matching the diversity of the Pasadena area and the Tournament of Roses Association, and she has added a brand-new half-time show to the parade.
“It’s the largest international stage that exists,” she said in her introductory remarks. “This year is really spectacular,” It’s the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote in federal elections, and a woman will pilot the B-2 in its flyover.
We asked her about the half-time show, “Frozen 2,” which will occur at the mid-point in the parade. Some followers of our Facebook page, All Things Rose Parade, have expressed concerns that the show will only perform for the video cameras on Orange Grove and Colorado.
“It’s been off-the-charts positive,” she replied. The performance will continue all along the parade route, not just for the cameras. “We want to give everyone a treat.”
“We’re trying to appeal to a broader audience,” she added, to balance the traditional and the innovative. “We have something for everybody, to appeal to everybody.”
In addition to Farber, officials attending were Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek and Vice-Mayor Tyron Hampton; Pasadena Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Michael Ross, Executive Director Jeanne Goldsmith, and Director of Marketing and Communications Christine Susa; and Tournament of Roses Executive Director/CEO David Eads.
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The 2020 Tournament of Roses in photos and stories
Each year, “America’s New Year Celebration” opens the door to joy, inspiration, and hope for the coming year. The theme of the 131st Rose Parade and 106th Rose Bowl Game is “The Power of Hope,” a big idea that can change the world. Or at least, our outlook on life. Hope is not just wishful thinking; it brings strength and power to our lives, even when things don’t seem to be going right. Participants from all over the globe find this hope as they ride, walk, and march along the parade route every year.
The big events, of course, are the parade and game, held on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. The Rose parade is a two-hour extravaganza of flower-covered floats, cars carrying Tournament of Roses celebrities, marching bands, and equestrian units. The Rose Bowl Game pits top football teams in “The Granddaddy of Them All,” the oldest post-season collegiate bowl game. They aren’t the only events, though. The days before and after are filled with things to do for people of all ages and abilities. Locals and visitors can attend Bandfest, Equestfest, Decorating Places, Showcase of Floats, and Live on Green.
Pasadena and environs offer great eateries, from In-N-Out Burgers to local breweries to high-end restaurants. Dozens attractions—museums, theme parks, children’s activities, concerts, theater, educational institutions, and landmarks—beckon Pasadenans and visitors alike. Enjoy the Tournament of Roses activities, and catch a little California culture, too.
Whether you watch online, on television, or live in Pasadena, The Rose Examiner will keep you informed. This page will be updated as new articles are added. Subscribe for free by filling out the box at the top of the left column, and be sure to bookmark this page and return to it frequently! You can also follow “All Things Rose Parade” on Facebook.
Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band 2019. Copyright LB Monteros
by Laura Berthold Monteros
The 20 marching bands from around the globe that will make the 5.5 mile trek in the 131st Rose Parade were announced by the Tournament of Roses today. The bands will also do field shows at one of the three Bandfest shows on Dec. 29 and 30, 2019 at Pasadena City College. In addition to these 20 units, the bands of the universities chosen to play in the Rose Bowl Game will march. The Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game take place on Jan. 1, 2020.
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.
To be considered for the parade, there is a rigorous audition process, which includes 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 must be able to raise all necessary funds for travel and accommodations. Bands can apply for the 2021 Rose Parade on the Tournament of Roses website.
Tickets to Bandfest are available at Sharp Seating for $15 per show. Children under age 5 are free. Other than the Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band, which hosts the event, 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 2020 Tournament of Roses Parade are
Alhambra Unified School District Marching Band, Alhambra, Calif.
Baldwinsville Marching Bees, Baldwinsville, N.Y.
Banda El Salvador: Grande Como Su Gente, El Salvador
Banda Municipal de Zarcero, Alajuela, Costa Rica
Centro Escolar Niños Heroes De Chapultepec, Puebla, Mexico
Centenaria Banda Colegial – University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
Dobyns-Bennett High School, Kingsport, Tenn.
Greendale High School Marching Band, Greendale, Wis.
Helsingør Pigegarde, Hornbaek, Denmark
Japan Honor Green Band, Kyoto, Japan
Kamehameha Performing Arts Ensemble, Honolulu, Hawaii
Los Angeles Unified School District All District Honor Band, Los Angeles, Calif.
The PRIDE of Owasso, Owasso, Okla.
The Pride of Pearland Marching Band, Pearland, Texas
Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band, Pasadena, Calif.
Rancho Verde Crimson Regiment, Moreno Valley, Calif.
Southern University “Human Jukebox” Marching Band, Baton Rouge, La.
Tournament of Roses Salvation Army Band, Pasadena, Calif.
United States Marine Corps West Coast Composite Band, San Diego, Calif.
West Harrison Hurricane Band, The Pride of South Mississippi, Gulfport, Miss.
The Tournament of Roses Foundation has helped local non-profits and educational organizations for decades. Applications are now open for the 2019 cycle. This year, in addition to grants of up to $10,000 per organization, the Foundation is offering two $25,000 single-year grants and one $25,000 two-year grants.
Applications are open through Feb. 22, 2019. Details on categories, geographic areas served, and the application process are in the press release below.
PASADENA, Calif. (January 14, 2019) – The Pasadena Tournament of Roses Foundation is now accepting applications for its 2019 grant assistance program. Since its inception in 1983, the Foundation has invested over $3 million in more than 200 Pasadena-area organizations. The grant awards in 2018 totaled $200,000, which funded 33 organizations. The Foundation has historically funded grantees up to $10,000 per year. This practice will continue for the upcoming grant cycle, and the Foundation is now accepting applications for three $25,000 grant awards as a part of the annual grants process. One of these new awards will be a two-year grant, which will be $25,000 each year. The other two awards will be single-year grants.
Eligible applicants are organizations with 501(c)(3) status, as of the 2019 submission deadline, that serve one or more of the following communities: Alhambra, Altadena, Arcadia, La Cañada Flintridge, Monrovia, Pasadena, San Gabriel, San Marino, Sierra Madre, South Pasadena, and Temple City. Grants will be given in the categories of Performing and Visual Arts, Sports and Recreation, and Education (Early Childhood Education, Literacy and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs.
New applicants will need to enter “apply” for both the “username” and “password.” Returning applicants will use their previously approved username and password. Returning applicants should contact the Foundation directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions on their approved username and/or password. The website will then direct users to a welcome page with instructions on how to begin the application process.
Applications will be accepted from January 14, 2019 through February 22, 2019 at 5:00PM. The Foundation’s Board of Directors will make the final grant selections at its annual spring meeting, and applicants will be notified of their funding status via email in May 2019.
About the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Foundation
The Tournament of Roses Foundation is a tax exempt, non-profit public benefit corporation established to receive and manage contributions from the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, its supporters and the general public. The 13-member board of directors is comprised of community leaders and Tournament members, appointed by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association. Organizations or individuals interested in making a contribution or inquiring about the grants process should contact the Foundation by calling (626) 449-4100 or visiting the Tournament of Roses website at www.tournamentofroses.com/foundation.
In September, 2017, the United States territory of Puerto Rico was pounded by Hurricane Maria. Businesses, homes, and vital services were destroyed. Some families lost everything they had. The wind and rain not only devastated the commonwealth, it has nearly sunk the dreams of a group of talented high schoolers headed for the Jan. 1, 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade.
Each entry in the Rose Parade must cover its own expenses—equipment, travel, food, lodging, and incidentals. Puerto Rico is slowly recovering, but not sufficiently for Banda Escolar De Guayanilla to raise the necessary funds to make it to Pasadena. Many of the kids families lost their homes or work, and money is in short supply. The organization has turned to Go Fund Me to raise support.
The goal is $190,000—yes, that’s how much it costs to get a marching unit here—but as of this writing, has only raised $760. This is the first time your Rose Examiner has ever asked for readers to give to a cause. Please consider giving to this one. Share the link with others who might be willing to give, post it on Facebook or Twitter or other social media.
The Tournament of Roses announced today that it has created a development office to oversee broadcast partnerships, all parade participants, strategic partnerships and advise on the overall entertainment and creative elements of the Rose Parade. Amy Kule, who last year launched the strategic and creative consulting agency Merry Wonderer, has been tapped to lead the development office. She will continue in her position at that company. Also joining the Rose Parade Development Office and reporting to Kule is Eric Solomon, as Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships. He will lead business development and sponsorship engagement for the Rose Parade.
Kule, who served as a float judge for the 2013 Rose Parade. Prior to starting Merry Wonderer, she was the Group Vice President of Macy’s Parade and Entertainment Group. She was responsible for producing Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks, as well as other events.
Kule said, “I’m passionate about large scale live entertainment events and experiences and honored to join the Tournament of Roses as they look toward the future with the creation of this brand-new office. I will lead the team and focus efforts on working with our great partners and enormously talented and dedicated volunteers to expand and diversify the entertainment and business model of the parade as well as its surrounding year-long event slate and charitable giving initiatives.”
Solomon most recently served as Director, Strategic Partnerships – Culinary for WME | IMG where he launched the US expansion of the global Taste Festival platform. Solomon was Associate Director, Corporate Sponsorships for the Spirit Awards and worked in client services for Wasserman Media Group.
The Tournament of Roses has been searching for ways to make the Rose Parade more entertaining and more attractive to a younger audience for years. In interviews with incoming presidents, The Rose Examiner has frequently heard this concern. The hiring of Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer David Eads in 2017 brought new eyes to a traditional event, and the formation of a development department is a much-needed addition to the TOR Association. It is hoped that new returning sponsors will be developed, and a more systematic approach to inviting one-time sponsor to mark events such as anniversaries, new offerings, and celebrations with an entry in the parade. As the media release said, “the parade is marching forward in a new era, maintaining its historic roots while layering in new entertainment features.”