Rose Parade trophies get an update for 2018

by Laura Berthold Monteros

It’s been a long time since list of Rose Parade float trophies was revamped, but we learned from our friends at La Cañada Flintridge Rose Float Association that the Tournament of Roses has announced an updated list. LCFTRA posted the information on its Facebook page today. The organization promises more enlightenment on the float judging process in the days to come.

The new Rose Parade float awards: Here are our observations

  • One of the concerns voiced by fans to this writer has been that there are too many trophies and too few floats. The new list still has 24 awards, and the number of floats hovers around 40. In our opinion, some of these awards could have been combined, and the International Trophy done away with. Most years, there is only one float from outside the United States, and so that sponsor is assured a trophy almost every year.
  • As one of our Facebook friends noted, the awards are no longer called trophies. This makes sense, as actual, physical trophies have not been given for many years. In 2017, though, a Sweepstakes cup was created and awarded to Dole Prepared Foods. It will continue as a tangible trophy awarded to the winner every year.
  • Though some of the names have changed, there is really very little difference between the 2017 and 2018 names and descriptions, though there is increased emphasis on certain aspects. There is more emphasis on entertainment, something the presidents have mentioned in the past few years, with four awards listing that as one of the criteria. In 2017 and preceding years, while entertainment value might have been considered, it was not a criterion. “Floral design” has doubled from six to 12, and “innovation” is up from one to two. “Showmanship” is down from two to one, but there is now a special trophy for that. It replaces the Craftsman Trophy, though the descriptions are pretty much the same.
  • The awards are divided into four categories. This might always have been the case, but it wasn’t stated in press materials. It’s a good idea to help fans understand the various things that go into float building and judging. For example, float design and floral design work together, but they are different things.

We like the categories and have included them on the chart, and we like the new titles and the word “outstanding” rather than “best.” The emphasis on entertainment is also a plus, since so many of the floats now include dancers and musicians as outwalkers. Many floats also have entertainers on the float or animation that is meant to be entertaining.

Let us know your ideas in the comments, and be sure to subscribe to The Rose Examiner by filling out the box in the upper left.

Rose Parade Trophies Comparison

2018 Award Meaning  2017 Award
Category: Top Award  
Sweepstakes Trophy most beautiful entry, encompassing float design, floral presentation, and entertainment Sweepstakes Trophy Most Beautiful Entry in Parade With Outstanding Floral Presentation & Design
Category: Entertainment Value  
Extraordinaire Trophy most extraordinary float  * Extraordinaire Trophy Most Spectacular Float (Including Floats That Do Not Retract To 55′)
Wrigley Legacy Trophy most outstanding display of floral design, float design, and entertainment  * Tournament Special Trophy Exceptional Merit In Multiple Classifications (Incl. Floats That Do Not Retract To 55′)
Judges Trophy most outstanding floral design and entertainment Judge’s Special Trophy Most Spectacular In Showmanship & Dramatic Impact
Showmanship Trophy most outstanding display of showmanship and entertainment  * Craftsman Trophy Exceptional Achievement In Showmanship & Dramatic Impact For Floats > 55′ Only
Category: Float Design  
Theme Trophy most outstanding presentation of the parade theme Theme Trophy Excellence In Presenting Parade Theme
Bob Hope Humor Trophy most whimsical & amusing entry Bob Hope Humor Trophy Most Comical & Amusing Entry
Director Trophy most outstanding artistic design and floral presentation Director’s Trophy honoring Jacob Maarse Outstanding Artistic Merit In Design & Floral Presentation
Crown City Innovator Trophy most outstanding use of imagination, innovation, and technology * Crown City Innovation Trophy Best Use of Imagination & Innovation To Advance The Art Of Float Design
Grand Marshal’s Trophy most outstanding creative concept and float design Grand Marshal’s Trophy Excellence In Creative Concept & Design
Fantasy Trophy most outstanding display of fantasy and imagination Fantasy Trophy Most Outstanding Display of Fantasy & Imagination
Animation Trophy most outstanding use of animation Animation Trophy Best Animation & Motion
Americana Trophy most outstanding depiction of national treasures and traditions National Trophy Best Depiction of Life In U.S.A. – Past, Present Or Future
Golden State Trophy most outstanding depiction of life in California Governor’s Trophy Best Depiction of Life In California
Mayor Trophy most outstanding floral display from a participating city Mayor’s Trophy Most Outstanding City Entry – National or International
Category: Floral Design  
President Trophy most outstanding use and presentation of flowers President’s Trophy Most Effective Floral Use & Presentation
Isabella Coleman Trophy most outstanding presentation of color harmony through floral design Isabella Coleman Trophy Best Presentation of Color & Color Harmony Through Floral Use
Queen Trophy most outstanding presentation of roses Queen’s Trophy Most Effective Use And Display of Roses In Concept, Design & Presentation
Leishman Public Spirit Trophy most outstanding floral design and display from a non-commercial participant Lathrop K. Leishman Trophy Most Beautiful Non-Commercial Float
Princess Trophy most floral display among entries 35 feet and under in length Princess’ Trophy Most Beautiful Float 35′ And Under
Past President Trophy most outstanding innovation in the use of floral and non-floral materials Past Presidents Trophy Most Creative Design & Use of Both Floral & Non-Floral Materials
Founder Trophy most outstanding floral display built and decorated by volunteers from a community or organization Founders’ Trophy Most Beautiful Float Built & Decorated By Volunteers From A Community  Organization
International Trophy most outstanding floral display among floats from outside the united states International Trophy Most Beautiful Entry – Outside of 50 United States & D.C.
Tournament Volunteer Trophy most outstanding floral display of the rose parade theme among floats 35 feet and under in length Tournament Volunteers Trophy Best Floral Design of Parade Theme For Floats Under 35′

*including units 55 feet in length and greater