History of The Rose Parade
This uniquely American event began as a promotional effort by Pasadena's distinguished Valley Hunt Club. In the winter of 1890, the club members brainstormed ways to promote the "Mediterranean of the West." They invited their former East Coast neighbors to a mid-winter holiday, where they could watch games such as chariot races, jousting, foot races, polo and tug-of-war under the warm California sun. The abundance of fresh flowers, even in the midst of winter, prompted the club to add another showcase of Pasadena's charm: a parade would precede the competition, where entrants would decorate their carriages with hundreds of blooms. The Tournament of Roses was born.
"In New York, people are buried in snow." announced Professor Charles F. Holder at a Club meeting. "Here our flowers are blooming and our oranges are about to bear. Let's hold a festival to tell the world about our paradise."
During the next few years, the festival expanded to include marching bands and motorized floats. The games on the town lot (which was re-named Tournament Park in 1900) included ostrich races, bronco busting demonstrations and a race between a camel and an elephant (the elephant won). Reviewing stands were built along the Parade route, and Eastern newspapers began to take notice of the event. In 1895, the Tournament of Roses Association was formed to take charge of the festival, which had grown too large for the Valley Hunt Club to handle.
The Tournament of Roses has come a long way since its early days. The Rose Parade’s elaborate floats now feature high-tech computerized animation and exotic natural materials from around the world. Although a few floats are still built exclusively by volunteers from their sponsoring communities, most are built by professional float building companies and take nearly a year to construct. The year-long effort pays off on New Year’s morning, when millions of viewers around the world enjoy the Rose Parade.
Theme for 2011 Rose Parade
The 122nd Rose Parade themed “Building Dreams, Friendships & Memories”, will take place on Saturday, January 1, 2011 at 8:00 a.m. (PST) featuring spirited marching bands from throughout the nation, majestic floral floats, and high-stepping equestrian units.
The 122nd Rose Parade will be broadcast on ABC, Hallmark Channel, HGTV, KTLA (Tribune), NBC, RFD-TV and Univision. The Parade is also seen in more than 200 international territories and countries.
Rose Queen and Royal Court
A place of honor is reserved in each Rose Parade® for the float carrying the Royal Court. Every September more than 1,000 young women vie for the honor of riding that float - participating in a month-long interview process designed to find those participants with the right combination of poise, personality, public speaking ability and scholastic achievement.
When it's all over, a Rose Queen® and six Rose Princesses will reign over the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game®. They will attend nearly 150 public and media functions during their year in the spotlight, spreading the word about the Tournament and Pasadena wherever they go.The Rosebowl Game
University of Wisconsin Badgers vs. Texas Christian University Horned Frogs
Grand Marshal of the 122nd Tournament of Roses
2011 Rose Parade Grand Marshall Television Personality,
On October 26, 2010, Paula Deen was selected as the Grand Marshal of the 2011 Tournament of Roses. As Grand Marshal, Deen will preside over the 122nd Rose Parade presented by Honda and will toss the coin before the 97th Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO on New Year's Day, 2011.
From the early days of the parade, the position of Grand Marshal has been reserved for those who are role models for lifetime achievement and goodwill. While early Grand Marshals were local heroes, many of them Tournament organizers, a variety of exceptional individuals from all walks of life have served in this distinguished capacity. Past Grand Marshals have included actors astronauts, writers, artists athletes and political figures.
According to LA Times article :
This year, the opening spectacular is followed by a flyover from a United States Air Force B-2 Spirit stealth bomber (Parade Order: 4). Though it first flew in 1989, the flying-wing B-2 still looks futuristic, and its 172foot wingspan — wider than a football field — should cast a jaw-dropping shadow over the parade route. The arrival of the B-2 is meant to remind spectators of the American servicemen and -women stationed around the world.
More incredible dimensions come courtesy of Wild West Willie: a 9-year-old black and white cross-bred Brahma steer standing 6 feet tall at the shoulder and weighing 2,850 pounds (Parade Order: 76). Willie, who’s been trained to be ridden on and to bow down, has appeared in a TV movie and a Ford truck commercial. A veteran of numerous parades in his native Canada, Wild West Willie will be ridden by his owner Doug Rogers on New Year’s Day.
We only have 1 day and hours left before the Year ends! Let us all welcome 2011 with a positive attitude and a smile in our hearts!
By: Debbie P.
My Life is Beautiful
Sources: tournament of roses website