by Dot Cannon
At this point, Pasadena’s 126th annual Tournament of Roses® parade is forty-six hours away.
Volunteers are making every minute count–and from now till 1:00 tomorrow afternoon, you’re invited to preview the results.
At the Rosemont viewing area on Sunday, decoration of the parade vehicles was in progress.
This 1940 Lincoln Mark I will transport Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard and his family…
…the Hall of Fame inductees will be enjoying their ride down Colorado Boulevard in this 1955 Cadillac convertible…
…while this 1936 Packard Standard Eight will be part of a special tribute to 2015 Rose Parade® Grand Marshal Louis Zamperini.
According to Tournament of Roses® Honorary Director Charlie Wood, the vehicle will be accompanied by two special horses. As Mr. Zamperini’s children and grandchildren, and their spouses, ride in this limited-edition vehicle, USC mascot Traveler 7 will accompany theme along the parade route, in honor of Mr. Zamperini’s connection with USC. And the vehicle will be preceded by Traveler 9, in the “riderless horse” military tradition, to honor a fallen hero, following Louis Zamperini’s passing on July 2 of this year.
Further along in the tent were some of the floats on display, as volunteers completed the final “deco” processes. The roses and live flowers, of course, go on last.
The Cal Poly Universities float, in the Rose Parade® since 1949, is the only student-built float in the parade.
Half of the float is built on the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo campus, and half on the Cal Poly Pomona campus; then the two halves are joined together in October, in a festive weekend that is a tradition for students and alumni.
According to an onsite student volunteer who identified himself as “Robert”, the Cal Poly volunteers are ahead of schedule in decorating their float with dry materials. These are the letters for the books’ spines.
Here, a volunteer works on the firebird for the Singpoli Group’s float, “A Bright Future”, created by Paradiso Parade Floats.
And this volunteer said she was using white coconut to create the white color on the flowers. Every surface of a Rose Parade® float is required to be covered with organic materials.
There were also two other viewing areas of floats, open to the public.
Yes, that IS a watermelon–with a pumpkin nearby. Tournament of Roses® member Kristen Mcfadden told visitors that these are “satellite floats” which will accompany the Trader Joe’s float, themed “Bedtime Stories”, created by Phoenix Decorating Company. “So many of our stories are inspired by our food,” Kristen explained, referencing the 2015 parade’s theme, “Inspiring Stories.”
Kristen also said the Kiwanis float, pictured here, is celebrating the Cal Nevada district of Kiwanis International’s centennial anniversary.
The City of Alhambra float honors Japanese-American soldiers who fought during World War II in the 100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team. Despite initially being classified as “enemy aliens”, these service members fought bravely in Europe and the Pacific–becoming the most highly decorated team, by size and length of service, in the history of the U.S. Army. The float’s theme is the soldiers’ battle cry: “Go For Broke”.
And, the American Honda float celebrates the TOMODACHI Initiative, a program created to strengthen the bonds of friendship, and leadership, between the U.S. and Japan, following the Great East Japan earthquake of 2011. This particular float honors the U.S. Armed Forces, who were among the first to respond with humanitarian aid.
All in all, the 2015 Tournament of Roses® Parade is shaping up to be–well, inspiring.
The 2015 Tournament of Roses® parade begins at 8:00 on New Year’s Day, Thursday, January 1, at the corner of Green Street and Orange Grove Boulevard, in Pasadena. Float viewing is available today, during the decorating process, at three Pasadena locations: the Rose Palace, 835 South Raymond Avenue; Rosemont Pavilion, 700 Seco Street; and Brookside Pavilion, 1001 Rose Bowl Drive. Float viewing hours are today from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Rose Palace, with the other two locations opening at 11:00 am. The Rose Palace will also be open tomorrow for float viewing, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. The admission charge of $10 covers all three locations.