Wednesday, December 30, 2015

It’s the 127th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade! ~ by Connie Vines

Tonight is New Year’s Eve.  Parties. Toasting. Watching the ball drop in New York’s Time Square.

Here in southern California—Pasadena, home to Dr. Edwin Hubble, Jackie Robinson, and Julia Child is also home to The Rose Parade.  It is also Rose Parade Eve.

Each New Year's Day, the world focuses its attention on Pasadena, California, USA, home of the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game. It is a celebration more than a century old – a festival of flowers, music and sports unequaled anywhere else in the world. It's America's New Year Celebration, a greeting to the world on the first day of the year, and a salute to the community spirit and love of pageantry that have thrived in Pasadena for more than 100 years.

While many people purchase tickets in advance, others spend the night (starting at noon on Dec. 31) claiming spots along Colorado Boulevard.  There is better way to experience the event before the big day (members of my family have been doing this for years).  Volunteer to decorate the floats with fruit, seeds, grasses and, of course, fragrant flowers.  On the other hand, you may stop by and watch the float decorators work.

Shhh. . .there is also a way for a ‘sneak peek’ when the floats are moved on New Year’s Eve from the decoration sites, via Fair Oaks Avenue.

I must admit, after seeing Designers’ renderings I do have several personal favorites (of course, Disney’s float is top secret).  South Dakota’s entry with Mt. Rushmore, PBS’s Downton Abbey, L.A.’s Discover Los Angeles, and Donate Life’s Treasure Life’s Journey are pure sensory decadence!
Let us not forget the musical mix of the Rose Parade.  Members of the bands will be marching along the 5.5-mile parade route.

I must confess I love the equestrian units.  This year’s 19 equestrian units will feature several new breeds. It will be the Budweiser Clydesdales (majestic, glorious animals) 59th trip down Colorado Boulevard. The Dakota Thunder Shire draft horses from South Dakota, and the Calizona Appaloosa Horse Club will be reflecting the traditions of more than a century ago.

Ginger Simpson may wish to catch the Wells Fargo event.  The featured stagecoaches were originally used to deliver mail between the East and West Coasts.

This will also be the final broadcast year (KTLA 5 here) of longtime hosts Bob Eubanks and Stephanie Edwards.

Are you more of a post-parade type of person?

The showcase of Floats are of public viewing, Jan. 1 (afternoon) until Jan. 3.  Tickets are about $10.00.

FYI: A rose's scent can change from hour to hour. It depends on the weather (current and recent), the stage the flower is in (younger flowers are better than older ones) and the type of fragrance associated with the rose. In addition, a fragrance can get stronger or weaker or leave a very different impression over time — say, going from a tea fragrance to a fruity one as the rose matures.

There are five English rose fragrances.
Myrrh: An aromatic, anise like scent; among roses it's found almost exclusively in English roses.
Fruity: Because the rose is related to apricots, pears, apples, strawberries and others, fruity notes often surface.
Musk: A romantic scent, it often comes from the flower's stamens. People are especially sensitive to the scent.
Old rose: The classic rose fragrance, it's found almost exclusively in pink and red roses.
Tea rose: A strong scent — like that of fresh tea — that often dominates a flower. Other fragrances can become evident over time.

Now for the football fans.  This year’s college game feature Iowa and Stanford.

If you are unable to watch these events in the chilly, but beautiful, city of Pasadena, CA.  Do not despair, the HD television coverage is almost as good as sitting on the bleachers.

Happy New Year and Blessing to you and yours,

Connie Vines

1 comment:

Ginger Jones Simpson said...


When I was a teen, I was fortunate enough to accompany my aunt's church group to the "tent" where the floats were in progress and I got to help glue petals on one. It was amazing so see all the flowers used, and to be in such a fragrant experience I will remember always. Thanks for sharing the wonder of the parade and all the work and care involved.

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