SAN DIEGO, December 29, 2013 – It must be in our DNA. Southern Californians love to brag about our sunny winter weather. We grind it in with Facebook and Instagram photos when the thermometer hits 80 on Christmas Day, as it did in San Diego this year. People in cooler climates either want to buy airline tickets and show up for a stay with their friends, or smack them.
Think of the Rose Parade as the original version of the Southern California weather smackdown.
Over a century ago, Dr. Francis Rowland and Professor Charles Holder of Pasadena, California created a floral festival in their hometown for this very reason, patterned after a similar event in France.
The flower-covered carriages and tug-of-war contests from the original parade are long gone, but the bragging rights over the sunshine and beautiful flower covered displays remains 125 years later as the 2014 Tournament of Roses Parade returns to Pasadena on New Year’s Day morning, Wednesday, January 1, 2014.
From its modest beginnings, the Rose Parade now draws a live audience along the parade route of 700,000 people, 39 million Americans watching on television and hundreds of millions more watching in 220 countries around the world.
You can be one of those millions watching the Rose Parade on Wednsday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eastern Time. There are six U.S. broadcast partners: broadcast networks ABC and NBC, plus Spanish language coverage on Univision; cable channels HGTV, The Hallmark Channel; and RFD-TV. It will also be shown on American Forces Network to American military personnel around the world.
As a native Southern Californian and therefore a Rose Parade expert, I recommend The Hallmark Channel, which carries local Los Angeles-based KTLA coverage featuring Bob Eubanks and Stephanie Edwards in high definition. KTLA is the King of All Rose Parade coverage due to its long history of broadcasting the parade. Its broadcast booth is perched in the sweet spot, just across from the Norton Simon Museum on Colorado Boulevard, far enough past the turn from Orange Grove Avenue for the floats, bands, equestrians, and other parade units to be performing at their very best for the folks watching around the world.
See The Hallmark Channel’s Rose Parade preview video here.
For international audiences, check this schedule for cable and satellite viewing options.
This year’s theme is “Dreams Come True.” The 2014 Rose Parade floats and other entries pay tribute to a world of dreams that have come true as a result of imagination, passion, creativity, and hard work. They are celebrated in the small triumph of a child who wins her first spelling bee, or a team of scientists who can take us to the moon. Whatever the dream, large or small, intimate or shared, dreams fuel the stories of our lives.
Forty-five floats will roll down Colorado Boulevard, but only 39 of them will compete for the various trophies and prizes available to the best of the entries.
For many, the opportunity to march or ride down the Rose Parade’s celebrated route or even to attend and watch as a spectator is one of those places where Dreams Come True.
The Grand Marshal is Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, an icon in American sports history and the voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers for 64 years. Scully recently announced that he will return to the Dodger broadcast booth for an unprecedented 65th season in 2014. During his unmatched career, he has called three perfect games, 25 no-hitters, 25 World Series and 12 All-Star Games.
The annual naming of the Grand Marshal is a traditional duty of the president of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses. The Rose Parade has had some of the world’s most distinguished individuals serving as Grand Marshal including actors, astronauts, writers, artists, athletes and political figures. Mary Pickford, Dwight Eisenhower, Bob Hope, Kate Smith, Walt Disney, Shirley Temple Black, Bob Newhart, Angela Lansbury, Tom Brokaw and Bill Cosby are just a few of the famous personalities who have had the honor.
The Rose Queen and Rose Princesses have presided over the annual celebration each year since 1930. During their reign, they will make numerous social and media appearances - serving as goodwill ambassadors for the Tournament of Roses Association. Each September, hundreds of local young women between the ages of 17 and 21 participate in the month-long selection process to become a member of the Royal Court. Participants are evaluated on a number of qualities including poise, academic achievement, public speaking ability and community involvement. This year’s queen is 17-year-old high school senior Ana Maria Acosta. The Altadena resident says she has been dreaming of being Rose Queen since she was a little girl. Her mother, Sarah Acosta, has photos of her daughter at age three playing dress-up as the Rose Queen to prove it.
If you want to know when to watch for your favorite float, band, or equestrian group, take a look at the 2014 Parade order here.
If you can’t make it in person, watching and joining our live Communities Rose Parade chat is the next best thing to being there. We’ll provide background information and feature your comments about all the bands, floats, equestrian units and more. It all starts at 11 a.m. Eastern.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. Read more Media Migraine in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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Copyright © 2013 by Falcon Valley Group
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