SAN DIEGO, Dec 31, 2012 – The first Rose Parade in 1890, patterned after a similar event in France and intended to show off Southern California’s sunny winter weather, featured flower-covered carriages and games such as sack races and tug-of-war contests.
The sacks and tug-of-war ropes are long gone, but the sunny skies and beautiful flower covered displays remain 124 years later as the 2013 Tournament of Roses Parade returns to Pasadena on New Year’s Day morning, Tuesday, January 1, 2013.
From its modest beginnings, the Rose Parade now draws a live audience along the parade route of one million people, 39 million Americans watching on television and hundreds of millions more watching in 220 countries around the world.
You can be one of the millions watching the Rose Parade on Tuesday morning from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eastern Time. There are six broadcast partners: broadcast networks ABC and NBC, plus Spanish language coverage on Univision; cable channels HGTV, The Hallmark Channel; and RFD-TV.
As a native Southern Californian, I recommend The Hallmark Channel, which carries Los Angeles-based KTLA coverage featuring Bob Eubanks and Stephanie Edwards in high definition. KTLA is the undisputed King of Rose Parade coverage due to its extensive experience televising the parade with the perfect vantage point across from the Norton Simon Museum on Colorado Boulevard.
For international audiences, check this schedule for broadcast, cable, and satellite viewing options in dozens of nations worldwide.
This year there are 42 floats, 21 equestrian groups, and 23 marching bands from as far away as Japan in the Rose Parade. If you want to know when to watch for your favorite float, band, or equestrian group, take a look at the 2013 Parade order.
The 2013 parade theme is “Oh, The Places You’ll Go.” The Grand Marshal is Dr. Jane Goodall, MBE, the world famous primatologist and animal welfare advocate. Previous Grand Marshals include actors, astronauts, writers, artists, athletes and political figures such as Mary Pickford, Dwight Eisenhower, Bob Hope, Kate Smith, Walt Disney, Shirley Temple Black, Bob Newhart, Angela Lansbury, Tom Brokaw and Bill Cosby.
The Rose Queen and Rose Princesses have presided over the annual celebration each year since 1930. Hundreds of local 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 Pasadena native and high school student Vanessa Manjarrez.
It takes months of planning and construction including several frenzied days applying the final decoration to put the magnificent floats together. All surfaces must be covered with natural materials. The average cost of a float can be several hundred thousand dollars, but the visibility and bragging rights for companies and organizations that enter can be priceless.
A three-judge panel chosen by the Tournament of Roses committee scores the floats on a variety of criteria including the design, best use of materials, best interpretation of the theme, and animation. The judges review the floats in two sessions during their final decoration. The results are combined to determine the winners in each category and the names are provided to the networks covering the parade.
Sweepstakes Trophy for most beautiful entry
Animation Trophy for best display of animation
Craftsman Trophy for outstanding showmanship and dramatic impact over 55 feet in length
Crown City Innovation Trophy for Best use of imagination and innovation to advance the art of float design
Directors’ Trophy Honoring Jacob Maarse for outstanding artistic merit in design and floral presentation
Extraordinaire Trophy for most spectacular entry including floats that cannot retract to 55 feet in length
Fantasy Trophy for best display of fantasy and imagination
Founders’ Trophy for most beautiful entry built and decorated by volunteers from the sponsoring community or organization
Governor’s Trophy for Best depiction of life in California
Grand Marshal’s Trophy for most creative concept and design
Bob Hope Humor Trophy for most comical and amusing
International Trophy for most beautiful entry from outside the United States
Isabella Coleman Trophy for best presentation of color and color harmony
Judges’ Special Trophy for outstanding showmanship and dramatic impact
Lathrop K. Leishman Trophy for most beautiful entry from a non-commercial sponsor
Mayor’s Trophy for Most outstanding city entry
National Trophy for Best depiction of life in the United States
Past Presidents’ Trophy for most innovative use of both floral and non floral materials
President’s Trophy for most effective use and presentation of flowers
Princesses’ Trophy most beautiful entry under 35 feet in length
Queen’s Trophy for best use of roses
Theme Trophy for best presentation of the Rose Parade theme
Tournament Special Trophy for exceptional merit in multiple classifications
Tournament Volunteers’ Trophy for best floral design of parade theme under 35 feet in length
These floats along with the bands, horses and escorts travel five-and-a-half miles along the parade route, which takes approximately two to three hours assuming no serious problems along the way (broken down floats, for example).
If you are in the Southern California area, you can experience the magic of the floats up close after the parade the afternoon of January 1 and all day January 2 parked along Sierra Madre and Washington Boulevards in Pasadena. The Showcase of Floats lets you step up close to the floral displays and also enjoy the beautiful scent of the flower. You can also download a two-hour audio tour of the floats from iTunes free. Don’t forget a camera.
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. We will also host a Google Hangout with live stream of the parade courtesy of KTLA, Los Angeles.
Watch Communities for details.
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 © 2012 by Falcon Valley Group