Not only is this the theme of this year’s Tournament of Roses, but also the theme of the exciting escorted vacation to Southern California. Enjoy an Interlude that includes the best of the best. Great food, exciting tours, shows, museums and a fabulous New Year’s Eve Party! On New Year’s Day your reserved seats to the feted Rose Bowl Parade add icing to this fabulous party cake.
What do Hank Aaron, John Wayne, Erma Bombeck, Kermit the Frog and Emeril Lagasse have in common? They have all been selected to serve as Grand Marshall of the Rose Parade! Past Grand Marshals have also included actors, astronauts, writers, artists, athletes and political figures. This year you can enjoy the excitement of New Year’s morning in the tradition and pageantry of magnificent floral floats, high-stepping equestrian units and spirited marching bands at the 122nd Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.
Each year, the new President of the Tournament of Roses has the privilege of selecting a theme for the upcoming festivities. The theme is used to inspire the ideas for the magnificent floral floats that will appear in the Rose Parade. 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. Be among those who share this experience first-hand and then enjoy the opportunity to see those floats up close the next day at the “Showcase of Floats.” They are truly works of art and imagination.
I am always fascinated with process. I love the beauty and pageantry, but my mind wants process … so I did a little digging. The Rose Parade’s elaborate floats have come a long way since the Tournament’s early days. Today, float building is a multi-million dollar business and float construction begins just after the previous year’s Parade is over. The process starts with a specially-built chassis, upon which is built a framework of steel and chicken wire. In a process called “cocooning”, the frame is sprayed with a polyvinyl material, which is then painted in the colors of the flowers to be applied later. Every inch of every float must be covered with flowers or other natural materials, such as leaves, seeds or bark. Volunteer workers swarm over the floats in the days after Christmas, their hands and clothes covered with glue and petals. The most delicate flowers are placed in individual vials of water, which are set into the float one by one. Computerized animation has had an enormous impact on Rose Parade floats. Recent Parade floats have featured King Kong stomping through a floral jungle, a guitar-playing dinosaur, pigs dancing the hula and a 60-foot-tall talking robot, all controlled by computers. But through all the changes, the Rose Parade has remained true to its floral beginnings, and I’m told that each float is decorated with more flowers than the average florist will use in five years!
- There are only 16 openings every year for the marching bands and the average number of applicants is over 50.
- The first marching band to appear in the Rose Parade was the Monrovia Town Band in 1891, with fewer than 20 members. Today, it’s not uncommon to find a 250-member band marching in the Rose Parade.
- Bands are selected approximately 14 months in advance to give the chosen groups time to raise the money needed for the trip to Pasadena
- The Rose Parade’s equestrians are another link with the Parade’s past. Each Parade features over 300 horses and riders, highlighting a wide variety of breeds. Graceful Andalusians, high-stepping Peruvian Pasos, exotic Bashkir Curlies and crowd-pleasing Miniature Horses are always favorites of Rose Parade audiences.
- Early Grand Marshals were local heroes, many of them Tournament organizers. The first Grand Marshal from outside Pasadena was San Francisco Mayor James Rolph in 1930 and it grew from there. Last year, the honor went to Captain Chesley Sullenberger III – the Hero of the Hudson.
An exciting escorted vacation is within your grasp. Start the new year right and enjoy the opportunity that Interlude is presenting. Enjoy the lights, camera and action of Hollywood, the Reagan Presidential Library, the Glory of Christmas and the Fabulous Palm Spring Follies. We’ve even left some time on your own to pursue what interests you most! It’s all there waiting for you – I hope you accept the invitation to start 2011 with a bang and begin by building dreams, friendships and memories with Interlude’s holiday tour.
The Tournament of Roses Parade (click here for itinerary)
December 29 – January 3, 2011 (6 days, 5 nights)
- Guaranteed departure (plan in confidence!)
- Escorted vacation (0% fuss, 100% vacation!)
- Tour for active adults (share a great experience!)
- Includes home pickup and return (for clients in Marion and adjacent counties)
– Interlude blog team
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