|Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association|
Chief Executive Officer
|Area served||Southern California and worldwide television audience|
|Focus||121st Rose Parade
96th Rose Bowl Game
|Motto||America's New Year Celebration|
|Website||Tournament of Roses website|
Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association is the non-profit organization that has annually produced the New Year's Day Tournament of Roses Parade since 1895 and the Rose Bowl Game, since 1902. This "America's New Year Celebration" is "a festival of flowers, music and equestrians and sports unequaled anywhere in the world", according to the Tournament of Roses. The association has 935 volunteer members and the members spend some 80,000 combined man-power hours to stage the events. 2010 marks the 121st Rose Parade and 96th Rose Bowl Game.
Members of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association are community people living or working within 15 miles from Pasadena City Hall. When they join, they are between the age of 21 and 64, and are willing to work on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. They must have "a reputation for integrity, reliability, dependability, commitment and dedication." Members are required to devote the time and effort to perform the designated task at the time required. They are interested in volunteering/commitment to community service, as evidenced by involvement in professional, civic, service, political and community organizations, according to the association.
During the Parade, tournament members are required to wear distinct white suits, with a red tie, a name tag, a membership pin and an official ribbon. Because of this, the volunteers are commonly referred to as "white suiters." In December each year, a fleet of white vehicles, provided by American Honda, with special "ToR" license plates are seen throughout the San Gabriel Valley. These cars are used by the members to perform their official duties.
Tournament House is the name given the building where the organization is headquartered. The Tournament House (formerly the Wrigley Mansion) and the Wrigley Gardens are located on South Orange Grove Boulevard, Pasadena, California. The structure, a stately Italian Renaissance-style mansion, was once owned by William Wrigley Jr., the chewing gum magnate. After Mrs. Wrigley's death in 1958, the property was presented to the city of Pasadena with the condition that the house become the permanent base of operations for the Rose Parade.
Today, the five bedrooms of the second floor are used for committee meetings, dressing area for the Royal Court and for displaying of the Tournament of Roses traditions. There are displays of trophies, past Rose Bowl Games, Grand Marshals, Presidents, and Queens and Courts. Of interest is the original panel of Peanuts comic strip for January 1, 1974, when its creator Charles M. Schulz served as the Grand Marshal. On the panel, Lucy was watching the parade on TV and was telling Charlie Brown that "They have some of the most beautiful floats this year I've ever seen." When Charlie asked about the grand marshal, Lucy said, "Yeah, you missed him ... but he wasn't anyone you ever heard of!"
The house was built for real estate and dry goods tycoon George Stimson, designed by his architect son G. Lawrence Stimson. After construction was completed of this house on "Millionaires' Row" in 1914, Mr. Stimson sold it to the Wrigleys for $170,000. A year later, the adjacent gardens were bought for $25,000.
The association maintains the grounds of the Tournament House, and volunteers from the Pacific Rose Society care for the rose gardens. There are hundreds of varieties of roses, camellias, and annuals planted at the All-America Rose Selections' test gardens. The gardens are open to the public throughout the year, except for December 31 through January 2.
Each year, the newly elected president will select a new theme in January and choose a grand marshal during the year. With the announcement of the theme, the preparation and construction of the floral floats begin, along with the selection of marching bands and equestrian units. In 2005, Libby Evans Wright was elected as the first female president of the Tournament.
Jeffrey Throop is the Tournament President for 2010–2011 and leads the 14-member Executive Committee. He announced on January 21, 2010 that the theme for the 122nd Rose Parade is "Building Dreams, Friends & Memories". He picked the theme to honor the people who put the Rose Parade and Bowl game together and the dreams and memories that come from working together on the events.
The Pasadena Tournament of Roses announced that P. Scott McKibben has joined the Association in the position of executive director, effective in 2010. McKibben replaces John M. Dorger, who has served as chief executive officer since 2000.
According to the association, members are "assigned to one of the 32 committees, with responsibilities ranging from selecting Parade participants to directing visitors on New Year's Day, to serving hamburgers to band members at the end of the Parade route, to giving presentations about the Tournament to community groups."
Some of the committees are:
Each year, a selection process is held in late September and early October to find out which Pasadena-area girls (ages 17 to 21) will have the honor of being crowned Queen of the Tournament, or in substitution, one of the members of her "Royal Court". Each year over 1000 girls try out. Six princesses and one queen are chosen. The winners then ride on a float in the parade, and carry out duties in promotion of the Tournament, mainly during its duration and prelude. Their duties include attending over one hundred events in the Pasadena area. They usually receive scholarship money, a 30 piece wardrobe and other benefits. During the time that they attend Tournament events, usually from October to January, each girl usually attends school a few times a week for only a few hours at a time.
The first Rose queen, Hallie Woods, was chosen by her classmates at Pasadena High School in 1905. She made her own gown and helped decorate the float upon which she rode.
The 2010 Rose Queen is Natalie Innocenzi, 16, of Arcadia, announced by the association on October 20, 2009. She attends Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy and is the 92nd Rose Queen. The princesses are Katherine Hernandez, June Ko, Lauren Rogers, Kinsey Stuart, Ashley Thaxton, and Michelle Van Wyk. The official Coronation ceremony was held on November 4, 2009 at the Pasadena Convention Center.
The Rose Parade has had some of the world's most distinguished individuals serving as Grand Marshal, which included actors, astronauts, writers, artists, athletes and political figures. Traditionally, the Grand Marshall rides in the Tournament of Roses parade and tosses the coin for the Rose Bowl.
Grand Marshal Shirley Temple was the youngest GM ever and she presided over the 50th anniversary Rose Parade celebration (1939). Other notable grand marshals included Bob Hope, Chief Justice Earl Warren, actress Carol Burnett, George Lucas, Bill Cosby, James Stewart, Kermit the Frog, Mickey Mouse, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, former Presidents Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Actress Cloris Leachman was the Grand Marshal for the 2009 Rose Parade. She became only the 10th female grand marshal in the 120-year history of the parade.
The Pasadena Tournament of Roses' annual New Year's Day football game is played in the Rose Bowl stadium, which was completed in 1923 and hosted its first game between USC and Penn State. USC won the game, 14-3. In 2002, the first BCS National Championship Game was held on January 3 at the Rose Bowl stadium.
The original Rose Bowl stadium was built in a horseshoe shape, open on the south end, for $272,198.26. It had a capacity of 57,000.
The foundation was created in 1983 as the charity arm of the association. It has donated grants to local civic, educational and cultural organizations in the San Gabriel Valley. The foundation awarded $102,372 in grant awards during 2009, ranged from $1,900 to $10,000 per organization.