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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: TOURNAMENT OF ROSES PARADE!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

TOURNAMENT OF ROSES PARADE!!











   This uniquely American event began as a promotional effort by Pasadena's distinguished Valley Hunt Club. In the winter of 1890, the club members brainstormed ways to promote the "Mediterranean of the West." They invited their former East Coast neighbors to a mid-winter holiday, where they could watch games such as chariot races, jousting, foot races, polo and tug-of-war under the warm California sun. The abundance of fresh flowers, even in the midst of winter, prompted the club to add another showcase for Pasadena's charm: a parade would precede the competition, where entrants would decorate their carriages with hundreds of blooms. The Tournament of Roses was born.






1958 US Continental Army Band
1958 U.S. Army Continental Band






   "In New York, people are buried in snow," announced Professor Charles F. Holder at a Club meeting. "Here our flowers are blooming and our oranges are about to bear. Let's hold a festival to tell the world about our paradise."
    During the next few years, the festival expanded to include marching bands and motorized floats. The games on the town lot (which was re-named Tournament Park in 1900) included ostrich races, bronco busting demonstrations and a race between a camel and an elephant (the elephant won). Reviewing stands were built along the Parade route, and Eastern newspapers began to take notice of the event. In 1895, the Tournament of Roses Association was formed to take charge of the festival, which had grown too large for the Valley Hunt Club to handle.
   In 1902, the Tournament of Roses decided to enhance the day’s festivities by adding a football game – the first post season college football game ever held. Stanford University accepted the invitation to take on the powerhouse University of Michigan, but the West Coast team was flattened 49-0 and gave up in the third quarter. The lopsided score prompted the Tournament to give up football in favor of Roman-style chariot races. In 1916, football returned to stay and the crowds soon outgrew the stands in Tournament Park. William L. Leishman, the Tournament’s 1920 President,






1905 Chariot Races
1905 Chariot races





envisioned a stadium similar to the Yale Bowl, the first great modern football stadium, to be built in Pasadena’s Arroyo Seco area. The new stadium hosted its first New Year’s football game in 1923 and soon earned the nickname “The Rose Bowl.”
   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.
   Nicknamed “The Granddaddy of Them All” the Rose Bowl Game has been a sellout attraction every year since 1947. That year’s contest was the first game played under the Tournament’s exclusive agreement with the Big Ten and Pac-10 conferences. The 1998 Rose Bowl Game was the 52nd anniversary of that agreement, the longest standing tradition of any collegiate conference and a bowl association. Now, as part of the Bowl Championship Series, the Rose Bowl has hosted the National Championship Game between the top two teams in the nation in 2002, 2006, 2010 and will host the National Championship again in 2014.












Rose Parade History

   This uniquely American event began as a promotional effort by Pasadena's distinguished Valley Hunt Club. In the winter of 1890, the club members brainstormed ways to promote the "Mediterranean of the West." They invited their former East Coast neighbors to a mid-winter holiday, where they could watch games such as chariot races, jousting, foot races, polo and tug-of-war under the warm California sun. The abundance of fresh flowers, even in the midst of winter, prompted the club to add another showcase for Pasadena's charm: a parade would precede the competition, where entrants would decorate their carriages with hundreds of blooms. The Tournament of Roses was born.
   "In New York, people are buried in snow," announced Professor Charles F. Holder at a Club meeting. "Here our flowers are blooming and our oranges are about to bear. Let's hold a festival to tell the world about our paradise."











   During the next few years, the festival expanded to include marching bands and motorized floats. The games on the town lot (which was re-named Tournament Park in 1900) included ostrich races, bronco busting demonstrations and a race between a camel and an elephant (the elephant won). Reviewing stands were built along the Parade route, and Eastern newspapers began to take notice of the event. In 1895, the Tournament of Roses Association was formed to take charge of the festival, which had grown too large for the Valley Hunt Club to handle.
   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.













History of the Tournament House


   Tournament House is the official headquarters of the Tournament of Roses Association, its staff and the 935 volunteers who work year-round to organize the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game.
The house was built by architect G. Lawrence Stimson in 1906 and his father, prominent builder George w. Stimson. The younger Stimson paid great attention to detail in his design and construction. Within the structure’s three stories are 22 rooms and 18,500 square feet of artistry; ornate molded ceilings, inlaid marble floors, and finely crafted woodwork. The interior’s full grandeur was restored in a renovation project completed in 2002.
   This elegant Italian Renaissance-style mansion was presented to the city of Pasadena in 1958 by the William Wrigley family for the exclusive use of the Tournament. Chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. purchased the home in 1914 for $170,000. A year later, he paid $25,000 for the adjoining property, clearing the way for the 4.5-acre garden. In its time, the Wrigley’s winter residence was considered a more modest home on “Millionaire’s Row.” But of their six homes across the country, the Pasadena getaway was Mrs. Wrigley’s favorite. She delighted in watching the parade from her own front yard.
   The interior of the house features richly paneled rooms, inlaid marble floors and ornate molded plaster ceilings. Among the highlights of the tour are a one-of-a-kind Waterford rose bowl commissioned for the centennial of the Tournament of Roses; and the formal portrait of the reigning Rose Queen. Exhibited items of interest are crowns and tiaras worn by former Rose Queens and Princesses and Rose Bowl related trophies and memorabilia.
   Outside the House, the Centennial Rose Garden features the All-America Rose Selections (AARS) award-winning Tournament of Roses rose developed especially for the Tournament of Roses Centennial. Surrounding Tournament House are the Wrigley Gardens, which feature a 4½-acre floral display of more than 1,500 varieties of roses, camellias and annuals.
   Tournament House and its surroundings provide a majestic backdrop for many Tournament activities, including the highly anticipated announcements of the Grand Marshal, Rose Queen and Royal Court. The many treasures throughout the house recall past tournaments and highlight a rich history of grace and style.

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