Note the sunny skies. Note the empty land. Note, if you will, the “Pasadena Real Estate” sign in the lower right corner of this 1898 Rose Parade picture.
The Tournament of Roses Parade was originally a come-on, in a way–a sales pitch to those out east suffering the winter cold. “Here in Pasadena,” the parade seems to say, “we’re warm on New Year’s Day! We even have roses growing in such profusion we cover our wagons with them!”
The pitch worked. People came. Pasadena still has open spaces and mountain trails, but the land you see in this picture is most definitely developed now.
These days those easterners have warmer homes and heated transportation. Yet the Tournament still calls, “Come to Pasadena!”
MTAP wants to know: Is the picture facing north or east?
When the likes of Big Bird and Elmo make appearances, you know the Tournament of Roses Parade is at the top of every celebrity’s list. Even Kermit the Frog has served as Grand Marshall of the Parade.
Over the years, Grand Marshalls have included Walt Disney, Shirley Temple (3 times!), Jimmy Stewart, Mary Pickford, Buzz Aldrin, Hank Aaron and even Mickey Mouse.
This year, Pasadena is proud to welcome as Grand Marshall Los Angeles Dodgers announcer and Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, a popular guy in these parts.
And keep your eyes open. You never know who you’ll see in the stands.
MTAP wants to know: Have you seen famous people in the stands at the parade? Who’s your favorite Grand Marshall from the past? Who would you like to see as Grand Marshall in the future?
The Rancho Santa Anita entry for 1918 was designed by Anita Baldwin to reflect her involvement with the Red Star Society, a forerunner of the ASPCA.
Miss Baldwin was a daughter of Elias “Lucky” Baldwin, an early San Gabriel Valley landholder and pioneer. Baldwin was known and loved not only for his wealth, but for his respectful treatment of his workers. You’ll find his name or that of his Santa Anita Ranch referenced in the Santa Anita Racetrack, Baldwin Avenue, Lucky Baldwin’s pub and more.
Pasadena history buffs will know the building in the background: it’s the Maryland Hotel, which suffered a serious fire in 1914 but was rebuilt immediately. Here’s a photo of the hotel from a similar angle, sans parade float.
The hotel was in operation until the late 1940’s. Over the years the building went through many changes and parts were torn down or relocated. What remains today is a condominium building that was added onto the hotel in the late 1920’s. It sits in a plaza across Euclid Avenue from Pasadena’s City Hall.
MTAP wants to know: Have you designed a float? Do you have memories of the Maryland Hotel? Share them here!
Everyone loves the Tournament of Roses Parade. It’s exciting to hear the music, see the floats, even wave at the horses!
But there are those who say the most thrilling action happens before the parade as the bands line up, the equestrians prepare their horses and the baton twirlers try to stay warm. (It’s early. They’re outside. Even Pasadena is chilly before dawn.)
The Parade attracts a huge crowd. A smaller group of die-hards lines up on South Orange Grove Blvd. to see this part of the spectacle and to feel, in a vicarious way, the excitement of the parade participants.
It’s a good thing Orange Grove Blvd. is long. While watching the Parade on your TV this January first, think about how far back these guys had to line up. Because the bands, the floats and the fun just keep coming.
MTAP wants to know: Would you be nervous? Have you ever participated in a Tournament of Roses Parade Band? Have you ridden a horse or twirled a baton in the parade? Share your memories here!
This 1908 Tournament of Roses float really floats! Or at least it appears to.
Perhaps reflecting the nation’s fascination with the birth of flight, this dirigible’s controlled flight along the parade route might also pay tribute to Roy Knabenshue. Knabenshue was a famous dirigible pilot oin the early 20th century. In 1905 he won a flying race from Los Angeles to Pasadena. In 1909, he even launched his dirigible from Pasadena’s Tournament Park.
Roy was born in Ohio in 1875, and in 1905 he became the first person to pilot a dirigible over New York City. In 1909, he settled in southern California’s mild climate to establish his own flight company. When airplanes began to take over from “airships” as early as 1910, the Wright Brothers hired Roy to organize flight exhibitions for the new pilots the Wrights were training.
Later in life Mr. Knabenshue settled in Temple City. Did he attend the Tournament of Roses Parade in those days? One never knows. It wasn’t as easy to get from TC to Pasadena in those days as it is now. He died in Temple City in 1960.
Whether or not this Tournament float is a tribute to Roy is hard to say. What do you think? Do you know? Share your thoughts (fact, fiction, links!) in the comments.
MTAP wants to know: do we pronounce the K in Knabenshue?
The history of the Rose Parade is the history of families, so the fans are our greatest resource. Treasured Parade keepsakes, scattered in households around the country, often go back decades. They form a vast cultural repository—largely untapped—of great significance.
We are fans of the Rose Parade and have designed MTAP to serve as a collective memory-bank. We’re blogging and active on other social media, to invite the fans to share their photographs and home movies, their programs and souvenirs, in whatever form they can.
More Than a Parade includes several related websites:
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/More-Than-a-Parade/455484807895345
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/MoreThanaParade
(Our YouTube Channel will launch soon.)
Parade fans are our core resource. They are the foundation of the Parade’s popularity and, collectively, its living memory. We’re excited to collaborate with lovers of the Parade around the world to build this interactive project.
Please tell us in comments:
Do you know someone who took part on the Parade?
When did you first see the Parade?
What’s your favorite memory of the Rose Parade?