This year we get to help work on a Rose Parade Float. This is such an honor. For years we have watched people put the flowers on the floats. We have gone after the parade and looked at the floats, so this is going to be cool.
My wife Judy has always wanted to do this.
We get to help out for three hours as a family.
A little history:
Members of Pasadena’s Valley Hunt Club first staged the parade in 1890. Since then the parade has been held in Pasadena every New Year’s Day, except when January 1 falls on a Sunday. In that case, it is held on the subsequent Monday, January 2. This exception was instituted in 1893. Local tradition has it that “the Tournament has a deal with God; we’ll never hold the parade on a Sunday, and He’ll never let it rain on the Rose Parade.” However, according to the Tournament of Roses Association Web site, this “Never on Sunday” policy was instituted in order “to avoid frightening horses tethered outside local churches and thus interfering with worship services.” Thus, the parade has never been held on a Sunday. Incidentally, the Rose Bowl Game is also not held on Sunday to avoid competing with the NFL. Other bowl games usually held on January 1 also follow this rule.
Many of the members of the Valley Hunt Club were former residents of the American East and Midwest. They wished to showcase their new California home’s mild winter weather. At a club meeting, Professor Charles F. Holder announced, “In New York, people are buried in the snow. Here our flowers are blooming and our oranges are about to bear. Let’s hold a festival to tell the world about our paradise.”
So the club organized horse-drawn carriages covered in flowers, followed by foot races, polo matches and a game of tug-of-war on the town lot that attracted a crowd of 2,000 to the event. Upon seeing the scores of flowers on display, the professor decided to suggest the name “Tournament of Roses.”
Happy New Year——-Paul Schrader