Kids Take the Field at the Northwestern Mutual Youth Football Clinic featuring Marcus Robertson and Chad Brown

On Saturday, June 18, more than 200 children from Southern California, ran out on the field at Rose Bowl Stadium to take part in the Northwestern Mutual Youth Football Clinic featuring Marcus Robertson and Chad Brown.

The event, hosted by the Rose Bowl Game and the City of Pasadena, was a free half-day clinic that gave attendees the chance to work with college football coaches; run offensive, defensive and agility drills; learn proper techniques to promote on-field safety; and learn about the importance of character development and good sportsmanship.

“The Rose Bowl Game’s annual youth football clinic began in 2010 and it’s really evolved through the years,” said Brittany Mohr, Senior Manager of Team and Conference Operations of the Rose Bowl Game. “With the support of our partners at Northwestern Mutual and the City of Pasadena, this year’s clinic was one of our most successful clinics to date and we couldn’t be more pleased.”

For the first time in the clinic’s history, the event took place at the Rose Bowl Stadium and included community booths at the Court of Champions and a chance for parents to receive a behind-the-scenes tour of the stadium.

“This year’s clinic gave us an opportunity to engage our community in a way that we’ve never done before,” said LaWayne Williams, Senior Director of Community Relations at the Tournament of Roses. “It’s all about giving back to the youth in our area and for the first time in its history, we also worked with local organizations to have a community activation space that both kids and parents could enjoy.”


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A Look Back, Rose Parade Memorable Moments


Queen Elsie Armitage enjoys the largest Royal Court in Tournament of Roses history, with 24 princesses.


Fay Lanphier is named Rose Queen while also reigning as Miss America.


The Rose Parade celebrates its 50th Anniversary. Grand Marshal Shirley Temple – the youngest GM ever – presides over the parade.


The Tournament of Roses celebrates on a smaller scale due to World War II. For security reasons in the wake of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Rose Bowl Game, featuring Duke vs. Oregon State, is played at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.


World War II is over and the Tournament of Roses celebrates in grand style with the theme, “Victory, Unity and Peace.”


William Wrigley, Jr. family gives Wrigley Mansion and Gardens to the city of Pasadena for use as the Tournament of Roses headquarters.


Fresh from their trip to the moon, astronauts Charles Conrad, Richard Gordon and Alan Bean, the heroes of the Apollo 12 moon landing, led the parade as grand marshals.


The Rose Parade is designated by the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration as the kickoff event of the Nation’s Bicentennial Celebration. A special prologue to the parade features the Third U.S. Infantry Regiment.


President Reagan signs legislation making the rose America’s national flower. Tournament Vice President Harriman L. Cronk and 1986 Rose Queen Aimée Richelieu in attendance at ceremony.


In a tribute to the 50th Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force, the B-2 Spirit, also known as the stealth bomber, flew over the 108th Tournament of Roses Parade.


Embarking on a yearlong, around-the world excursion, the Odyssey 2000 cyclists traveled along the boulevard en route to Mexico on New Year’s Day, the first day of their travels. Cyclists who successfully complete the global journey will return and participate in the 2001 Rose Parade.


Triggered by the events of September 11, 2001, the Rose Parade begins with a special patriotic opening featuring Grand Marshal Regis Philbin, singer Martina McBride and flyovers by the Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornets and the U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit.


Rose Parade theme, “Music Music Musi”c was also part of the Rose Bowl Game, which began with a historic pre-game performance featuring the combined university marching bands, conducted by Rose Parade Grand Marshal John Williams.

Three different Air Force stealth aircraft (B-2 Spirit, F-117A Nighthawk and F/A-22 Raptor) flew together in formation, with appearances at both the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl Game.


Led by legendary filmmaker George Lucas, the 118th Rose Parade celebrated the theme “Our Good Nature.” Parade highlights include a Star Wars Spectacular, which featured two floats, 200 storm troopers and the Grambling University Marching Band.


Guinness World Records deemed the Natural Balance Pet Foods, Inc. float the “World’s Heaviest Float.”

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The 2017 Parade is on the Second but here are Parade Firsts…


First Parade and Games on January 1, 1890, a parade of flower-decorated horse-and-buggies and an afternoon of public games on the “town lot” east of Los Robles between Colorado and Santa Fe. The parade was to be an American version of the festival of roses in Nice, France.


First musical group to perform in the Rose Parade, The Monrovia Town Band in 1891.


First viewing stands are built along the parade route.


First year that motorized vehicles are allowed as float entries. At the time, there was little enthusiasm for the autos, which were forced to appear at the rear of the parade so as not to scare the horses.


First Rose Bowl Game played at Tournament Park (Caltech’s current athletic field). University of Michigan routs Stanford University, 49-0. As the crowd of spectators arrived for the game, it soon became apparent that the 1,000 seats would not be enough. The mob of 8,500 created a stampede. No one was seriously injured, but due to the over-excitement of the crowd, as well as the lopsided score, football was abandoned on New Year’s Day until 1916.


First chariot races staged, inspired in part by the best-selling book Ben-Hur. The chariot races, held at Tournament Park, continued until 1915, when it was decided that, while the event was indeed popular, it was far too dangerous and expensive.


First Rose Queen, Hallie Woods, reigns over New Year’s Day festivities. Miss Woods, chosen by her classmates at Pasadena High School, made her own gown and helped decorate the float upon which she rode.

First and only elephant-camel race held. With a little goading from its rider, the elephant won.


Edith Wright is the first woman to pilot a float – Eagle Rock’s entry.


Hotels from Yokohama and Manila enter massive floral floats, marking the first international entries.


Czechoslovakia is the first international government to enter the parade.

First national radio broadcast of Rose Bowl Game.


Pasadena Junior College, now Pasadena City College, makes first appearance in parade as official Tournament Band.


Mary Pickford becomes the first Hollywood celebrity and first woman to be chosen Grand Marshal.


The Goodyear Blimp became the first aerial platform to provide a live television picture of a nationally televised program when it broadcast Rose Parade on January 1.


Rose Bowl Game becomes first college football game broadcast nationally in color.


First live international satellite feed of Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game to other parts of the world.


Navajo Nation Band, of Window Rock, Arizona, is the first Native-American marching band to participate in the parade.


First African-American Rose Queen, Kristina Smith, chosen to reign on New Year’s Day.


First live network broadcast of the Rose Bowl Game in Spanish.

First live broadcast of the Rose Parade to luxury cruise ships.

First live radio broadcast of the Rose Parade from atop a moving float by radio personalities Ken and Bob of KABC-AM (Los Angeles).


The Rose Parade and edited clips of the Rose Bowl Game are broadcast via satellite to Russia and the newly formed Independent Republics for the first time.


First quadruple Grand Marshals in Rose Parade history. Actress/diplomat Shirley Temple Black, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, sports legend Jackie Robinson (posthumously) and film producer/documentarian David L. Wolper chosen to collectively represent the 20th century.

For the first time, the Tournament of Roses names a Grand Marshal posthumously. At the suggestion of Jackie Robinson’s widow, Rachel Robinson, his lifelong friend Ray Bartlett fulfills his duties as Grand Marshal.


Roy E. Disney (Walt Disney’s nephew) leads the 111th Tournament of Roses as the 2000 Grand Marshal, making him and Walt the first and only Grand Marshals in Tournament history who are in the same family.


For the first time in Tournament of Roses history, the parade is intentionally stopped. The United States Army Golden Knights Paratroopers land on the parade route in front of the VFW float saluting Bob Hope. In an emotional moment which captured the patriotic theme of the Parade, Fabric of America, the paratroopers salute the Bob Hope float, and Mr. Hope – a two-time Rose Parade Grand Marshal – salutes back.


For the first time in history, the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game are held on different days as The Granddaddy of Them All hosts the National Championship Rose Bowl Game on January 3, 2002.

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American Honda and the Tournament of Roses: Still Blooming After 56 Years

In 1959, American Honda was established in a storefront on Pico Boulevard near downtown Los Angeles.  Two years later, looking for ways to become part of American society and the local community, the fledgling company agreed to partner with the Tournament of Roses for the 1962 Rose Parade, supplying two-wheel vehicles for Parade operations.  It was from these humble beginnings that a long and successful partnership was born.

“The relationship between Honda and the Tournament of Roses has grown organically over the years,” said Steve Morikawa, vice president, Corporate Relations & Social Responsibility for American Honda.  “But at its heart, our participation has always been about wishing families a happy new year.”

1971 Tournament of Roses volunteer members on official Honda scooters.

1971 Tournament of Roses volunteer members on official Honda scooters.

What started as two-wheeled vehicles has grown many times over.  Though the years, many Honda products have been called into service on New Year’s Day, including generators, automobiles and scooters.   Honda became the official vehicle in 1994, providing automobiles and vans for official Tournament transportation needs, as well as all the now-ubiquitous motor scooters used by white-suited Tournament volunteers.  Honda’s multipurpose utility vehicle, Big Red, made its Rose Parade debut in 2010.

As the Parade has grown and evolved, so has the relationship with Honda.  The company became the first-ever presenting sponsor of the Rose Parade in 2011 (the only company to ever hold this distinction), and the sponsor of the opening show extravaganza in 2015.

2015 Honda Opening Show

2015 Honda Opening Show

Honda has also been a float participant for 40 years, bringing its “Challenging Spirit” to the Parade by entering floats that are innovative and unique, a philosophy that has led to some spectacular sights on New Year’s Day, including a 207-foot- long train laden with fireworks; a working roller-coaster; and a 50 foot-tall humanoid robot, to name just a few.

As the presenting sponsor, Honda’s float introduces the Parade theme and is no longer part of the judging process, but prior to 2011, Honda’s entries were award-winners, earning 15 trophies between 1995 and 2010.

Honda and the Tournament of Roses also employ Honda’s innovative environmental technologies to help the Parade function more efficiently and reduce its carbon footprint.  For the past seven years, Honda’s float has been propelled by a specially configured hybrid, low-emission engine to help the float function more efficiently and reduce its carbon footprint. And, the parade theme banner is also powered by a low emission Honda hybrid engine.

Honda and the Tournament of Roses have worked side-by-side for more than 50 years to bring entertainment and tradition to people around the world and to enhance the Southern California communities in which we all work and live.

2016_American Honda

2016 American Honda “Nature’s Hope”

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History of the Rose Bowl Game Trophy

TROPHY 32814_046Since 1902, when Michigan played Stanford at Tournament Park in the first Rose Bowl Game, three different championship trophies have represented the Rose Bowl Game.

The first trophy, known as the Helms Trophy (Helms Hall of Fame), was a “perpetual trophy” presented to the winner of the game each year. This trophy was used from 1902 through 1989 and was given a new inscription each year with the name of the winning university. This trophy is quite large with a black wood base and large silver bowl on top. It’s sculpted in roses and has many intricate details.

Prior to 1989, the Rose Bowl Game champion did not receive their own trophy to take back to campus with the exception of the 1942 Rose Bowl Game, which took place in Durham, N.C. Duke University hosted the Rose Bowl Game in the one year that it was not played in Pasadena due to west coast invasion concerns surrounding World War II. Duke created a trophy for both the victor (Oregon State) and each of the players and staff on the Duke University team were awarded the same trophy for their hard work in making sure the Rose Bowl Game was indeed played in the temporary location.

As the display of athletic prowess took hold in the university community over the years, the desire to create a Rose Bowl Game trophy that could be given to the winning university gave way to the creation of the second Rose Bowl Game trophy.

In 1989, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses sanctioned the Pasadena Arts School to create a design that could be adopted as the second trophy. This trophy donned a gold football on a marble base with silver goal posts stretching up to the sky. This trophy was used from 1989 until 2004.

As the play-off picture in college football began to take hold in the form of the Bowl Championship Series in the late 1990’s, the Tournament of Roses began the creative process of producing a trophy reflective of the greatest football game in America – a trophy that would be comparable to the Super Bowl or World Cup trophy, that would be an adequate representation of the “Granddaddy of Them All.”

The Rose Bowl Game’s third and final trophy, the Leishman Trophy, is still used today and is handmade each year by Tiffany & Co. The trophy is approximately 21-inches tall and features a 3/4-size football rendered entirely in sterling silver. A replica of this trophy, is located in the football room of the Tournament House along with the other two past Rose Bowl Game trophies. A new trophy is created each year for the champion and takes close to three months to complete.

The Leishman Trophy has only been altered once since its inception in 2005 to commemorate the 100th Rose Bowl Game in 2014. The trophy kept a similar look overall but was trimmed in gold to honor the special occasion. This trophy, truly one-of-a-kind, can be found in the athletic department at the Michigan State University.

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2012 Rose Queen Delivers Commencement at NYU


2012 Rose Queen Drew Washington

2012 Rose Queen Drew Washington



Congratulations to 2012 Rose Queen Drew Washington on being selected from her graduating class at New York University’s School of Professional Studies to deliver the 2016 Undergraduate Convocation Commencement Speaker- NYU-School of Professional Studies Tisch Institute for Sports Management, Media and Business.



To read an article from NYU, please visit:
To view a clip from Drew’s speech, please visit:

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2016 Rose Queen Visits Macon Cherry Blossom Festival

In April, 2016 Rose Queen Erika Winter and Executive Committee Vice President Ed Morales traveled to Macon, Georgia for the Macon Cherry Blossom Festival.

“The Macon Cherry Blossom Festival was my first trip out of state as Rose Queen, and I couldn’t imagine a better place to start,” said Erika Winter. “I had such a wonderful time visiting historical landmarks like the Hay House, and learning about the city of Macon. My favorite part of my visit was meeting the Cherry Blossom court. The girls were so sweet, welcoming, and a perfect representation of Macon.”

Festival Visits IMG_2240

The Executive Committee Officers and Vice Presidents of the TOR Association travel to visit other festivals around the country each year with the sole purpose of improving on our own parade and ancillary events.

Festival Visits IMG_2219

In July, Queen Erika will travel with Executive Committee Vice President Laura Farber to the Minneapolis Aquatennial festival in Minnesota to celebrate the cities famous lakes, rivers, and streams.

The festivals are assigned to each Executive Committee Officer and Vice President so that all members have the opportunity to experience each festival by the time they reach their presidential year.

Other Festivals visits include:
Fiesta San Antonio Festival (San Antonio, Texas in April)
500 Festival (Indianapolis, Indiana in May)
Kentucky Derby Festival (Louisville, Kentucky in May)
Calgary Stampede (Calgary, Alberta, Canada in July)
Aquatennial (Minneapolis, Minnesota in July)
International Festival and Events Association’s Convention and Expo (Tucson, Arizona in September)
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (New York, New York in November)

In turn, the Tournament invites each festival to bring four people to be our guests to America’s New Year Celebration including; a welcome dinner, New Year’s Eve dinner at San Antonio Winery, Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game. The festival guests are hosted by our Host Committee.

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Tournament of Roses Awards Two Scholar Athletes

This year, the two scholarships from the Tournament of Roses were awarded to Dominico Chico of Rio Hondo Preparatory High School and Ryan Nguyen of Charter Oak High School.

On March 22, 2016, the National Football Foundation’s Pasadena/San Gabriel Valley chapter hosted its 46th Annual Scholar-Athlete Awards Banquet. This event is held to recognize graduating high school seniors who have excelled academically, on the football field and within their respective communities.

Both young men are outstanding students in the classroom and couple that with being even better people. Chico completed high school with a 4.06 grade point average, while Nguyen graduated with a 3.7. Chico was ranked as the top graduating senior in his class at Rio Honda Prep, was selected class valedictorian and is a Magna Cum Laude winner of the National Latin Exam. He was also named the 2015 Football MVP of the Prep League. Nguyen received an International Baccalaureate high school diploma, which has a more rigorous curriculum than standard high school diplomas. He is a youth volunteer with Grace Church of Glendora and works 8-15 hours per week at a local movie theater.

NFF NFF2016web-158Each year the Pasadena/San Gabriel Valley chapter reviews submissions from the 68 public and private high schools who participate in the chapter’s awards. Scholarships are then provided to the athletes selected from the various sponsors for the annual banquet. The Pasadena Tournament of Roses has partnered with the National Football Foundation NFF NFF2016web-160(NFF), both at the national level and locally with the Pasadena/San Gabriel Valley chapter for years, contributing scholarship funds for the young men who receive this prestigious award.

In the fall, Dominico Chico will attend the University of California, Los Angeles, where he plans to major in Biology. Ryan Nguyen will attend Grand Canyon University in the fall, where he plans to major in Nursing.


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Tournament of Roses Supports Renovation of Jackie Robinson’s High School Baseball Field

The newly renovated Jackie Robinson Field opened to the public on March 9th 2016 and had several representatives from the Dodgers, PUSD, various funders for the project and elected officials present.

The renovation was sparked by an article in the LA Times that brought to light the poor conditions of the baseball field at John Muir High School. Being that the school is the alma mater of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, this article became the catalyst to create real change at a school in desperate need of support.

Several philanthropic entities came together to begin raising money to renovate the baseball field at John Muir High School. The Pasadena Education Foundation (the foundation associated with the Pasadena Unified School District) and the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation became the two leads for the project with respects to logistics and fundraising.

In December 2015, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association began having conversations with PEF to discuss the Tournament’s potential involvement in the project at John Muir. By late January 2016, the Tournament had made an agreement with the City of Pasadena and PEF to ensure $10,000 be committed towards the project on the behalf of the Tournament of Roses and the City of Pasadena.

The $260,000 project allowed the field to be completely rebuilt, with new side and outfield fencing, foul poles, a blue windscreen scoreboard and yellow top cap in the outfield. The backstop and dugout fencing was repaired and new metal dugout roofs were installed, making the field one of the best high school baseball fields in San Gabriel Valley.

More importantly, John Muir won its first game on the new field a few days later.

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