How far would you travel for the 2015 Rose Parade?

Helsingor Pipegarde Girls Marching Band Answers with More Than 5,500 Miles

The people of Denmark – the world’s happiest country in the world (according to the 2013 World Happiness Report) – rejoiced earlier this month when 2015 Tournament of Roses President, Richard L. Chinen, traveled 5,500 miles to announce that the Helsingor Pigegarde Girls Marching Band is one of 20 bands participating in the 126th Rose Parade.

While bands spend hours practicing and fundraising in preparation for their trip to Pasadena, President Chinen and his wife, Kim, travel around the world, visiting the bands selected to appear in America’s New Year Celebration.

“Each band visit is so different and unique,” said Chinen. “Kim and I really get a chance to get to know the bands, experience new cultures and hear their stories.”

Last month, the Helsingor Pigegarde Girls Marching Band welcomed the Chinens to the coastal town of Helsingor, Denmark, located just 45 minutes north of Copenhagen.

Dressed in their traditional marching band garb — blue jackets, white skirts, white boots and a blue and white hat with a red pom pom, the band performed for the president and first lady before being presented with an official Tournament of Roses flag.

 

Helsingor Pigegarde Girls Marching Band is made up of 70 young women ranging from ages 9 to 21.

Helsingor Pigegarde Girls Marching Band is made up of 70 young women ranging from ages 9 to 21.

“Being chosen to perform in the Rose Parade is such an honor,” said Band Director Sanne Bergsaker. “It is an experience that each of the girls – and myself included – will cherish and remember for the rest of their lives.”

Representing a town of approximately 45,000 people and the historic Kronborg Castle – the home of Shakespeare’s Hamlet – the Helsingor Pigegarde Girls Marching Band is the first band from Denmark to march down the famous five-and-a-half mile Rose Parade route.

“Each band brings a different element of entertainment to the parade,” said Chinen. “I can’t wait to see the crowd’s reaction when they see the talent of these young women from Denmark.”

Curious about who you’ll see and hear on Jan. 1? Visit our website for the full list of the 2015 Bands selected to participate in the 126th Rose Parade and tell us who you’re most excited to hear!

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New Year, New President, New Theme – “Inspiring Stories”

In 2013 we went places. In 2014 dreams came true. Now, Richard L. Chinen, 2015 president of the Tournament of Roses is highlighting exceptional individuals with the 126th Rose Parade theme, “Inspiring Stories.”

Chinen who has been a Tournament member for 25 years, continues to be amazed by the organization’s volunteer membership. Each year, 935 volunteers work year-round, juggling regular jobs and Tournament duties, to bring America’s New Year Celebration to life. Sporting white suits, rose pins and a smile, they welcome over 700,000 spectators to Pasadena for the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game each January. “The dedication of Tournament members really drives the theme this year,” said Chinen.

Through the subtle member photos that make up the emblematic rose, the theme poster acknowledges individual stories and pays tribute to those who have loved unconditionally, persevered courageously and accomplished much on behalf of others.

Foil lettering was used to signify reflection and remembrance of each person’s own inspiring stories.

Foil lettering was used to signify reflection and remembrance of each person’s own inspiring stories.

Paying tribute to individuals who elevate the human spirit by who they are, what they have done and what they continue to do, Chinen hopes to make the 126th Rose Parade a meaningful and unforgettable experience for all.

“It is my hope that the Tournament’s celebratory events serve as a reminder to take the time to discover inspiring stories,” said Chinen, “those that enrich your life and the lives of others throughout the year.”

Do you have an inspiring story? Share it with us in the comments below!

For more on the 126th Rose Parade theme, check out President Chinen’s interviews with the Pasadena-Star News and Examiner.

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