Once a Rose Queen, Always a Rose Queen

As the longest living Rose Queen at 93-years-old, Margaret Huntley Main’s infectious personality and charm continue to validate her selection as the 1940 Rose Queen – an experience that shaped her life.

“Growing up in Pasadena in the 1920s, every girl dreamed of being the Rose Queen,” said Main. “But back then, things operated a little differently from today with the Royal Court and Rose Queen being chosen from only Pasadena City College students.

“I was one of more than 7,000 girls in the Pasadena Junior College district that had to tryout during our gym period,” she said. “I gave up on the idea of being chosen because I thought I was too tall. Most of the Rose Queens back then were no taller than 5’5” and I was 5’8”.”

Margaret’s poise and personality won the judges over. She was selected as a member of the Royal Court and shortly after crowned the 22nd Rose Queen of the Tournament of Roses.


In the 1930s and 40s, being the Rose Queen opened many doors – sometimes to Hollywood. While Margaret was offered a contract from Samuel Goldwyn at MGM Studios, she declined the offer to get married, continue her education and raise a family.

Like many Rose Queens, one of the most memorable moments throughout her reign was riding atop the Royal Court float as it traveled down Colorado Boulevard on New Year’s Day.

“I saw what looked like a million people smiling and waving at me – the wave of love that poured out from the crowd was indescribable! I had tears in my eyes and couldn’t stop wondering ‘How did I get so lucky?’”

It was in this moment that Margaret vowed to always honor being the Rose Queen. She continually holds herself to high standards and returns to Pasadena multiple times a year to welcome the incoming Rose Queen upon her Coronation and attend other Tournament of Roses events.

Her advice for all future Royal Court members: Have a wonderful time and enjoy every minute. Be eternally grateful that you are having this wonderful experience!

Margaret Huntley Main congratulates 2015 Rose Queen Madison Elaine Triplett at the Announcement and Coronation of the 97th Rose Queen.


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2014 Rose Parade Opening Show Takes Telly

Kicking off America’s New Year Celebration is no small feat and through a collaboration with FiveCurrents, the 2014 Rose Parade Opening Show presented by Wells Fargo set the tone for an unforgettable New Year’s Day. In recognition of their extraordinary work, a Telly was awarded to FiveCurrents for their production of the 2014 Rose Parade Opening Show presented by Wells Fargo.

The 2014 Rose Parade Opening Show presented by Wells Fargo

The 2014 Rose Parade Opening Show presented by Wells Fargo

The Telly Awards honor the very best film and video productions, groundbreaking online video content, and outstanding local, regional, and cable tv commercials and programs.

In celebration of “Dreams Come True,” the 2014 opening show featured five units representing iconic moments in history. Surrounded by music and dancers, the moments depicted dreamers who altered the course of history: The Model T era with Henry Ford and ragtime music, Charles Lindbergh’s first transatlantic flight with jazz and flapper dancers, Rosie the Riveter and the 1940’s big band sound, Neil Armstrong walking on the moon with 1960’s rock & roll, and the digital age represented by a DJ spinning on top of a circuit board.

Tournament of Roses Executive Director, Bill Flinn, Mark Poncher of FiveCurrents, and Tournament of Roses President Rich Chinen

Tournament of Roses Executive Director Bill Flinn, Mark Poncher of FiveCurrents, and Tournament of Roses President Rich Chinen

With less than two months to go until the 126th Rose Parade presented by Honda, be sure to stay tuned for sneak peeks and behind-the-scene looks leading up to January 1, 2015!

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Royal Court Fashion

For 96 years, members of the Tournament of Roses® Royal Court have served as ambassadors to the Association and City of Pasadena. Balancing school, work and extracurricular activities, seven young women are selected each year to represent and serve the community – in style.

While today’s Royal Court receives a wardrobe courtesy of Macy’s and gowns from Tadashi Shoji, the first Rose Queen® and early Royal Court members sewed their own dresses, crafted headdresses and even assisted in building their float!

Reflecting their respective eras through the fashion of their times, Royal Courts have left lasting impressions on millions throughout the Pasadena area. Take a walk through history with these photos showcasing each Royal Court’s unique style.


1905 Rose Queen Hallie Woods

1905 Rose Queen Hallie Woods


Hallie Woods, the first Rose Queen in 1905, reflected the haute couture movement that was prevalent at the turn of the century. This movement featured an abundance of lace, tight collars and upswept hair.


1929 Rose Queen and Royal Court

1929 Royal Court


In the 20s, an era marked by the drop-waist “flapper” dress, sheer stockings and bobbed hair, the Royal Court was right in step with the fashions of the time.


1951 Rose Queen and Royal Court

1951 Royal Court


Wartime courts sported sleek, pared-back styles, while the 1950s brought prim and proper dresses, with tiny waists, lavish skirts and pin-curled hair.


1972 Royal Court

1972 Royal Court


The 70s brought mod-squad inspired fashions featuring bright colors and playful prints.


1989 Royal Court

1989 Royal Court


The 80s were filled with big shoulders and equally big hair (no open flames, please!). This was the decade of both the first Asian-American Rose Queen, Leslie Kawai in 1981, and the first African-American Rose Queen, Kristina Smith in 1985.


1993 Royal Court

1993 Royal Court


After years of form fitting gowns, the 90s styles were more relaxed with a minimal fit and professional style.


Regardless of the fashion trends of the era, Royal Court members continue to outshine their wardrobe with poise, personality and confidence making them outstanding representatives of the Tournament of Roses and exceptional role models.


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Share Your Inspiring Stories, Win a trip to America’s New Year Celebration



With less than three months to go, the 126th Rose Parade on January 1, 2015 promises to be an inspiring and unforgettable celebration and we want to hear from you!

The theme of the 2015 parade, “Inspiring Stories,” encourages us to reflect on and appreciate the many people around us who elevate the human spirit.  The 2015 parade Grand Marshal, Louis Zamperini, was the embodiment of an inspiring story.

His story will continue to be shared on New Year’s Day and your own personal inspiring stories will be showcased through our new #RoseParade #Inspiring Stories social media campaign. We encourage you to submit an inspiring photo, story or video through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. With each entry, you become eligible to win a trip for two to the 2015 Rose Parade presented by Honda and the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual. Simply share your stories with the hashtags, #RoseParade and #Inspiring. Upon your submission, you will be able to view them here.

What inspires you? We can’t wait to hear your stories.

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