Tournament House – A Treasure Trove of History, Stories and Surprise

While the dates and times of Tournament House Tours are set each year for every Thursday at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. from February through August, there’s no limit to the wealth of information available to guests who visit the property to learn about America’s New Year Celebration®.

Led by volunteers from the Tournament of Roses® Heritage Committee, docents incorporate stories and information that they’ve gathered throughout their years of service producing the Rose Parade® and Rose Bowl Game®; in addition to stories about the property’s 100-plus years on Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena.

Wrigley Mansion, the Orange Grove Boulevard estate, serves as the official headquarters of the Tournament of Roses Association, its staff and the 935 volunteers who work year-round to organize the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game.

Wrigley Mansion, the Orange Grove Boulevard estate, serves as the official headquarters of the Tournament of Roses Association, its staff and the 935 volunteers who work year-round to organize the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game.

Like the docents, each room within the Wrigley Mansion has a story. Take the “Eisenhower Bathroom” for example. Located on the first floor opposite the staircase, this bathroom earned its name in 1964 when former president Dwight D. Eisenhower served as Grand Marshal of the Rose Parade.

Shortly before the parade was to begin, Eisenhower suddenly was nowhere to be found.  After an exhausted search of the home and mild panic by parade organizers, Eisenhower was located in the men’s restroom – where the door had jammed.  Between the mansion’s one-foot-thick reinforced concrete walls, solid mahogany door and the noise of the pre-parade preparations within Tournament House, it was nearly impossible for anyone to hear Eisenhower’s cries for help.  Fortunately, he was recovered just in time for the parade!

Following his rescue from the “Eisenhower Bathroom,” Dwight D. Eisenhower rides in the 1964 Rose Parade (ironically) themed, “Symbols of Freedom.”

Following his rescue from the “Eisenhower Bathroom,” Dwight D. Eisenhower rides in the 1964 Rose Parade (ironically) themed, “Symbols of Freedom.”

Open to the public, there’s no telling who will stop by Tournament House for a tour. Over the years, visitors have ranged from former Grand Marshals, Royal Court members and their families and others with ties to the property and the Tournament of Roses. Don’t miss your last chance to tour Tournament House and get a behind-the-scenes look at the history of Wrigley Mansion and America’s New Year Celebration before tours conclude on August 27!

For more information on House Tours, please visit our website.

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The Rose Parade® Through the Lens of a Broadcaster

While more than 700,000 spectators line the streets of Pasadena to experience the Rose Parade in person, more than 81 million people around the world enjoy the parade within the comfort of their homes. From the months that precede the parade through the morning of New Year’s Day, producers from various networks work tirelessly to gather information, draft scripts and prepare on-air talent to create a unique Rose Parade experience for their viewers.

What does it take to broadcast the Rose Parade? The Tournament of Roses® asked Joe Quasarano, executive producer of KTLA’s Rose Parade broadcast, for a behind-the-scenes peek at the Rose Parade through the lens of a broadcast team.

For more than 20 years, Quasarano has played a key role in producing KTLA’s Rose Parade coverage.

For more than 20 years, Quasarano has played a key role in producing KTLA’s Rose Parade coverage.

“Preparation for the KTLA Rose Parade broadcast begins for us right after Labor Day,” said Quasarano. “During this time, we secure video trucks and start to see the floats in their various stages of construction.”

Several months before the parade, Quasarano prepares homework for KTLA hosts Bob Eubanks and Stephanie Edwards regarding parade entries while writers work on the script – a process that spans September to late December – gathering and editing detailed facts about each entry.

In addition to preparations for the domestic KTLA broadcast, Quasarano also works with third parties regarding timing in other parts of the world and delays for the international broadcast.

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While the parade route is 5½ miles long, broadcasters are positioned along the corner of Orange Grove and Colorado Boulevard, an area that over the years has been nicknamed “TV Corner.”

“The day after Christmas, Bob and Stephanie visit the floats in person and are given their scripts to review so that they can learn facts about each entry,” said Quasarano. Once Christmas passes, it’s crunch time.

In the days leading up to the parade, while thousands of volunteers flock to the float barns to decorate the parade’s floral masterpieces, broadcasters are busy adding last minute information to their scripts.

On December 28, set up – a process that involves approximately 130 technicians – begins and is followed by rehearsal on New Year’s Eve. The morning of the parade, the crew arrives at 2 a.m. to set up while the news crew conducts KTLA’s pre-parade coverage at 6 a.m.

A New Year’s Day tradition, the Rose Parade brings joy to millions of people around the world through a variety of broadcasts available to almost every continent and in multiple languages. Can’t make it to Pasadena this year to witness the parade in person? Check out our list of broadcasters to find a station near you!

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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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