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 Adventures of a Rose Queen®

While many activities for Rose Queen Madison and the 2015 Royal Court centered on the build-up to New Year’s Day, their reign continues long after the float ride down Colorado Boulevard. In addition to representing the Tournament of Roses® at a handful of public events within the greater Pasadena area, Queen Madison – along with Tournament officials – have been busy traveling to various festivals throughout the United States.

From Georgia’s Macon Cherry Blossom Festival to Texas’s Fiesta San Antonio Festival, Queen Madison has taken on the title of “Visiting Royalty,” enjoying various elements of each festival – including riding in their parades.

In between festival events, sightseeing and guided tours, Queen Madison dined in some of San Antonio’s local restaurants with other “Visiting Royalty” in her most recent trip to the Fiesta San Antonio Festival.

In between festival events, sightseeing and guided tours, Queen Madison dined in some of San Antonio’s local restaurants with other “Visiting Royalty” in her most recent trip to the Fiesta San Antonio Festival.

Aside from the thrill of adventure – why do the Rose Queen and Tournament officials travel to other festivals?

Simple. The Tournament of Roses shares a reciprocal relationship with 10 national and international festivals. Through these relationships, Tournament officials are invited to attend festivals and parades, and do so with the focus of looking for ways to continually improve America’s New Year Celebration®.

Where will Queen Madison and the Tournament of Roses travel next? Stay tuned to find out!

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