The 134th Tournament of Roses Parade

rose parade

image via

After historic rains throughout California ended in 2022, the 134th Tournament of Roses Parade, which featured dozens of flower-covered floats, wound its way through Pasadena on Monday, January 2. Crowds gathered to watch the 39 floats and 21 marching bands parade down Colorado Boulevard in southern California on a chilly morning with temperatures in the 40s.

2023 Rose Parade Theme

The 2023 Rose Parade’s theme was “Turning the Corner,” and the parade’s grand marshal was former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who survived a mass shooting. According to Giffords, “the notion of ‘turning the corner’ also resonates from a national perspective.” “Political polarization and a deadly pandemic have plagued our nation for many years. However, progress in medicine and partisan cooperation has enabled us to move in the direction of a better future.

Turning the Corner is the theme of the Tournament of Roses Parade. Advocates for affordable housing in Southern California and those who support them stated this morning that they are personally aware of how crucial it is for America to “turn the corner” on the housing crisis.

This year’s People’s Rose Parade demonstration will follow that theme.

In a pre-parade online interview, community organizer Carlos Marroquin said, “That housing crisis is affecting too many people.” People who must contend with high rents because, as is well known, they are out of control

Following today’s parade, activists will put on the “Turning the Corner, Affordable Housing Now” People’s Rose Parade. Turning the Corner is the theme of the Tournament of Roses Parade. This morning, Southern California housing advocates and their supporters stated that they are acutely aware of the importance of A

Activists have marched behind the Rose Parade every year since the 2011 “Occupy” march that highlighted Wall Street abuses in order to bring attention to progressive social and environmental issues. Every year, we choose a market niche that appeals to the public the most, said Marroquin. Housing just so happens to be the current hot topic. According to Toto, Los Angeles needs to build more affordable housing and supports the idea of adaptive reuse, which involves converting unused offices into apartments.

The group marches down Colorado Boulevard with signs promoting their cause even though they are not official parade participants. Marroquin expressed his hope that more people will become aware of the housing crisis thanks to the widespread attention the parade receives.

The goal, according to Marroquin, is to establish a connection with the public and inform them that we exist and that there are those who actually fight for just and fair housing solutions.

Every year, people from the sides who have been sitting in the bleachers for days come out and join us, which is always so inspiring to see, according to Toto.

Mario Lopez, an actor and television personality best known for Saved by the Bell and Extra, and Ana Gasteyer, an actress and comedian best known for Saturday Night Live, served as this year’s Rose Parade host.

The winning float for the 2023 Sweepstakes Trophy this year was “Lifting Each Other Up!” by Donate Life America, a charity that works to increase organ donation rates. With 18 organ recipients waving to onlookers, the winning float featured an Asian street dragon covered in 40,000 flowers and floral portraits honoring the organization’s donors.

The “There’s No Place Like Home” float from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which included Wizard of Oz characters Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion, won the Grand Marshal Award for the most outstanding creative concept and float design.
The Americana Award was given to Nascar’s “Always Forward” float, which featured race cars and was displayed at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

During the parade, one float stalled. A New Orleans Brass Band was featured on the Louisiana Office of Tourism’s float, which malfunctioned for the second consecutive year. While the float from the previous year had to be towed, this year’s float resumed its normal 5-mile-per-hour pace after a three-minute delay.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department deputy who died in the line of duty last week was also honored at this year’s Rose Parade. On December 29, while conducting a traffic stop, deputy Isaiah Cordero, a 32-year-old motorcycle officer, was shot and killed. The organization’s Mounted Enforcement Detail led by a horse without a rider saluted the deputy.

Due to the Rose Parade’s “never on a Sunday” tradition, which dates back to 1890 when Pasadena’s mild winters were celebrated on New Year’s Day, this year’s parade was held on January 2.

For the first time since World War II, the parade was postponed in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A COVID-19 test that was negative or proof of immunization was required of spectators last year, along with masks.

The Rose Parade is not being banned for the first time since the pandemic, but health officials did advise wearing masks in crowded places this winter as COVID-19, the flu, and respiratory syncytial virus cases have hospitals under strain. In Irwindale, California, volunteers decorated the floats with thousands of flowers and other plants last month. Every year, in Pasadena, the Rose Parade precedes the Rose Bowl college football game.

Fans’ favorite floats and marching bands

image via Visit Pasadena

On Monday morning, dozens of floats and marching bands lined up for the 5.5-mile Rose Parade route. Online, some attracted more attention than others. Here are some of the top picks.

Travel Louisiana

The Louisiana Office of Tourism followed up on last year’s French Quarter-themed float with another of the state’s symbols: a flower-covered riverboat sailing down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena instead of the mighty Mississippi.

Twenty Louisiana pageant winners, including the Gueydan Duck Festival queen and the Breaux Bridge Crawfish queen, crewed the $350,000 paddle wheeler, and country singer Lainey Wilson sang “LA” on the float. The float then suddenly stopped as it turned a corner. Fortunately, it was being operated by a skilled float driver with 50 successful attempts.

Trader Joes

Trader Joe’s, a grocery store chain based in Southern California and a 13-time award winner, celebrated 20 years of Rose Parade participation. Its food-related entry featured a chef riding along with a bag of groceries while pulling a boat that was loaded with additional food and several bird friends.

marching bands

The Marching Band of the Wisconsin Northwoods Twitter users flocked to the platform to applaud the Wisconsin Northwoods Marching Band, a composite band made up of eight high schools in north central Wisconsin. Amy Wainscott, president of the 2023 Pasadena Tournament of Roses, came up with the idea for this unique composite band because she wanted a band to represent the area of small towns where she grew up.

Lakeland High School, Northland Pines High School, Three Lakes High School, Merrill High School, Antigo High School, Wausau East High School, DC Everest High School, and Mosinee High School are among the institutions marching in the parade.

Spartan Marching Band, “Legion”

The public historically Black university Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia, sent its Spartan “Legion” Marching Band to Pasadena. The drum major’s helmet is a replica of the original Spartan warrior design, and the band’s attire is reminiscent of the legendary 300 Spartan warriors, including a protective guard auxiliary unit and shiny gold helmets.

The band’s well-known musical selections sounded strong and well-balanced, with a powerful brass tone and pounding percussion that makes use of three marching techniques. Tweets concurred.

Triuggio Marching Band

The Triuggio Marching Band, which was founded in 2004, traveled from Italy to participate in the Rose Parade. Members of the band are from the Italian cities of Triuggio, Brianza, and Monza. Teenagers and young adults who are members are strongly inspired by the spirit of community, friendship, and collaborative performance. Pop songs, rock songs, songs from movie soundtracks, and classical music were all part of their repertoire.

Rose Parade 2023 Awards

On Monday, January 2, the 134th Rose Parade’s 23 floats that received official honors were revealed by the Tournament of Roses.

The awards honor excellence across a range of categories, according to a statement from the officials.

The 2023 Sweepstakes Trophy the most beautiful entry encompassing float design, floral presentation, and entertainment, according to judges, was presented to Donate Life.
The remaining 2023 Rose Parade float award-winners include:

The Wrigley Legacy award is for the most outstanding display of floral presentation, float design, and entertainment: Trader Joe’s. The builder was Phoenix.

The President award, most outstanding use and presentation of flowers: city of Torrance. The builder was Fiesta.

The Leishman Public Spirit award, the most outstanding floral presentation from a non-commercial participant, Downey Rose Float Association. It was self-built.

The Extraordinaire award, the most extraordinary float: Cal Poly Universities. It was self-built.

The Queen award, most outstanding presentation of roses: city of Burbank. The builder was self-built.

The Director award, most outstanding artistic design and use of floral and non-floral materials: Lutheran Hour Ministries. The builder was Phoenix.

The Princess award, most outstanding floral presentation among entries 35 feet and under in length: Rotary Club International. The builder was Phoenix.

The Theme award, the most outstanding presentation of the Rose Parade Theme: City of Hope. The builder was Phoenix.

The Judges award, most outstanding float design and dramatic impact: Western Asset. The builder was Phoenix.

The Tournament Volunteer award, the most outstanding floral presentation of the Rose Parade Theme among floats 35 feet and under in length: city of Alhambra. The builder was Phoenix.

The Past President award, the most outstanding innovation in the use of floral and non-floral materials: Building Industry Association of Southern California. The builder was Fiesta.

The Showmanship award, the most outstanding display of showmanship and entertainment: Louisiana Travel. The builder was Fiesta.

The Grand Marshal award, the most outstanding creative concept, and float design: AIDS Healthcare Foundation. The builder was Fiesta.

The Isabella Coleman award, the most outstanding presentation of color and color harmony through floral design: Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom. The builder was Phoenix.

The Bob Hope Humor award for the most whimsical and amusing float: City of South Pasadena. The float was self-built.

The Animation award: San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. It was built by AES.

The Crown City Innovator award, the best use of imagination, innovation, and technology: Bazic Products. It was built by AES.

The Fantasy award, the most outstanding display of fantasy and imagination: Blue Diamond Growers. The builder was AES.

The Americana award is the most outstanding depiction of national treasures and traditions: Trader Joe’s. The builder was AES.

The Golden State award is the most outstanding depiction of life in California: Claremont McKenna College. The builder was Fiesta.

The Mayor award, the most outstanding float from a participating city: La Canada Flintridge. The builder was self-built.

The Founder award is for the most outstanding float built and decorated by volunteers from a community or organization: Sierra Madre Float Association. The float was self-built.

This year, no International awards were given out. Criteria such as creative design, floral craftsmanship, artistic merit, computerized animation, thematic interpretation, floral and color presentation, and dramatic impact are used to determine scores.

Nicole Cavender, Lois Hiranaga, and Jennie O’Hagan, this year’s judges, reviewed each float during judging sessions held during the decorating stages prior to the parade. To determine the trophy recipients, the judges used their scores from pre-parade judging sessions. The Tournament of Roses Troop, which includes Gold Award Girl Scouts and Eagle Scouts, will carry banners for each award-winning float in the parade.

Top 5 talking-about moments from the 2023 Rose Parade

The 134th Rose Parade was one to remember because it took place on January 2 this year rather than New Year’s Day, marking the parade’s return after a hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The parade featured its customary extravagance, including beautiful floral floats, mellow marching bands, and musical performances. Additionally, it brought some novelties, including celebrity appearances, bizarre floats, and instances that deviated from the norm. Social media users commented on the topic.

The top five parade moments, as reported on Twitter, are listed below:

1. B-1B Lancer Bombers are really, really loud

This year, two B-1B Lancer Bombers took the place of the B-2 Stealth Bomber, the customary fly-over star. They made up for what they lacked in tradition with noise.

2. Gabby Giffords felt the love

Former congresswoman from the United States, mass shooting survivor, and opponent of gun violence Gabby Giffords served as this year’s grand marshal. She received a lot of positive Twitter feedback.

3. Is that… Danny Trejo? 

In case you missed it, Danny Trejo and Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo attended the Rose Parade. The two were supposed to travel in a 1907 Autocar bus, but the bus broke down, so they had to walk.

4. Snapchat shows face at the Rose Parade

In 2023, Snapchat made its debut at the Rose Parade. We’ll just leave this picture of the float alone and let the responses on social media do the talking. It appears that this filter was being promoted by the multimedia smartphone app that allows users to easily share a photo and video content.

5. A bittersweet parade moment

One of the most touching parts of the parade was when the mounted enforcement detail of the Riverside County Sheriff was led by a black horse without a rider in memory of the murdered Riverside Deputy Isaiah Cordero, who was killed last week during a traffic stop in Jurupa Valley. Here are more details on how to assist the Cordero family.