tv Tournament of Roses Parade CSPAN February 7, 2021 2:16pm-2:31pm EST
tonight. goodbye and good night. announcer: the c-span cities tour travels the country exploring the american history. we have been to more than 200 communities across the nation. like many americans our staff is staying close to home because of the virus. next a look at one of the city tour visits. [cheering and applause] ♪ >> pasadena is known for the rose parade and the rose bowl game. really establish the identity for the community over the years. the parade goes all the way back to 1890. at that time, it let the world know that we had these amazing floral flowers and citrus growing in the winter months
here in southern california where the sun was out and the temperatures were very temperate. while the rest of the country in the midwest and the north was under snow. over the years, many people only know pasadena because of the rose parade or because they have seen the rose bowl game. >> welcome to tournament health. it is actually the wrigley mansion, owned by the wrigleys, purchased in 1914. for now, let's talk about where it all began. we have just had our 130th rose parade. the first parade was in january 1 of 1890. it started with the valley hunt club, which is literally three blocks down the street. it is the oldest unit in our equestrians. it has been in everyone, quite literally. one of the interesting things about the parade is that we never do it on sunday because in 1893, it fell on a sunday. we decided to hold the parade on
the 2nd. the story we get is that if we don't march on the good lord's day, the good lord will not rain on our parade. if you took your horses to colorado boulevard on they would sunday, be hitched up and the tournament organizers were afraid the horses would be spooked by all of the noise and commotion. the parade was basically horse-drawn carriages, until the early 1900s. and then the floats developed into bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger things, to now we have floats that are 100 feet long that can go 40 or 50 feet in the air. this is the place where we do all of our planning for the parade. we actually work in each of the rooms of the wrigley mansion. they said it was purchased by the wrigleys in 1914.
it has 18,500 square feet. 22 rooms. it has only five bedrooms. and it has 2000 square feet of closet space. there is a long story to that. mrs. wrigley and mr. wrigley bought it in 1914. mrs. wrigley thought this was her parade. she had a chair where she watched the parade. she got ill in the 1940's and in 1958, she died. the family decided there was no better place they could put it then in the hands of the city of pasadena. they gave the house to the city of pasadena. it would forever be the headquarters of the tournament of roses. >> when you look at the rose parade, there are three major aspects of the rose parade. the magnificent floral floats the marching bands that , come from across the country and we also have our equestrian units.
when you look at the tradition of the parade we want to , maintain that historical perspective and those components that make up our parade. when you talk about the cost of the parade, it is not cheap. it is very expensive to put on this parade. the tournament partners with the city of pasadena and we split the cost of putting on the parade. we pay for half the cost and the city pays for the other security half. is the cost that is fastest rising for us. as we try to secure a 5.5 mile parade route with other incidents going on around the world we want to ensure our , parade is safe for everyone coming to see it and they can come with their families and have a good time. the entry fees help we have , major sponsors that we work with. we do a lot of work throughout the year. the parade generates a strong economic impact for the southern
california region. not just for pasadena but the entire region. we did a study this year that was completed earlier for our 2018 parade and the direct economic impact was well over $200 million. annually, we are generating an economic impact of over $200 million for the southern california region. obviously pasadena gets a good share of that. but also with our other events we do, you can go to downtown los angeles, we do things in orange county and we do things throughout the region. we know we generate a lot of economic activity for this region. at a time that is traditionally slow. travel over the holiday season has been completed. you are coming up to new year's day. it really is a boom for this region to have this type of economic activity going on at new year's. [cheering and applause] >> come up to the second floor. before we do that, i want to stop to show you this extraordinary silver trophy.
it is the extraordinaire trophy, that was, of all things, one by won by a woman in 1914, 1915, in isabella coleman, who was still 1916. in the business of building floats when i joined in 1977. take a look at this float, which is indicative of the early floats. it is merely a wagon that is decked in flowers. if you look at this next float that is the kind of change in , float building that isabella coleman championed. it is not a whole lot different from what we do today except they are larger, grander, and heavier. we take a look down here at all of these trophies that we have collected. we have two archives. one is upstairs that has all sorts of things in it. but these are trophies that have been given to the tournament of roses that people have found in
their garages or attics over time. we are on the second floor and there are five bedrooms but they look like offices. i am going to take you into the first bedroom which we call the grand marshal's room. this is where i meet, on various committees. i think i have been in here for float entries for equestrians, small committee for parade operations. but as you look around, we have had a large number of grand marshals. now, what is interesting about it is today, the president, is the one who will pick the grand marshall. . it is one of the most best kept secrets in the world. i have never known ahead of time who the grand marshal is going
to be. of course, we have -- the best one up here is the fellow, dr. francis. if you look down below, we have shirley temple, who was the grand marshal in 1939. she was also the grand marshal in 1989 for the 75th rose bowl game. and again in 1999, with the theme, which is also picked by the president, was "echoes of the century." we have had a number of dignitaries. we have had supreme court justices. if i can find it, right here is earl warren. that was the last time it rained until 2006, when our grand marshal was sandra day o'connor. another sitting justice of the supreme court. we have a rule, we will never again have a sitting supreme court justice as grand marshal of the parade. here is richard nixon, the first of two times he was a grand marshal. this was when he was a senator.
we are going to see gerald ford and, somewhere buried in here, is a guy named ronald reagan when he was governor of the state of california. if we look up above, we don't always have living grand marshals. kermit the frog, mickey mouse, we had sully sullenberger who landed the plane and saved 128 people in the hudson river several years ago. and that brings us to the time when we should go out and take a look at the queen and court room talk about the rose queens. let's take a look at the portrait on the wall of the rose queen. the 101st for the 130th parade. this is queen louise. this is basically the way we refer to the queen.
just "queen" and the first name. that is the same with the princesses. the crown on her head is worth $180,000. it is a bazillion mickey mouse pearls. it is given by mickey moto each year and it stays with mickey moto. here is an example of the older crowns. the one i like the most is the one down here, second row. it is the 1939 rose queens ' crown and what is interesting about it is she got to take it home. because it breaks down into pins for the blouse and bracelets. we are going to step into a room that is not used at all for actually planning the parade but rather for the rose quartz. court. this is a room in which the rose queen and her six princesses gather to prepare for the 150 events they have had so far this year.
maybe i should tell you a little bit about how we name the rose queen. about 1000 young women need to be 17 and no more than 21. and in the surrounding pasadena community come in for interviews. they are extensive. they go through four processes and we wind up with 35 and get it down to seven. we take them off on a retreat and you can really tell the queen as she is the one that bubbles to the top as the leader. i have some interesting queens for you. this is our 1940 queen. who is still alive and comes down for two events every year. she comes down for the coronation in november and she comes down for the queens' luncheon in december. because she is a 1940 queen she has met every single one of the 101 queens.
>> pasadena is an incredible community with a lot of volunteerism. the spirit of volunteerism is huge. this is a volunteer driven organization. so everything we do is at the initiation of volunteers and is facilitated by our staff. so we don't have a large staff, but we have a large volunteer base because these events, everything we do around new year's, is volunteer driven. the spirit of volunteerism is the function of the kind of people that live in this committee and that is the kind of people that want to be engaged and get back, not to just sit back but to actively participate. you get way more out of a community if you are involved in giving back, as opposed to just being an onlooker or bystander. and i say that that is one of the reasons that year in and year out we get so many people that apply. the first requirement is you
have to give up your new year's. you can't beat somebody who likes to go out and party on new year's because it is not going to happen with our organization. but you also have to be somebody that is in the spirit of public giving and involvement in community connectedness is the best way i can call it. the other interesting thing about us is we take a variety of people. in the first six years you are , doing the same thing as the other volunteers. it is the ultimate equalizer. i have for example a bankruptcy judge a doctor, a business , person, a teacher, a dentist. i am a lawyer. we all roll up our sleeves and do the same stuff. you have to think there is something about this organization that entices people to want to volunteer. i think it is because of what we represent. [cheering and applause]
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