PASADENA — New Year’s Day is expected to be beautiful in Southern California this year, and anyone who watches the annual Rose Parade on television or in person on Friday, Jan. 1, will have a couple of chances to see foothill-area locals participate in the popular extravaganza, now celebrating its 127th year. The Rose Parade will be followed by the 102nd Rose Bowl Game.
It’s the National Park Service’s Centennial in 2016, and in honor, the theme for the 127th Rose Parade is “Find Your Adventure.” The Rose Parade is a treasured tradition that attracts millions of television viewers annually around the world; float designers have been encouraged to use the National Park Service’s natural, cultural, and historic sites and cultural programs as inspiration for their floral masterpieces.
Early on the morning of Monday, Dec. 28, Park Rangers were loading up horses and slowly making their way to Pasadena to participate in the Parade. The horses and replica stagecoach made it safely to sunny Pasadena after leaving Yosemite in 20 degree weather. The stagecoach is a perfect replica of the sort used in Wawona in the 1800s, available thanks to the generosity of the Yosemite Conservancy.
The “Find Your Adventure” theme is a nod to “Find Your Park,” a two-year public engagement campaign in which the National Park Service and National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, aim to increase awareness and excitement about the National Park Service’s Centennial celebration.
The Rose Parade is just one of the ways the National Park Service plans to kick off a second century—which officially begins on August 25, 2016—of protecting treasured places, telling American stories, and engaging communities through recreation, conservation, and historic preservation programs.
Meanwhile, Key Club students from Minarets High School were tapped to help Kiwanis International with the Kiwanis float and eight others decorated by Kiwanis-family members. The theme for the 2016 Kiwanis Rose float is “Children … Our Treasure.”
Minarets junior Emilie Jones, 16, was selected to ride on the Kiwanis International float in the 2016 Rose Parade. Emilie, and 12 other Minarets Key Clubbers, have joined other Cental Valley Key Club members and are in Pasadena now to decorate floats for the parade, working alongside Kiwanis members from all over the world, in what’s reportedly the largest community service event in the country.
Using 8,000 gallons of glue, the volunteers create flower-covered floats for Kiwanis International, Honda, Bayer Advanced, Trader Joe’s, Western Asset, Donate Life, Rotary International, City of Alhambra, Bank of America, City of Hope, RFD-TV and U.S. Bank.
The Minarets Key Clubbers traveling to Pasadena to decorate floats are: Remington Lee, Molly Leeper, Victoria Giffen, Alexandra Lanfranco, Aaron Hall, Delaney Finnegan, Emilie Jones (Vice-President), Mckenzie Olivas, David Broyles (President) Hannah Finnegan, Regan Fringer, Kayla Thomas, Kameron Moore and Kari McDougald. Advisor Michael Vaughan is chaperoning.
When the opportunity arose from the Kiwanis International Rose Float Project to submit a short essay communicating, “Why I want to ride on the Kiwanis 2016 Rose parade float,” active student Emilie jumped at the chance, her mom Denise Jones says.
This is the short essay Emilie submitted:
“I am ecstatic for the opportunity to ride on the Kiwanis international Rose Float. In hope that I’m chosen, I have already begun to prepare for this once in a lifetime experience. I have practiced my parade wave with a cheery smile for 5.5 miles. I’ve ensured that I am not allergic to flowers, horses, or high school marching bands. My mother, who’s dying to go to a Rose Parade, sees this chance through “Rose”-colored glasses, and has already booked our accommodations. Lastly, I’m eager to mark this off my bucket-list, and to have this thrilling story to tell my future children and grand-children. This will be an experience I’ll treasure for a lifetime!”
Emilie’s essay was one of four selected from thirty-seven submissions, Denise explains, earning her a spot on the float. Emilie, and the other riders, will wear costumes that reflect their future career goals. Emilie hopes to pursue a career in Physical Therapy, so keep an eye out for her in medical scrubs as she rides atop a fragrant float of flowers the 5.5 miles through the 2016 Rose Parade, presenting her well rehearsed wave and cheery smile.
The Parade will be broadcast live in the United States beginning at 8 a.m. PST, on Friday, January 1, 2016. Check your local broadcast listings for more information.
About the Pasadena Tournament of Roses
The Pasadena Tournament of Roses is a volunteer organization that annually hosts the Rose Parade, the Rose Bowl Game®, and a variety of associated events. The Tournament’s 935 volunteer members act as ambassadors of the organization within the community and serve on one of 31 committees that ensure the success of the parade and game. Collectively, they contribute upwards of 80,000 hours of manpower each year. The 127th Rose Parade presented by Honda and themed “Find Your Adventure,” will take place Friday, January 1, 2016, followed by the 102nd Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual. For additional information on the Tournament of Roses, please visit the official website at www.tournamentofroses.com.