July 24, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

126th Rose Parade to make what could be its coldest procession in history

In what could be the coldest procession in its history, the 126th Rose Parade will make its way along Colorado Boulevard on Thursday, with the theme “Inspiring Stories” highlighted by the memory of the parade’s late grand marshal, Louis Zamperini.

Zamperini, a USC and Olympic track star who survived 47 days on an inflatable raft during World War II before he was taken prisoner and tortured for two years, was named the parade’s grand marshal in May, but he died two months later at age 97.

Tournament of Roses officials said Zamperini — the focus of the recent Angelina Jolie-directed film “Unbroken” — will still be the parade’s official grand marshal, represented by a riderless horse. Members of his family are expected to appear in the parade in a 1936 Packard.

Parade participants and spectators will have to bundle up. Temperatures in the Pasadena area are expected to hover at or below freezing as the parade’s 8 a.m. start time approaches. The cold temperatures could break the record cold of 32 degrees set during the 1952 Rose Parade.

“For those attending the Rose Parade in Pasadena, they can expect temperatures near to slightly below freezing by sunrise,” according to the National Weather Service. “Sub-freezing temperatures are possible in the same areas Friday morning as well.”

Braving the weather will be riders on 39 floats, members of 20 marching bands and riders in 18 equestrian units. The marching band lineup includes groups from Denmark, Japan and Mexico.

Among the floats in the parade will be one representing the ABC dating series “The Bachelor,” featuring Champagne flutes, “The Bachelor” mansion facade, a hot tub, sculptured wedding bands and hearts. “Bachelor” host Chris Harrison and past show participants are expected to be on board.

Actor Jack Black is expected to ride aboard the Farmers Insurance float with his former teacher Debbie Devine, artistic director of the 24th Street Theatre.

Former Gov. George Deukmejian and well-known college basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian will be riding on the Armenian American Association float, while Princess Cruises will reunite the cast of “The Love Boat” — Gavin MacLeod, Fred Grandy, Ted Lange, Bernie Kopell, Lauren Tewes and Jill Whelan.

According to the Tournament of Roses Association, the first parade was staged in 1890 by members of Pasadena’s Valley Hunt Club — former residents of the East and Midwest eager to showcase the Southland’s mild winter weather.

The first procession included horse-drawn carriages decorated with brightly colored flowers, followed by foot races and jousts in the area town square. In subsequent years, the parade festivities included rodeo-type events and even ostrich races.

The parade will begin near Orange Grove Boulevard and Ellis Street, then move east along Colorado Boulevard and north on Sierra Madre Boulevard. The floats will then remain on display at Sierra Madre and Washington boulevards so people can see them up close.

Marshall Fundamental High School senior Madison Elaine Triplett, 17, of Altadena, will preside over the festivities as the 2015 Rose Queen. The members of her Royal Court are:

— Mackenzie Joy Byers, 18, of Pasadena City College;

— Gabrielle Ann Current, 18, of Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy;

— Veronica Sara Mejia, 19, of Pasadena City College;

— Bergen Louise Onufer, 17, of Mayfield Senior School;

— Simona K. Shao, 17 of Westridge School; and

— Emily Alicia Olivas Stoker, 17, of Temple City High School.

Members of the Royal Court are chosen based on a variety of criteria, including public speaking, poise, academic achievement, community involvement and personality.

For people attending the parade, here are a few tips:

Small barbecues at least one foot off the ground are permitted. Tents, sofas or boxes that can be used as stools are prohibited, as are unoccupied chairs, bonfires and fireworks.

Items may not be sold along the parade route without a permit, and ladders or scaffolding may not be used as elevation for viewing.

It is illegal to buy, sell or give away horns on the parade route, and selling space is prohibited, as is throwing anything at the parade.

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