Despite being only a few miles from the entertainment capital of the world, the Rose Parade is not the place for celebrities to strut their stuff. It’s all about the floats, the bands, the horses. Sure, a few entries may have celebrities, but they aren’t the main focus of the float.
The celebrities at the Rose Parade are the Grand Marshal (who may or may not be a household name), the president of the Tournament of Roses, the mayor of Pasadena, the Rose Bowl Game Hall of Fame honorees, and of course, the members of the Royal Court. That’s about it.
Each one has a role that goes beyond the parade. The Grand Marshal is expected to make appearances promoting the event, and to talk it up. Gregory Peck, the 1988 Grand Marshal, was the first to garner an appearance on the Tonight Show with his friend Johnny Carson. Grand Marshal J.R. Martinez gave an extra boost to the 2012 Rose Parade when he won Dancing with the Stars just five weeks before the parade.
Tournament of Roses President Rick Jackson not only planned the 2012 parade, he was the buck-stopper for the Rose Bowl Game and the many events surrounding the parade and game. He spent decades in the organization before achieving the presidency, and continues to volunteer with the Tournament.
For links to the 2012 float articles and other float information, read “2012 Rose Parade award-winning floats”
A series of events of the magnitude of the annual Tournament of Roses requires a great deal of cooperation between the city and the organization. Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard is key to this relationship.
The young women who serve on the Royal Court aren’t finished with their duties on Jan. 2. They continue to represent the Tournament at events throughout the year and they return year after year to help prepare the girls who try out for the court, give input to the Queen and Court Committee, and attend the coronations of new queens. The Rose Queen will be invited to the Pasadena Jaycees Queen’s Breakfast for the rest of her life.
Take a look at the photo gallery to see the 2012 celebrities and the opening pageantry.
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