If 100th Tournament of Roses 2018 Queen Isabella Marez is not polished in her picture-perfect royal attire during this year of reign, you’ll find her in her other favorite outfit of choice: scuffed up softball cleats and dirty practice gear.
It’s a dichotomy that reminds those around her of the Royal Court’s transition to modern times, and that a girl these days can be, above all, all things.
“I love that about her and find it so funny,” said sister Alex Marez. “She’s either in full makeup or all grimy in practice gear.”
Either way, Marez is either coming or going, riding out the tail-end of a whirlwind year that will include about 100 public events as queen with her six Royal Court members, serving out the TOR’s choice of theme “Making a Difference.” Continue reading “100th Rose Queen Revels in Timeless Tradition”
The whole princess thing takes some getting used to, but by now Julianne Lauenstein is comfortable with it. Her La Cañada High School classmate Georgia Cervenka is getting close.
Both young women were named to the 2018 Tournament of Roses Royal Court in October and have since attended dozens of functions, serving enthusiastically with five others on the court as ambassadors for the organization and for the Pasadena area.
Lauenstein, who’s eyeing a career in medicine, had some practice. She’s also spent 2017 as a member of the Miss La Cañada Flintridge court, attending dozens of local functions and serving as an ambassador for her hometown and its Chamber of Commerce. Continue reading “LCHS Princesses ‘Make a Difference’ on Royal Court”
When asked how she came up with the concept design for the La Cañada Flintridge self-built Rose Parade float, “Panda-monium,” Ella Jacobs, 12, said, “last year when we were talking about float ideas, I kind of just blurted out, ‘panda float’ because I really like pandas.”
Aside from being one of Jacobs’ favorite animals, pandas serve as suitable mascots for the theme of this year’s parade, “Making a Difference,” said La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association President Chuck Terhune. About 50 years ago, he explained, China and 20 other countries started coordinating programs to breed pandas, and they’re finally starting to release some of these pandas into the wild.
Lance Tibbet’s Pasadena roots are deep. This year’s Tournament of Roses president was born and raised in Pasadena; he graduated from Pasadena High School and attended Pasadena City College. His business — wholesale nursery Magic Growers, Inc. — is based in Pasadena.
“I went through all the schools, my business is here, I live here, a few years ago I said, ‘Maybe I’m a little too provincial, maybe I need to get out into the world?’” Tibbets said.
In the past year, he’s certainly accomplished that — in the most Pasadena role of all.
As president for the 129th Rose Parade and Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, Tibbet had the enviable task of visiting each of the parade’s marching bands, “traveling around the country and traveling around the world, spreading the good work of the tournament.” Continue reading “President Draws on Deep Roots to Promote Rose Parade”
Actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise was announced Monday as the 2018 Tournament of Roses Grand Marshal. Sinise will ride in the 129th Rose Parade, themed “Making a Difference,” and participate in the pregame celebration of the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game, both held on Jan. 1. Continue reading “Actor Sinise Chosen as Rose Parade Grand Marshal”
Alas, there can be only one Rose Queen.
The Tournament of Roses last week crowned Altadena resident and La Salle High School senior Isabella Marez as the 100th Rose Queen for 2018, marking a century of city pride and tradition at the packed Pasadena Playhouse theater. Continue reading “La Salle High Senior Crowned 100th Rose Queen”
In Pasadena on Monday, seven Rose princesses — including two from La Cañada High School — and 30 other finalists were celebrated for their goodness, just hours after horror transpired in Las Vegas.
“These young women have shown they believe in the power of kindness, of selfless service, and now they stand ready to make an even greater difference,” said Dave Link, chair of the Tournament of Roses Royal Queen and Court Committee, with a nod this this year’s Rose Parade theme, “Making a Difference.”
“We’re all reading the news about the tragedy in Las Vegas, the senseless deaths,” Link continued, asking his audience to contribute funds or blood to help victims in the nation’s deadliest shooting. “It seems odd having a celebration in the wake of that news, but we have 37 young ladies who have looked forward to this for a very long time and who have worked hard for the past few months. It doesn’t seem right not to celebrate.” Continue reading “LCHS Princesses Chosen for 2018 Rose Court”
“Oh, man,” said Natalie Petrosian, suddenly struck by inspiration to use her platform as a member of the 2017 Tournament of Roses Royal Court to issue a public service announcement. “Can I tell you the biggest lesson that I’ve taken away from this experience?”
Of course. When you’re one of seven young ladies selected from close to 1,000 applicants to serve as an ambassador for the Tournament of Roses, people want to hear from you. Continue reading “Princess Emboldened by Royal Turn”
La Cañada Flintridge’s long-established relationship with the Tournament of Roses Parade was further bolstered by its participation Monday, Jan. 2, in the 128th rendition of the rosy procession through Pasadena.
As LCF residents Brad Ratliff and Natalie Petrosian enacted their roles with enthusiasm and grace, the community’s self-built float tickled the parade’s judges, who sent it home with another piece of hardware.
With this year’s “Backyard Rocketeer,” a colorfully playful tribute to the inspiring work of Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses’ Association won its sixth consecutive trophy and claimed the Bob Hope Humor trophy for the fourth time in that span.
In its 39 years of participation, LCF’s entries have floated off with an award 28 times — a testament to the devotion of residents who come together and contribute more than 45,000 hours to creating the float and more than $100,000 to pay for construction, materials, insurance and more.
“It’s one of the definers of La Cañada Flintridge,” said Chuck Terhune, LCFTRA’s president. “It’s one of the things that La Cañada Flintridge does every year that goes out to the world and says, ‘Hey, we’re here.’ It’s sort of a world advertisement. And it’s the holiday and Christmas season tradition around here.”
Weather permitting, the Backyard Rocketeer will be available for viewing Saturday morning at Memorial Park.
Ratliff strove to soak up every note of enjoyment during his year serving as president of the Tournament of Roses Association, and he did it with his father, Dick Ratliff, nearby. The elder Ratliff was the Tournament president in 1999, when his chosen theme was “Echoes of the Century.”
That family history inspired Brad Ratliff to give this year’s festivities the theme, “Echoes of Success.”
“Initially, when you come up with a theme, you wonder how it’s all going to play,” Brad Ratliff said. “And it takes on an evolution of its own. It was different when we thought of it than it is today; the concept was there, but it became more special when we started hearing stories from people about how other folks affected them and made their lives better.”
Over the course of the year, Ratliff — a self-described “band geek” — sat in and played trumpet, trombone or French horn with each of the bands selected to perform in the parade. He even traveled to Japan and Mexico to meet and make music with the Gifusho Green Band and the Escuela Secundaria Tencica Industrial band, even speaking to both groups in their native languages.
“In my opinion, that’s what I needed to do,” Ratliff said. “I needed to show the respect for these kids who come out and make these sacrifices because it was important that they knew we really, really value what they do.”
The same goes for some of the young participants from closer to home, including the members of the Royal Court, on which La Cañada High School senior Natalie Petrosian was a princess.
“Natalie’s awesome,” Ratliff said. “She is so articulate, so bright, so charming, you can’t help but want to stand next to her and just feel the goodness that comes from her.”
Told that Petrosian has designs on joining the Tournament of Roses organization after college, Ratliff wondered if she might not be the first to go from princess to president.
On Wednesday, Petrosian was focused on preparing her final college application for submittal, after which she planned to enjoy the final week of her holiday break.
She was already missing life as a princess, she said, but she planned to stay in touch with her “sisters” on the court. The seven young women bonded during the past three months, when together they attended more than 100 functions and met thousands of people before taking their place on the float that transported them the five magical miles down Colorado Boulevard.
“Let me tell you,” Petrosian said, “when you see someone you know, or hear someone calling your name, or see faces light up when you wave at them, any numbness [from the cold] totally goes away and all your energy and focus is on those people.
“It was unbelievable. I’m never going to forget it.”
Natalie Petrosian didn’t remember hearing her name called by Tournament of Roses President Brad Ratliff on Tuesday morning, but she registered hearing him call her number — “No. 617” — and then the voice of her cheering mother, Rebecca Nash. Continue reading “A Rosy Result for LCHS Girl”