Rose Bowl’s AmericaFest Goes Virtual to Keep Tradition Alive

Photo courtesy Rose Bowl
The culmination of the 94th annual AmericaFest celebration virtual event was a flyover of Pasadena and its most historic landmarks. The flyover could be viewed from many city residents’ homes and was streamed online.

Recognized as one of the largest and longest-running shows celebrating the nation’s birthday, the 94th annual AmericaFest hosted by the Rose Bowl Stadium was celebrated virtually this year to ensure that the tradition would go on.
“For the past 93 years, America’s Stadium has proudly provided the Greater Pasadena area and beyond with a Fourth of July celebration, which comprised an all-day tailgate, family-fun activities, musical act and fireworks show,” Rose Bowl officials said in a statement.
“Due to the current status surrounding COVID-19 and the inability to host and encourage gatherings, the Rose Bowl Operating Co. [changed] tradition with a new form of entertainment this year. The Rose Bowl Stadium [transitioned] to a virtual event on the afternoon of July 4 so Pasadena locals and national fans alike [could] tune in to the 94th Virtual AmericaFest celebration on Rose Bowl Live, located on the stadium’s social media platforms.”
The virtual event included live music from cellist Cecilia Tsan, who performed two solos from the 100-inch telescope dome on top of Mount Wilson “in honor of our United States fallen heroes and the first responders and front-line workers for their admirable work and courage during COVID-19,” a spokesperson said.
In addition, Mount Wilson had tested a special art installation called “Sunstar,” created and owned by artist Liliane Lijn and astrophysicist John Vallerga. According to the Rose Bowl spokesperson, the prism would move throughout the day to shine a bit of pure color from the sun over Pasadena for residents to enjoy throughout the virtual July 4 event.
Focused on legacy and community building, the hourlong virtual event featured celebrations of U.S. veterans and military personnel, messages from community residents thanking first responders, front-line workers and their personal heroes for their work during the pandemic, and a salute to America with a message about why we celebrate the Fourth of July.
In the culmination of the online event, there was a flyover of Pasadena and its most historic landmarks that was viewable from many Pasadena residents’ homes and streamed online. The Stearman biplane was piloted by Gabe Lopez of Pasadena, and he was joined by his father, Ed, 97, a highly decorated flier during his military service.
Later on Independence Day, the Rose Bowl teamed with Tribeca Enterprises for “The Tribeca Drive-In” in the stadium’s parking lots. Movies shown on Saturday included “Field of Dreams,” “The Wizard of Oz” and a special 25th anniversary screening of “Apollo 13.” The drive-in movies will run Thursdays through Sundays until July 26. Tickets for upcoming movie screenings can be purchased at TribecaFilm.com, with a percentage of proceeds donated to Black Lives Matter.

Photo courtesy Rose Bowl
On the evening of July 4, the Rose Bowl teamed up with Tribeca Enterprises for “The Tribeca Drive-In” in the stadium’s parking lots. The movies shown on Saturday were “Field of Dreams,” “The Wizard of Oz” and a special 25th anniversary screening of “Apollo 13.”

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