Tournament of Roses President Helps Parade Inclusive New Era

Photo courtesy Shakespeare Club of Pasadena Pasadena Tournament of Roses 2018-19 President Gerald Freeny, a 30-year volunteer, is the first African American to lead the organization, founded in 1890.
Photo courtesy Shakespeare Club of Pasadena
Pasadena Tournament of Roses 2018-19 President Gerald Freeny, a 30-year volunteer, is the first African American to lead the organization, founded in 1890.

Parades have always made Gerald Freeny smile. When he was a small boy growing up in Pasadena, it was tradition for him and his family to camp out the night before the iconic Tournament of Roses parade to score the best viewing spot possible, waving to all the floats and ringing in the New Year with the entire city.
Little did Freeny know back then that one day, he would become the first African American to lead the Rose Parade on Tuesday, Jan. 1, as the Tournament of Roses’ 2018-19 president.
“I’m incredibly honored and very humbled to be leading this great organization,” said Freeny, who has volunteered for the TOR for 30 years. “When I joined way back when, I never thought to be president — I never even dreamed of it or had goals to be president. I just joined to have a good time, give back to the community and bring in the new year.” Continue reading “Tournament of Roses President Helps Parade Inclusive New Era”

Rose Princess Embraces Hectic Royal Routine

Rose Princess Sherry Ma
Rose Princess Sherry Ma

On Oct. 1, when the Pasadena Tournament of Roses was at last announcing the finalists composing its Royal Court this year, San Marino High School senior Sherry Ma admitted to having a bit of a, well, senior moment.
Each year, when the finalists compete to be the Rose Queen, the TOR announces the contestant’s school, her number and then, finally, her name, ostensibly to add dramatic flair and kick-start the cheers from whichever school the contestant represents. Continue reading “Rose Princess Embraces Hectic Royal Routine”

Everything’s Coming Up Roses

Photo by Staci Moraza / OUTLOOK San Marino resident and Sequoyah High School senior Louise Siskel was named the 2019 Rose Queen as princesses Lauren Baydaline and Ashley Hackett congratulate her.
Photo by Staci Moraza / OUTLOOK
San Marino resident and Sequoyah High School senior Louise Siskel was named the 2019 Rose Queen as princesses Sherry Ma and Ashley Hackett congratulate her.

In one of Pasadena’s favorite time-honored traditions, the Tournament of Roses on Tuesday announced its 101st Rose Queen for 2019, San Marino resident Louise Siskel, to the delight of a packed Pasadena Playhouse.
Siskel, a senior at Sequoyah High School, stood momentarily dazed when 2019 Tournament of Roses President Gerald Freeny called out her school and named her queen, only reacting when the six other rose princesses turned to her, applauding. Continue reading “Everything’s Coming Up Roses”

Royals of Pasadena Exhibit Extols 100 Years of Tradition

Photo courtesy Suzanne Ehrmann Longest living Rose Queen Margaret Huntley Main, crowned in 1940 and now age 96, meets 2018 Queen Isabella Marez at the Pasadena Museum of History’s Royals of Pasadena exhibit, showcasing 100 years of elegance and tradition.
Photo courtesy Suzanne Ehrmann
Longest living Rose Queen Margaret Huntley Main, crowned in 1940 and now age 96, meets 2018 Queen Isabella Marez at the Pasadena Museum of History’s Royals of Pasadena exhibit, showcasing 100 years of elegance and tradition.

When the Pasadena Museum of History began piecing together its “Royals of Pasadena” exhibit, curators felt they were on a bit of a fishing expedition, cautiously dipping into a century of archives that revealed bits and pieces of former royals, as well as years reflecting war, celebration and social change.
They reached out to all the former royals they could locate, asking for memorabilia and photos.
In return, they received a flood of loaned items and, more importantly, memories that tied all the pieces together. More than 70 former queens and princesses responded to the outreach, many personally bringing back the items to the museum. Continue reading “Royals of Pasadena Exhibit Extols 100 Years of Tradition”