Tournament of Roses

 Tournament of Roses, The Tournament of Roses Parade, better known as the Rose Parade, is "America's New Year Celebration" held in Pasadena, California, a festival of flower-covered floats, marching bands, equestrians and the Rose Bowl college football game on New Year's Day (but moved to Monday if New Year's Day falls on a Sunday), produced by the non-profit Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association.

Originally started on January 1, 1890, the Rose Parade is watched in person by hundreds of thousands of spectators on the parade route, and is broadcast on multiple television networks in the United States (ABC holds the official contract, but because it is a public parade, other networks are allowed to produce their own coverage). It is seen by millions more on television worldwide in more than 200 international territories and countries. The Rose Bowl college football game was added in 1902 to help fund the cost of staging the parade. Playing in the 2012 Rose Bowl Game are the Oregon Ducks and the Wisconsin Badgers.

Tournament of Roses History: Beginning with the 2011 parade, Honda has been the sponsor of the "Rose Parade presented by Honda". Accordingly, Honda will have the parade's first float, entitled "Sweet Dreams" following the theme float in the 2012 parade.

Members of Pasadena's Valley Hunt Club first staged the parade in 1890. Since then the parade has been held in Pasadena every New Year's Day, except when January 1 falls on a Sunday. In that case, it is held on the subsequent Monday, January 2. This exception was instituted in 1893. Local tradition has it that "the Tournament has a deal with God; we'll never hold the parade on a Sunday, and He'll never let it rain on the Rose Parade." However, according to the Tournament of Roses Association Web site, this "Never on Sunday" policy was instituted in order "to avoid frightening horses tethered outside local churches and thus interfering with worship services." Thus, the parade has never been held on a Sunday. Incidentally, the Rose Bowl Game is also not held on Sunday to avoid competing with the NFL. Other bowl games usually held on January 1 also follow this rule.

Many of the members of the Valley Hunt Club were former residents of the American East and Midwest. They wished to showcase their new California home's mild winter weather. At a club meeting, Professor Charles F. Holder announced, "In New York, people are buried in the snow. Here our flowers are blooming and our oranges are about to bear. Let's hold a festival to tell the world about our paradise."

So the club organized horse-drawn carriages covered in flowers, followed by foot races, polo matches, and a game of tug-of-war on the town lot that attracted a crowd of 2,000 to the event. Upon seeing the scores of flowers on display, the professor decided to suggest the name "Tournament of Roses."
A Chariot Race during the 1908 Tournament of Roses; later replaced by the Rose Bowl Game

Over the next few founding years, marching bands and motorized floats were added. By 1895, the event was too large for the Valley Hunt Club to handle, hence the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association was formed. By the 11th annual tournament (1900), the town lot on which the activities were held was re-named Tournament Park, a large open area directly adjacent to Pasadena's world-famous institution of higher learning, Caltech. Activities soon included ostrich races, bronco busting demonstrations, and an odd novelty race between a camel and an elephant. (The elephant won the race.) Soon reviewing stands were built along the parade route and newspapers in Eastern Seaboard cities started to take notice of the event.
Tournament House

The stately Italian Renaissance-style mansion of William Wrigley Jr. (the maker of Wrigley's chewing gum) was offered to the city of Pasadena after Mrs. Wrigley's death in 1958, under the condition that their home would be the Rose Parade's permanent headquarters. Tournament House is the name given the former home where the organization is headquartered.[4]

The first associated football game was played on January 1, 1902. Originally titled the "Tournament East-West football game," it is considered to be the first Rose Bowl. The next game was not played until New Year's Day 1916; they have been played annually since then. The game derives its modern name from Rose Bowl Stadium, which was built for the 1923 game.

In 2002 and 2006 (when the Rose Bowl Game was the BCS National Championship Game), the "Granddaddy of 'em all" was not held the same day as the parade; the 2006 game was played on January 4. Not all fans were pleased with the change; some thought the atmosphere and tradition of the Rose Bowl were lost. However, since the BCS title game is now separate from the host bowl, it no longer affects the date of the Rose Bowl Game (even when the title game returned to Pasadena in 2010).

Read more: wikipedia
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