5 Things to Look Out For at the 2016 Rose Bowl Parade

Lakers Float Preview (4)Photo Credit: Gremly Media

In addition to being the first day of the New Year, Jan. 1 is an important day for Los Angeles, as one of its cities—Pasadena—is home to the first college bowl game of the season, The Rose Bowl.

Known as the oldest of bowls, the Rose Bowl Game kicked off a myriad college football legacies in 1902. Since then, the game has been home to 19 Heisman Trophy winners, produced 29 national champions, featured 208 consensus All-Americans and honored 113 college football legends by inducting them into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame.

The 102nd Rose Bowl Game will be held on January 1, 2016 at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena. The game will feature the champion of the Pac-12 and Big Ten Conference: the Iowa Hawkeyes from the Big Ten against the Stanford Cardinal from the Pac-12.

Prior to the Rose Bowl, of course, is the feted Tournament of Roses Parade. This year’s parade features fashion designs by Tadashi Shoji, a float from the LA Lakers and Oscar-winning filmmaker Ken Burns as Grand Marshall. Here are five things to look out for at this year’s parade.

  1. THE LAKERS FLOAT. You’re going to love this bad boy! Over 20,000 Florigene “Moonlite” carnations were grown especially for the team’s entry. It’s focus point is design that features a ground-breaking innovation: a huge, cleverly animated basketball spins as it circles the rim. Sixteen stars surround the hoop, symbolizing the team’s sixteen NBA championships. The years of the championships encircle the base of the giant hoop. The rear of the entry showcases additional members of the Laker family. The shape of the rear platform suggests rippling water — a nod to the team’s Minnesota roots. Ten jerseys of Laker greats prominently hang at the rear of the entry. A gigantic Laker logo frames the design. The Laker girls perform alongside. Real fireworks and a burst of streamers add to the excitement. The float’s bold, graphic style, innovative animation and thrilling special effects promise to make it one of the most entertaining entries in the parade. In fitting with the parade’s theme (see below), the float was designed because every moment in Laker history has been an adventure.
  2. FINDING YOUR ADVENTURE. “Find Your Adventure” is the theme of this year’s parade, and each of the 44 selected floats will follow suit. Find Your Adventure is a theme that has grown out of a unique partnership between the Pasadena Tournament of Roses and the U.S. National Park Service. The 2016 Rose Parade will help shine light on the centennial celebration of our nation’s national parks. Potential Rose Bowl attendees alike are being encouraged to share their adventures via social media because, as a press release on the Rose Bowl site states, “Every person’s adventure is different – you may find yours at the top of a mountain while mine is in my backyard; your adventure may be extraordinary while mine is familiar. Our hope for the New Year is that however you define it, you will find your adventure and enrich your life.”
  3. INDYCAR’S RYAN HUNTER-REAY IS THE LEADER OF THE PACK. Verizon IndyCar Series driver Ryan Hunter-Reay has been selected to lead this year’s Tournament of Roses Parade. Per an announcement from the league, Hunter-Reay will lead the pack from behind the wheel of a brand-new Acura NSX—at the very unfamiliar speed of 2.5 miles per hour.
  4. AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARIAN KEN BURNS AS ACTING GRAND MARSHALL. Award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns, who has directed and produced some of the most admired documentaries about the history of the US, will act as the 2016 Tournament of Roses Grand Marshal. Throughout his almost 40-year career making documentary films, Burns, age 62, has been honored with countless awards, including 14 Emmy Awards, two Grammy Awards and two Oscar nominations.
  5. TADASHI SHOJI’S TOURNAMENT OF ROSES GOWNS. The internationally renowned designer Tadashi Shoji has been named, once again, the official designer of the 2016 Pasadena Tournament of Roses, and has created gowns for the Rose Queen and six Rose Princesses. This year’s Rose Queen, Erika Winter, will look regal at the parade wearing a tulle cap sleeve off-the-shoulder gown with beaded feather-motif applique embroidered detail from Shoji’s Fall 2015 Collection in white, while each Rose Princess (Princess Bryce Bakewell, Princess Natalie Hernandez-Barber, Princess Rachelle Liu, Princess Donaly Marquez, Princess Regina Pullens and Princess Sarah Shaklan) will wear the same gown in a cedar green.  This is Tadashi Shoji’s eleventh year designing the gowns for the Royal Court.
Tadashi Shoji-designed gowns for the Rose Court
Tadashi Shoji-designed gowns for the Rose Court