Larry Hygh, Jr.’s time with the Tournament of Roses began in 2006, marking the start of a commitment that has seen him serve on various committees and build countless memories. Over the years, in addition to serving on the “big three,” Larry has also contributed to the Decorating Places, Queen and Court, Membership Development committees, and he currently serves as the vice chair for Alumni and Social Media.

Larry recalls his two years on the Queen and Court committee as some of his favorite memories. “The committee spends a great deal of time together escorting the Rose Court to more than 100 events, starting when they are selected through to their riding down the parade route on New Year’s Day. You really are family on that committee,” he shares. He cherished the opportunity to work with those remarkable young women, who represented the organization while making significant contributions to society. “When they are on the world’s stage, I’ll get to say “I knew them when’ and realize I got to witness a small part of their journey,” he proudly states.

Larry’s decision to become a member of the Tournament of Roses is deeply rooted in his desire to be part of the community. “It’s a global event that is America’s New Year celebration. I want to be a part of making that happen,” he explains. Since moving to Southern California in 2002 as the director of communications for the United Methodist Bishop, he has been committed to engaging with the Pasadena community and contributing to its civic life.

Larry also has many beautiful memories from his time on the Decorating Places committee. “There were many tours that would come through and folks would get off buses in awe of the floats. Some would be crying and saying the Rose Parade was on their lifelong bucket list,” he recounts. This profound impact made him realize the significance of his role in creating memorable experiences for people from all around the world.

Now, as vice chair for Alumni and Social Media, Larry is excited to bring his background of experience in nonprofit communications and strategic planning. Having also served on the committee during its early years, he says, “Social media has, and will continue, to evolve. I’m glad Tournament is using social media and continuing to evolve.” His professional expertise as an assistant professor at California State University Dominguez Hills and as a communications consultant enables him to contribute significantly to the committee’s efforts.

As the upcoming 2025 parade season approaches, Larry is eager to embrace his role as vice chair and continue learning about the organization. “How do we engage our community and grow our audience? How do we engage young people? How do we use AI for our benefit?” are some of the questions he is curious to work through.

June, being Pride Month, holds special significance for Larry. He appreciates the Tournament’s commitment to diversity and inclusion over the years. “I was recruited to join the Tournament by our first female president, Libby Evans Wright,” he shares. Looking ahead, he is excited about the historic moment when Terry Madigan will preside over the 138th Rose Parade and 113th Rose Bowl Game in 2027, marking another milestone for diversity and inclusion as Terry will have his husband by his side.

For Larry, every day is the “Best Day Ever.” He believes in living each day with joy, excitement, and a commitment to excellence. Larry shares, “Every day that God wakes me up to see is the ‘Best Day Ever!’ It’s a day to live out my personal mission statement – to help people to see the greater good in humanity by celebrating what’s right in the world.”

In addition to his involvement with the Tournament of Roses, Larry is an avid traveler and is proud to share that he recently crossed off his biggest bucket list item – to visit all 50 states. His reflections on this journey can be found in his commentary, “Seeing God’s Presence in Journey to All 50 States,” available on the United Methodist News website -https://www.umnews.org/en/news/seeing-gods-presence-in-journey-to-all-50-states

For more information about Larry Hygh, Jr., visit his personal website at www.LarryHygh.com