In 1890, Valley Hunt Club members, led by Charles Frederick Holder, sponsored the first Tournament of Roses. The abundance of flowers, even in the midst of winter, prompted the club to add a parade before the competition, where entrants would decorate carriages with hundreds of colorful blooms.
“In New York, people are buried in snow,” announced Professor Charles F. Holder at a Club meeting. “Here our flowers are blooming and our oranges are about to bear. Let’s hold a festival to tell the world about our paradise.”
More than a century later, the parade floats are a marvel of state of the art technology, all tucked away beneath flowers and other all-natural materials. Every New Year, visitors experience the beauty of the floral floats along with spirited marching bands and high-stepping equestrian units along the 5 ½ mile route down Colorado Boulevard.
More Tournament of Roses History click HERE. Download Tournament of Roses Theme/President/Grand Marshal/Rose Queen History (PDF).