The Rose Parade And Me

1975.

Miss MyHomeTown, USA

and our city float.

My Rose Parade day began New Year’s Eve at 7 PM for preliminary judging. I arrived at the float building tent in full costume that had been rented from The Western Costume Co. in Hollywood. I took my place on top of the float and depicted the scene of the artist’s rendering.

On Dec. 26th the float decorating had begun. For the past 4 years I had been a volunteer with my church group and spent the week between holidays from sun up to midnight freezing while gluing on flowers and seeds on award winning floats. They would announce over the PA system when a float was complete. It was always such a relief to finish early in the evening since the floats had to be driven over to Pasadena by a certain time. The announcements started to come in while I was there and I could understand the volunteers’ excitement and satisfaction.

3 AM was the final judging on Orange Grove Blvd. where the floats were lined up in order. This was when the judges decided which floats would be given coveted awards whose banners would proceed the float along the lengthy 2 1/2 hour parade route.

New Year’s Eve in Pasadena is usually cold. It was so cold in the pre-dawn that I wore jeans under my dress with oxford shoes. I don’t think Revolution era ladies did that in 1776.

Step off was at 8 AM!

My float broke down just past the corner of Orange Grove and Colorado where all the television cameras were set up. At least I made it that far.

I shared the float with 4 Marines. One of the Marines lifted me off the float and I rode in the tow truck for awhile then they decided to put me back on the float while we were being towed.
Ooh – rah!

The day was made very special for me by my favorite uncle and his family who bought tickets in the grandstands. They stood up and waved as I floated by. They came all the way from Las Vegas just to see me do this. It was so fun to see someone I knew.

My boyfriend at the time waited for me at the end of the parade. He didn’t know what side of the street I was on so he kept crossing until a police officer told him not to do it again. When I passed by on the right, he was on the left. He took me home in his little MGBGT ~ hoop skirt and all.

When I arrived back home in the early afternoon I was so tired I could hardly stand for a picture by our Meyer lemon tree.

We watched all the re-runs we could find over the next day or two to hear my name which was broadcast worldwide.

It was my 15 seconds of fame and a memory I’ll have forever.

Wishing all my wonderful blog friends a very happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year that is coming up roses! 

Comments

  1. I might have known you were a beauty queen:-) Now you are DEFINITELY my “go-to” person for all things stylish and marvelous. I love it!!!! You look beautiful…then and now! Happy New Year to you, too.

  2. YOU ARE A CELEBRITY! What fun!! I bet it was exhausting! Hoop skirts are heavy! You look beautiful!

  3. You are a true OC princess. What exciting memories. You were part of history, girl! & you looked BEAUTIFUL!!

  4. Awwww what a great memory!

  5. That must have been an amazing experience. TFS πŸ™‚

  6. What a wonderful memory! How exciting for you to be part of the Rose parade!

  7. What an amazing experience…so cool! Happy New Year!

  8. So cute. You look like Belle and Beauty and the Beast!

  9. Awwwwwwww, what a great post! I love you!

  10. funny, i never knew you were a “miss” anything …or in the rose parade!! ugh…i feel like i dont even know you!!! =/

  11. Love it! As an East Coast girl, I was always jealous of the queens that got to ride in the RBP. Also, I loved your behind-the-scenes take on parade prep and judging! It is a huge undertaking to decorate a float! Do you know what happens to the flowers that can be removed from the floats after the parade is over?

  12. I know (sorta) a celeb! How beautiful your story and you of course were the true beauty!!!
    Now the Rose parade holds a truly extra special story for me.
    Happy 2010 Ms. Pink Martini and Pearls!!!

  13. What a fun experience! You’re a STAR!! My dad is headed to watch the parade tomorrow.

  14. The floats are made available for viewing for a couple days afterwards in a park in Altadena at the end of the parade route. If you drive down Colorado Blvd. you will see a painted stripe in the middle of the street. This is so the float drivers have a point of reference. Following the line takes you to the park too. A little parade trivia there. πŸ™‚ The flowers just wilt away and then the floats are scraped clean from all the rotting mess and the bones are recycled for next year.

  15. Wow! What an experience that must have been! How cool!

  16. How fun! You look terrific, too. Please consider this post a big bouquet of roses sent your way!

  17. I absolutely love knowing someone famous!! You look beautiful in those pics!! Such a fun, wonderful memory.

    Happy New Year!! Are you watching the parade? xoxo

  18. That’s so very neat! Thanks for sharing those photos. What a great life experience.

  19. Very cool! Thanks for your kind comment and all the best to you and your fam in 2010!

  20. What a stunner! You look so beautiful in those pictures! What a wonderful memory to have as your own.

  21. i love the Rose Parade and have watched it every year for my entire life! This was a great post and a peek into the behind the scenes that I had no idea of. Thanks!

    And thanks for following my blog. I really appreciate it. I’ll be back again son to visit.

    Happy 2010!
    jj

  22. Oh my gosh what great memories and great photos!

    Happy New Year!

  23. Yes, I would have already guessed you were someone special. Some people are just that way. Very cool!

    Wishing you all the best, in every way, for the new decade and 2010!

  24. AMazing!! You are fabulous. What a great story, Miss Celeb!

  25. I clearly remember this day. I sat with my parents up in the stands along Colorado Blvd. My Dad was so proud of you. We have a few shots of you on the float…nothing up close though.

  26. I’ve gone and seen the floats after the parade. I really like seeing them up close because then you get to really see the detail and work that goes into them.