With the theme “Echoes of Success” and led by a trio of Olympians, the 128th annual Rose Parade will make its way along Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena Monday amid heightened security that has become a fixture along the procession’s 5 1/2-mile route.
Pasadena police will be joined in their security efforts by agencies including the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Despite the large police presence, “It is equally important for the public to know that you serve a vital role in the success of this plan, whether you are attending these events or not,” said Rob Savage, the special agent in charge of the Secret Service’s Los Angeles field office.
Bomb-sniffing dogs, a “no drone zone” and barricades blocking vehicle traffic from entering the parade route at its 56 intersections are all part of the security plan.
Officials also have undertaken efforts to thwart any attack on the parade using a truck as a ramming tool, as has happened in France and Germany during the past year.
Water barricades will be used to prevent any vehicle from being able to travel at high speeds leading up to the parade route. Police have learned through the France and Germany truck attacks that when terrorists “use vehicles as a ramming tool, typically it is because they are able to generate a lot of speed. So we are trying to take the speed out of that equation,” Pasadena Police Department Chief Phillip L. Sanchez said.
The parade itself, however, will feature the usual array of floral-laden floats — 40 of them — to delight spectators. The parade will also feature 19 marching bands and 20 equestrian units.
A trio of Olympic gold medalists — Allyson Felix, Greg Louganis and Janet Evans — will serve as grand marshals of the parade.
“We each have those individuals that have made an impact on our lives,” Tournament of Roses President Brad Ratliff said when the grand marshals were chosen. “This year’s theme, Echoes of Success, is a salute to those individuals.
“The impact that our three grand marshals have had on so many, both through their achievements and voices, truly is representative of our theme. The values exhibited by our Olympians and the richness in their backgrounds has given so many others the support, encouragement and drive to succeed, and we want to celebrate all that they have given.”
Temple City High School senior Victoria Cecilia Castellanos, 17, is this year’s Rose Queen, and she will ride aboard a special float with the six princesses on the Royal Court: Maya Khan, 18, Arcadia High School; Natalie Petrosian, 17, La Canada High School; Audrey Cameron, 17, Blair High School; Autumn Lundy, 17, Polytechnic School; Lauren Powers, 17, Arcadia High School; and Shannon Larsuel, 17, Mayfield Senior School.
Riding on a float sponsored by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation will be three survivors of the mass shooting inside the Pulse nightclub in Orlando that left 49 people dead and 53 wounded. The float, titled “To Honor and Remember Orlando,” will be a tribute to those who were killed in the June 12 shooting.
The float will feature a giant dove soaring over a field of 49 white stars representing each of the victims of the shooting. The float will also feature a colorful rainbow representing “the diversity of the LGBTQ community” and symbolizing “the humanity of all victims killed or injured.” The float will also feature a “Tree of Life” with condolence notes left on a communal board in Orlando. During the parade, 49 white doves will twice be released from the float.
Riding on the float will be three survivors of the attack — Victor Baez Febo, Isaiah Henderson and Jahqui Sevilla, whose boyfriend was killed in the attack.
Also riding will be Barbara Poma, co-founder and owner of the club, and four people who took part in recovery and community-healing efforts — Patty Sheehan, an openly gay Orlando city commissioner; Joel Morales, an HIV testing counselor and case worker for many survivors and families; and Corey Lyons and Gustavo Marrero, the president and vice president of Impulse Group Orlando. The group is a chapter of AHF’s network of Impulse Groups and worked to assist those affected by the shooting, according to AHF.
The parade will again feature a float sponsored by the ABC dating series “The Bachelor,” along with one sponsored by the National Hockey League and the traditional Donate Life float dedicated to organ donors and recipients.
Marching bands from across the country will take part in the parade, along with the Gifusho Green Band from Gifu, Japan. The Los Angeles Unified School District’s All District High School Honor Band will also make its annual appearance in the procession.
Once the parade concludes, the floats will be on display until Tuesday during the Showcase of Floats at Sierra Madre and Washington boulevards.
–City News Service