With its stunning floats, spectacular bands, and high-stepping equestrian units,
the Tournament of Roses is a delightful way to welcome the New Year. The Rose
Queen and her Princesses add a glamorous element to the pageantry.
The Rose Court’s ride down Colorado Boulevard with radiant smiles, their hands
swishing in that iconic figure-eight wave, (elbow, elbow, wrist, wrist:) is what
comes to mind when we think of the Rose Queen and her princesses; but these
accomplished young women participate in nearly 100 community and media
events in the few months leading up to New Year’s Day.
Trying out for the Rose Court is practically a right of passage for teenage girls in
the Pasadena area. Hundreds of young women try out for the Rose Court every
year…the perk is, if they try out, they get to attend the Coronation Ball! My
daughter Kristen was a Rose Court semi-finalist during her senior year of high
school, and our Arcadia neighbor Christina Farrell served as Rose Queen in 1999,
much to the joy and pride of our community. This year’s Queen is a lovely, bright
young lady who loves making a difference.
Over the years I’ve loved the pageantry of the Rose Parade and all of the hoopla
leading up to it. Mike and I like to drive down Colorado Boulevard on New Years
Eve and see all of the crazy people spending the night. They are pretty crazy –
throwing marshmallows at us and shooting silly string at the car. Last year Mike
and I joined in many tournament festivities as guests of our gracious neighbor,
the 2018 Tournament of Roses President, Lance Tibbet. At every event, I
marveled at the poise and stamina of Rose Queen and her Court.
Whether you watch the parade in person or enjoy it “couch potato style”, I hope
you enjoy the pageantry of the Court. And, if you live in the area, do what my
neighbors and I do the minute the B2 Bomber flies over the start of the parade,
run outside, even if your in your pjs, and look up to see that amazing stealth
bomber fly right overhead. You’ll never forget it! That’s how we kick off the New
Year. Here’s to a wonderful 2019!
Louise Deser Siskel is 2019’s Rose Queen
This year’s theme is “The Melody of Life”
Chaka Khan will serve as Grand Marshal
The President this year, Gerald Freeny, is the first African American to hold the
The Rose Parade begins at 8am New Year’s Day