Parade goers leave prematurely after float malfunction
By Terry Miller
This year’s Rose Parade was a little different than previous years as well as rather windy, cold and full of technical difficulties including some serious sound issues for the opening act, Chaka Khan. By all accounts, it was also far less crowded than in previous years.
Chaka Khan performed the opening number with energy and vitality usually reserved for bigger venues however, there were some serious issues preventing people from hearing her performance and one on social media accused Khan of being drunk.
Another Twitter user wrote, “The opening show of the #TournamentOfRoses parade was terrible. It sounded like Chaka Khan was singing in a canyon. Not a good start to the parade.”
The 130th Rose Parade featured floral floats, spirited marching bands and high-stepping equestrian units along the 5.5–mile route down Colorado Boulevard.
Then this happened: the creators of a Rose Parade float that caught fire and caused a considerable delay in the parade on New Year’s Day could face a fine, Tournament of Roses officials said Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Chinese American Heritage Foundation’s float, which depicted the moment when two locomotives met face to face upon the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, was disabled about 9:45 a.m. by a small fire near Orange Grove Boulevard. Tournament of Roses officials said it can issue fines for “unexpected mechanical and design elements” on floats. It is not clear how much the fine could cost the group.
“At this time, we’re not sure the specific fine until the float is inspected,” the Tournament of Roses said in a statement.
The @RoseParade Twitter account sent out “One of the 2019 #RoseParade floats is experiencing technical difficulties at Orange Grove and Colorado. Thank you for patience and cooperation with law enforcement!”
One person responded to the Rose Parade Twitter account feed with:
“You failed all the people who worked so hard on the floats – and the viewers who never got to see them. Your security and staff should have told people it wasn’t over but you aired the FINALE – so badly done.”
In 1890, Valley Hunt Club members, led by Charles Frederick Holder, sponsored the first Tournament of Roses. They invited their former East Coast neighbors to Pasadena, where they could watch chariot races, jousting, foot races and tug-of-war under the warm California sun. 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.
The Tournament of Roses Association was formed to take charge of the festival in 1895. A few years later, the races and games were replaced by the first national postseason football game. The first Rose Bowl Game matched a West Coast Stanford team against Michigan, a Midwestern team. Rose Queen, Hallie Woods, was chosen in 1905 as the first queen, inaugurating a tradition of the Royal Court, presiding over all the Tournament of Roses annual events.
To this day, year-long preparations pay off, when millions of viewers enjoy sunshine, flowers and football on New Year’s Day with more than 900 volunteers who create the spectacle of America’s New Year Celebration.