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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Rose Parade faces fourth cancellation in 130-year history

    By Brittany Snow | Production Chief

    Photo by Michael Owen Baker/AP

       The COVID-19 concern has put a halt to the annual festivity of the Rose Parade for the fourth time in the event’s history, but guests can still enjoy a twist on its normally televised program at 8 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2021.

       The two-hour feature will include live-to-tape musical and marching band performances, celebrity appearances, highlights from past Rose Bowl football games, floats from years past and a behind-the-scenes look into how these floats were made.

       The televised event will air on ABC, the Hallmark Channel, KTLA, NBC, RFD-TV, and Univision.

       “The Rose Parade is a long-standing and central part of our New Year celebrations — not only here in Pasadena, but also around the world,” Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek said in a statement. “We are delighted that tradition will continue this year in a new, reimagined way [and] excited to see how it comes to life on TV.”

       According to KTLA 5, the event will benefit Feeding America, a nonprofit and nationwide network of food banks.

       “Food insecurity has been a focus of our organization’s efforts during the pandemic, so it was only fitting that we extend our commitment to our re-imagined New Year celebration,” Bob Miller, President of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association told Deadline. “We are proud to work with Feeding America, an organization that is working to change lives in communities across the country.”

       Food banks such as those of Feeding America have fed an average of 60 percent more people due to the pandemic’s economic effects, according to Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America. 

       “We are deeply grateful to the Tournament of Roses for helping to raise awareness and support for people facing hunger,” Babineaux-Fontenot stated. “Their generosity will help provide much needed meals for our most vulnerable neighbors.”

       The Rose Parade was originally proposed in 1890, by Professor Charles F. Holder, as a “festival to tell the world about our paradise.”

       Since its first appearance on Colorado Boulevard on Jan. 1, 1891, the Rose Parade has been cancelled three other times in its 130-year-long history. It was up until 1942, the beginning of World War II, that the parade had occurred consecutively. 

       According to Paul Zimmerman, sports writer for the Los Angeles Times at the time, Army Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt said “it [was] his belief the events should be canceled ‘for reasons of national defense and civilian protection.’”

       The parade was later canceled in 1943 and 1945 as a result of the same safety concern, with a “token parade” in 1944 with only three decorated cars down the Boulevard, and a full return in 1946.

       Despite the ongoing health concerns and hopeful transition into California’s reopening phases, preparations for the 2022 parade are planned to continue as normal.

       “I know that I speak on behalf of our 935 volunteer members, and the hundreds of thousands in our community for which the Rose Parade is an annual tradition, when I say we will miss the joy of coming together and the making of memories,” Miller said in the Association’s official statement. “But know that we will not miss this opportunity to celebrate a New Year and healthy new beginnings on January 1, 2021.”

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    Rose Parade faces fourth cancellation in 130-year history