It doesn’t get much more Pasadena, California than enjoying the Tournament of Roses parade on a brisk, sunny New Year’s Day. To kick off the new year and new decade, we headed up the road to Colorado Boulevard dark and early for the parade.
This year’s theme was “The Power of Hope,” and we saw this displayed throughout the parade, especially in the float designs. More prevalent to me however, were the sub themes tied to this overarching theme of Hope. I especially appreciated the celebration of the centennial of women’s suffrage here in the United States.
“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”
The 19th Amendment was passed in 1919 and finally ratified in 1920, granting women the right to vote. This ‘radical’ change to the Constitution was the result of the efforts of suffragists and their supporters over the course of a century. Women marched, lectured, petitioned, lobbied, and even literally fought for the right to vote. After those many years, it was finally granted by the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution. It is a freedom and privilege I hope to never take lightly. As a U.S. citizen and a woman, I have the right to vote and to have that small yet important say in how my community is governed. I also have the ability to hold public office, and as one who holds local elected office, I am forever thankful that I have the privilege to work to make a positive impact in my community. This right is something I hope my girls will honor with their lives and future votes, and that they will appreciate the work and sacrifice of those who fought for our freedoms long before we were ever born. And my greater hope is that one day, there will be equality and opportunity for all women worldwide.
In addition to the floats celebrating the 19th Amendment, today’s B-2 flyover opening the parade was performed by a female pilot for the first time. U.S. Air Force Lt. Colonel Nicola Polidar flew the stealth bomber over the parade route and surrounding cities. That I thought was really cool! It was a glorious, low flyover, and was the perfect kickoff to “The Power of Hope.”
The kids and I also loved the floats honoring military veterans and first responders. I feel it is fitting to celebrate those who work to protect our nation and communities, many of whom inspire hope and encourage our kids to dream big. The Chinese American Heritage Foundation “American Heroes” float shown below pays tribute to American service members and the World War II veterans who have received the Congressional Gold Medal. Over 20,000 Chinese American service members served in the Armed Forces at the height of the war effort, and this float was a beautiful tribute to the heroes who served.
This Tournament of Roses might just have been my favorite yet. We all truly enjoyed this year’s parade. From the talented marching bands both locally and across the country and overseas, to the creatively constructed floats, it was a morning to enjoy in true SoCal fashion. Here are a few more of our favorite floats, as well as equine units. Featured here are floats by regularly seen contributors such as the Cal Poly Universities, Rotary, the city of Downey, Underground Service Alert of Southern California, the city of La Cañada-Flintridge, and Donate Life, as well as other organizations who entered the parade this year.
The 131st Tournament of Roses was a perfect way to ring in 2020. Here’s to an awesome new decade. I can’t wait to see what the ‘roaring 20s’ has in store. Cheers!
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19th Amendment source: