City's award-winning Rose Parade Entries

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20sFloatsm rose paradeCulver City boasts numerous entries in the Rose Parade, which has traversed Pasadena streets since 1890. Pasadena's Valley Hunt Club hosted the first parade in celebration of the wonderful weather in their new home, California. Most had been "transplants" from the East or Midwest, who remembered being in snow rather than picking flowers and oranges at that time of year, and they wanted to share their new lifestyle. Two thousand people lined the streets to see the first parade of flower-covered carriages, followed by other community activities. 

The earliest Culver City photograph accessible was Culver City's 1940 entry, which read "God Bless America" across the front of the float. Entries became more sophisticated, as float-builders eventually constructed the elaborate floats. "Kings of Comedy," for example, was built by Festival Builders for the January 1, 1986 parade with wheels turning and heads bobbing. The estimated cost was $65,000, with the City Council guaranteeing up to $75,000.

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Here are some photos of four floats in the 1980s, when the Culver City Tournament of Roses Association, operated under the auspices of the city's Visitors and Convention Bureau, sponsored the floats. At that time they capitalized on the movie history as you can see. The 1985 float was titled "Premiere." Many may remember the fundraising activities in the 1980s, including a 50's party at the Fox Hills Mall, a screening of "Rocky IV" and a Halloween Party at M.G.M Studios, during which the role of "Dorothy" on the float was auctioned. Culver City received trophies twice in that decade. In 1986 the "Kings of Comedy" received the Theme Trophy, and in 1988, "Fantasy on Film" was awarded the Director's Trophy.