IOOF Rose Bowl Parade History
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The Tournament of Roses Parade was founded in 1890. The main idea behind the parade was to showcase California’s mild winter weather, a place where flowers bloomed all year long. Before long, this small rose-themed festival expanded to include motorized floats that awed parade watchers, as well as equestrians and local school and community-based marching bands.
A football game was added in 1902, the first being played by Stanford and the University of Michigan. When Stanford suffered a crushing loss in that initial game, the football portion of the day's activities were cancelled but eventually returned in 1916. A new stadium for the event was built 7 years later and quickly earned the nickname "The Rose Bowl." The game has sold out every year since 1947! Today, the Rose Parade and all the events organized around it draw tens of thousands to the Pasadena area and literally millions sit in front of the television to enjoy state-of-the-art floats with high-tech animation, covered with flowers from around the world. It's a fascinating and breathtaking sight.
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows was first represented with a float on January 1, 1955 by the Los Angeles County Past Deputies Association for the Odd Fellows of California. The Odd Fellows and Rebekah's have entered a float every year since then. Prior to that there had been a few other floats entered back in the early 1900's by some individual Odd Fellow lodges.
For many years the IOOF floats have been recognized for their complex, painstakingly precise detail and workmanship. Our floats express the concept that we seek to elevate the character of humankind and we will go anywhere to spread our message of Odd Fellowship.
Even though the IOOF float is constructed in California, The Odd Fellow and Rebekah's Rose Float is everyone's float not just a California Float. We are showing the world who we are. This float is a labor of love in which all services by the members are volunteered. No one gets paid to work on the float or the organizing committee. The Odd Fellows and Rebekah's Rose Float organization is incorporated as a 501c(3) charitable corporation by the State of California.
The objectives of the organization are to increase public awareness of the IOOF and its affiliated charitable projects, help attract new members to strengthen the order, and to directly support IOOF affiliated charities.
Two Balch Springs Lodge members go every year and help decorate the float. They have been doing it for about 20 years or so. They both say they love doing it., so needless to say the Balch Springs Lodges all give to the Float every year, usually during a time when another Texas lodge is doing matching funds.
To See 2015 IOOF Rose Bowl Float telecast click here
Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade
The sideshows below depict every IOOF Rose Bowl Float that has been entered since 1955.
(If you have problems viewing all the slideshow pictures press the F5 key on your keyboard.)