Published : Wednesday, March 27, 2019 | 5:01 AM
Local lawyer Laura Farber will no doubt look back at 2019 as her year of leadership in two Pasadena parades.
Farber is the first Latina to be President of the Tournament of Roses and she is also the Grand Marshal for the upcoming 2019 Latino Heritage Parade. And she is using her two high-profile roles as a distinguished Latina to help bring the Pasadena community closer together.
Farber, an attorney at Pasadena’s Hahn and Hahn, one of the oldest — and most diverse — law firms in the U.S., said that the two seemingly disparate parade organizations actually have a lot in common.
“They’re both very involved in the community and are now more reflective of the community,” Farber said. “The Tournament of Roses Association and Latino Heritage have both been around for quite a long time, and the Latino Heritage Parade is a source of pride in the community.
They’re not intertwined in some unique way, but they certainly have worked together. “
Farber said she’s not alone, that a number of community members are actively unvolved in both parades.
“There are a lot of individuals that have also been involved in the Latino Heritage Parade who happen to have been volunteer members of the Tournament of Roses,” she said.
She said it is a privilege to be named Grand Marshal of the Latino Heritage Parade.
“I was honored to be asked to do that,” she said. “I’ve actually been in the parade before and I’ve attended the parade and the festivities. It’s a wonderful community celebration of the contributions that Latinos have made. We have a long history in Pasadena.”
As for the Tournament of Roses, Farber said her appointment to President for 2020 acknowledges this is a city committed to diversity initiatives at all levels.
“The Tournament of Roses, which has been around for more than 100 years, has gone on to reflect its community in the face of its leadership,” Farber said. “Last year we had our first African-American president in Gerald Freeny and I’m the first Latina.”
The theme of the Latino Heritage Parade is “Latinos in the 21st Century” as it launches its 2019 Parade and Festival Season, concluding with the October 19 Parade down Los Robles Avenue and ending at Villa Parke. For the Tournament of Roses the theme is “The Power of Hope,” and it’s appropriate for many immigrants to the U.S., Farber said.
Farber’s parents came to the United States from Argentina on student visas with their young daughter in tow.
“They started a new life,” she said. “And so I’m very appreciative of what they’ve been able to accomplish.
Farber’s mother is a professor at UCLA, in the school of medicine. Her now-retired father was a biochemist.
“They were well educated but had no money,” Farber said. “My dad took some jobs, even teaching drivers ed. You do what you have to do to survive.”
“I still appreciate the sacrifices that they made to have a better life and to come to a country that provides so much economic and other opportunities for people,” Farber said.
The Pasadena Latino Heritage Committee is hosting its Kickoff Event for the 21st annual parade on Thursday, March 28th at White Horse Lounge in Old Town Pasadena from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more, click here.