Tournament of Roses President Names Grand Marshal This Morning

This morning’s selection can reflect numerous elements

Published : Wednesday, October 17, 2018 | 5:05 AM

Tournament President Gerald Freeny will make the official announcement at Tournament House at 9 a.m.

This morning, the world discovers who will ride down Colorado Boulevard as the Grand Marshal for the 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade.

Tournament President Gerald Freeny will make the official announcement at Tournament House at 9 a.m.

The selection of the Grand Marshal can be a reflection of many elements—the Parade’s theme, the mood of the nation, honoring a national hero, celebrating an event or achievement, but largely reflects the tastes of each year’s Tournament of Roses President.

Tournament officials let it be known that this year’s selection has won ten Grammy awards, right in keeping with the Parade’s theme, “The Melody Of Life.” That could be any number of active artists, from John Legend to Quincy Jones, to Beyonce and Jay-Z.

Here’s some history and little known facts on the subject.

Pasadena resident Dr. Francis F. Rowland was the first Grand Marshal, and was also the Grand Marshal the most times, winning the honor seven times in 1890, 1892, 1894, 1904, 1905, 1910. (In 1910, he had to share the award with child actress Shirley Temple Black, who later became the US Ambassador to the United Nations. She also won the honor three times in her life.)

Other years have featured multiple Grand Marshals. In 1952, there were seven Medal of Honor winners selected as Grand Marshals. But in 1891, there was no Grand Marshal.

The honor has gone to numerous actors (Gary Sinise in 2017) and actresses, astronauts (Buzz Aldrin), baseball players (local hero Jackie Robinson in 1999), and a sports announcer (Vin Scully in 2014), film producer (David L. Wolper, also in 1999), and athletes such as Greg Louganis and Janet Evans.

World War II hero Louis Zamperini was selected for the 2015 Tournament of Roses Parade, but, sadly, he died from pneumonia two months after the announcement and six months before the parade day.

The Tournament then announced that it was “committed to honoring him as the Grand Marshal of the 2015 Rose Parade.” He would be the first posthumous Grand Marshal since Robinson in 1999.

Pasadena Now will have full feature coverage on the selection of this year’s Grand Marshal later this morning, now that you’re awake.

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