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Pasadena Tournament of Roses Announces 2024 Float Judges

Heather de Kok, Judith K. Nakamura and Richard Schulhof selected for the 135th Rose Parade® presented by Honda

Published on Friday, September 15, 2023 | 7:00 am

Left to right; Heather de Kok, Judith K. Nakamura and Richard Schulhof. [Images courtesy Pasadena Tournament of Roses]
The Pasadena Tournament of Roses® has selected Heather de Kok, Judith K. Nakamura and Richard Schulhof as judges for the 2024 Float Awards sponsored by FTD®. 

This year’s judges bring unique perspectives on parades and floral presentations. 

An inductee of the American Institute of Floral Design, de Kok is a proud Canadian businesswoman and founder of the Annual Maple Leaf Cup Floral Design Competition and has worked as a technical advisor at the Interflora World Cup of Flowers in 2019 and 2023. 

Nakamura is a retired Chief Justice of the  New Mexico Supreme Court and is the current President of the Albuquerque International Balloon  Fiesta, the world’s largest hot-air balloon festival. 

Schulhof comes from a 50-year career in horticulture, working as deputy director of Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum and recently retired as CEO of the Los Angeles County Arboretum. 

Each year, three judges grant 24 float awards based on three categories: Float Design, Floral  Presentation and Entertainment Value. The judges are looking for creative design and outstanding presentation of the theme matched with floral artistry and artistic excellence.  

The top award is the coveted Sweepstakes trophy, which is awarded for the most beautiful entry,  encompassing float design, floral presentation and entertainment. 

As the award-winning floats venture down the parade route, they are preceded by banners showcasing their award. The banners are carried by members of the Tournament of Roses, Eagle  Scout Troops and Gold Award Girl Scout Troops. 

On the morning of January 1, the award-winning floats will be announced on the front steps of  Tournament House by the 2024 Tournament of Roses President Alex Aghajanian. The 135th Rose  Parade presented by Honda will begin at 8:00 AM/PST and will be broadcast in the United States and around the world to kick off America’s New Year Celebration®. 

For complete biographies of the 2024 Float Judges, please visit 

FTD® is the official floral partner of the Tournament of Roses. The iconic American company has  been a valued partner of the Rose Parade for more than 60 years. FTD® brings their exquisite floral vision to life on the antique cars used in the Rose Parade which carry the Rose Parade VIPs down Colorado Blvd., including the Grand Marshal, Tournament of Roses President, Mayor of  Pasadena and the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Inductees. FTD® is also the sponsor of the Rose Parade  Float Awards.

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