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Tournament of Roses Is Looking for 50 or 60 Good Men and Women

Published on Saturday, February 2, 2019 | 6:16 am

Remember, if you want to volunteer with the Tournament of Roses, you’ll need a white suit.

The group is convening a pair of prospective meeting receptions Feb. 5 and Feb. 9, and if you make the grade, you’ll need a white suit.

“Almost all our members wear a white suit on parade day,” explained Katie McFadden, director, membership services, Tournament of Roses. “The first parade was in 1895 and they started wearing the white suit to identify each other on parade day, and as a gentle way of snubbing their noses at the East Coast tradition that you don’t wear white after Labor Day.”

So there is that sartorial requirement. Prospective member volunteers should also keep in mind the commitment is for two years. “The philosophy is that, the first year, they learn and the second year they teach,” said McFadden.

Volunteers are assigned to 31 different operating committees that support different aspects of the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl game. Among these committees are parade operations; music committee, and the equestrian committee.

“That’s how we break this huge event down into building blocks that are manageable,” stated McFadden.

Not everyone who wants to volunteer will find a spot in the organization. The Tournament of Roses bylaws limit membership to 935 members. “We often have more applicants than we have spaces,” said McFadden.

Each applicant is required to submit a written application and two letters of reference. This is followed by an interview process and selection in early April, according to McFadden. Generally, between 50 and 60 new members are chosen annually.

People, McFadden said, return year after year.

“They enjoy working with other enthusiastic people who are passionate about Pasadena, passionate about the parade and the game, the events that Pasadena brings to the world,” she said.

Before applying, prospective volunteers should know that they must: be between the ages of 21 and 66; pay annual dues of $55 to $75 (depending on member level); be available each year on and around Jan. 1; be available to attend committee meetings throughout the year; and…

…not forget the white suit.

The prospective member receptions will take place at the Tournament House, 391 South Orange Grove Boulevard, Pasadena, 6 p.m.

For more info, visit

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