America’s New Year’s Celebration

The annual Tournament of Roses Parade, seen by millions of people around the world, inspires awe and wonder. This year’s theme of “Inspiring Stories” honored Grand Marshall Louis Zamperini, a war hero and Olympian who died earlier this year at the age of 97.

Photos by Ken Martinson/

Opener: At the start of the parade, “audience members” surprised the crowd by jumping out of the grandstands and performing as drummers, dancers, hula hoopers and trampoline artists. Participants included band members from El Dorado High School in Placentia, Calif., and Arcadia (Calif.) High School.

Cultural Exchange: The Delfines Marching Band from Veracruz, Mexico, attends festivals and competitions around the world to share its country’s culture.

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Each of the 20 participating bands has been inspired by music and serves as an inspiration to others. Many groups prepared for thousands of hours and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to make the trip to Pasadena, Calif. Not only do ensembles march in the 5.5-mile route, but they also perform a field show at Bandfest.

The events feature several honor bands including annual participants—the Los Angeles Unified School District All District High School Honor Band (center image) and the Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band and Herald Trumpets (bottom right photo)—as well as this year’s newcomer the Cavalcade of Bands Honor Band (top middle photo).

Lookin’ Good: The Temple City (Calif.) High School band (top left photo) debuted uniforms at this Rose Parade.

Best of Fair: The Cypress (Calif.) High School band (bottom left photo) was selected to participate after winning the Los Angeles County Fair High School Marching Band Competition in 2013.

Infallible: The O’Fallon (Ill.) Township High School (top right photo) has performed in many nationally-recognized parades. It last appeared at the Tournament of Roses in 1997.

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Clockwise from top left: Bands that traveled from the farthest away include the Helsingor Pipegarde—the Elsinore (Denmark) Girls Marching Band; Maui High School from Kahului, Hawaii; and Koriyama (Japan) Honor Green Band.

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View photos from the college marching bands in the Rose Bowl (as well as the Sugar Bowl) in our article “The First College Football Playoff.”

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