Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Tournament of Roses Parade 2008

As Ms. Wheelchair America 2008, I was able to participate in many of the activities of the 119th Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, culminating in the Rose Parade on New Year's Day.

The parade paid tribute to many countries around the globe, leading off with the United States of America. Rose Queen Dusty Gibbs and her Rose Court had their own amazing float, which included the $100,00 Mikimoto diamond and pearl crown atop Queen Dusty's head.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were represented by a gargantuan floral ballplayer on their incredible float, along with many former and current players. I was fortunate enough to get a backstage preview of the float thanks to my former colleague in Boston, Frank McCourt, who now owns the LA Dodgers. Thanks Frank! The Dodgers float - the baseball team's first in the Rose Parade - was 50th in the parade's march of order, to coincide with its 50th anniversary in Los Angeles. Most crowd shout-outs along the route went to Tommy Lasorda, waving from the popcorn- and peanut-covered float.
MWA made a great connection with the Kiwanis, whose float is pictured above...

And finally, I was able to spend some time with a former Ms. Wheelchair America, Juliette Rizzo, of Washington DC. All in all it was a fabulous day that I will never forget!!!