Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Go, Roses!

It's Rose Parade Day!  

When Bro and I found out that Santa Clara Vanguard would be in the parade as a kickoff to their 50th Anniversary celebration, we were excited.  Especially because our alma mater's band, the Arcadia High School Apache Marching Band would be there, too!  We decided that it would be a great reason for his wife, V, and their two kids to experience their first Rose Parade in person.

In this post, I'll be including photos from this year's very rainy Bandfest on December 30 and 31, 2016.  We attended Bandfest shows I and III.  We wanted Bandfest shirts because they would include the names of both the bands we were there to see, but they had last year's bands listed.  OOPS. We were told to get them from the company's website, but they weren't shown there as of last night.  I hope the contact person answers me soon.

Additional pictures can be found on my Snapchat story, Username PellaPusher.

We took the Gold Line from my regular Metro station at Arcadia.  The line was long because people were buying tap cards and fare.  Lucky for us, I had gone the night before to buy TAP cards and fare for our group, so we bypassed the line and got onto the platform right away.  YAY!  I actually thought of doing something ahead of time, and it worked.  Way to start the day off right, Sher!

We got off the train at Lake Station and Bro led us through the crowds to a spot on Colorado Blvd.  We sat and waited for about an hour before the Sound Car arrived. While we were waiting a gentleman was informing his peeps (and the rest of us) about certain aspects of the parade, complete with visual aids (pics of the parade route and the Valley Hunt Club).  Thank you, kind sir!

At a few seconds after 8:00 a.m., the B2 Spirit flew overhead and we knew that the parade was underway!

Westlake High School had a beautiful flower-themed field show, and I loved the color guard's dresses.  During the parade they had big flowers as hats, but I wasn't able to get a picture of them.  As is required, I think, they played "Yellow Rose of Texas" during their pass and review.

On December 31, the weather at Bandfest was much wetter than on the 30th.  This caused a problem for the band from Lawrence Township because they relied heavily on electronics in their show.  So they had lots of tarp and pullups to form canopies over the sound equipment.  Bro asked if DCI's Cadets' director was in charge of their band because they pIaced their own hashtags on the field and took forever to set up.  Neither one of us was able to hear any of the amplified portions, so for us, they did all that in vain.  They sounded great on the street, though.

I was confused when I saw the banner for Buhos Marching Band.  The people behind them were not wearing the same uniforms than the ones we saw at Bandfest.  Instead of sombreros, they wore helmets.  Bro pointed out the sousaphones to prove that they were the same band, because he knew how much I liked the rose design placement on them.  Their Bandfest show was fun to watch, and many people in the audience knew the songs.  I was familiar with most of the songs, but all I could contribute was "MEXICO!!"  TofR president Brad Ratliffe had played with all of the bands when he went to their hometowns to announce their inclusion in the parade.  He is now my favorite TofR president!  He played "La Bamba" during Bandfest with Buhos.

We saw Niceville High School at Bandfest in the rain. I felt sorry for the baton twirlers because they didn't get to wear pants in that weather.  Maybe they don't have day uniform pants because they're from Florida, I don't know.

I really liked Broken Arrow's logo on their flags.  The arrow is Broken and it forms an "A" when intertwined with the B!  This band played at Bandfest II so we didn't see their field show.  I was interested in it, though, because the back of the collars on the color guard looked like they belonged to vampires.

The Queen's float was Miss O's favorite.  Who can blame her? There's a crown on it and royalty waves at you!  Thanks for turning around, Princess Maya!  It's as if she knew her fellow Apaches were there.

One of my perennial favorites is the Herald Trumpeters that precede the Rose Court.  It's nice to hear them do fanfares at Bandfest because you really only hear one or two during the parade as they go by you.

Penn State's baton twirlers got to wear pants during their very rainy show at Bandfest.  I liked their music selections and liked their band more than the other college band there that day.  We didn't get to see their uniforms until parade day.  Look how happy they are to be dry!  Or maybe they're just happy that they all have their instruments, because a bunch of them were just pretending to hold instruments at Bandfest.

Bro laughed when I told him that I didn't like the current uniforms for the Pasadena Honor Band's banner carriers.  I did like the roses on their flags, because the poles looked like a rose stem without the thorns.  I also liked that they danced around during the field show.  Dancing Roses!  They played a special arrangement of Star Wars music for which they obtained special permission to play.  They played at every Bandfest show, so we saw them twice.  During Bandfest III, I lamented that we didn't bring our lightsaber umbrellas because it would have been fun to light them up during that part of the show.  

Bro and I wanted to walk with Arcadia for a bit, so we saw USC and the Salvation Army Band very briefly.  USC marched in their day clothes under ponchos during Bandfest, and the announcer quipped that he thought they were from a place of higher learning, but they had shorts on under their ponchos.  

Then it was time for me to whoop it up for my alma mater.  Bro and I said hi to the band directors because we're geeky like that.  Bro was happy that he got to hear them play this year's march, "Purple Carnival" again.  We walked with them to the place where we had left V and the kids.  Awesome job, Arcadia!  #pache

Hi, Seth!

Hi, Kevin!

You knew I would post more than one picture of them, right?  It's my schooooool!  Arcadia was the last band to perform at Bandfest, after providing the warmup at both Bandfest II and Bandfest III.  It rained on them for their whole performance of "Romeo and Juliet".  So why didn't they have their parasols? That was such a lovely part of that show and they could have helped during the rain.  Maybe they were paper parasols?  They did a great job despite the rain, and two of them got to take pictures with the two Rose Court princesses from AHS.  

My favorite float, and I think Bro's, was this one from The UPS Store.  I love that the giraffe needs more than one bow tie because his neck is so long.

Mr. B's favorite float was Lucy's Pet's float.  Dogs!  Dogs surfing!

The Gifu Shogyo Green Band was certainly one of the most entertaining bands, playing "Thriller" and dancing during the parade.  They also performed "Dancing Queen", complete with a few color guard members wearing ABBA style outfits. President Brad joined in on the fun of that and it was rad.  Yeah, that's 80's speak for all you young'uns out there.

We did not get to see Foothill High School's band during Bandfest, but here they are!

Ooltewah HS marching band's field show was about toys.  I liked the wind-up keys on the back of the uniforms, as well as the paper airplane and crayon props used by the color guard.  Bro thought the music was too easy, but I thought it fit the theme well because they were nursery rhymes.

The Red Raider Marching Band from Pulaski High School included a polka in their field show at Bandfest because their director is some kind of polka champion.  Afterward, President Brad did a cool bit with the trombone section.

Veronica's favorite float was this one from the City of Sierra Madre.  I liked that they played the music from Pixar's "Ratatouille" from the float's speaker system.

Los Angeles Unified School District's Honor Band brought high energy to Bandfest and the parade route. I don't know what they were yelling, but they did yell the same thing a lot.  They reminded me of the SEC bands featured in the movie "Drumline".

I wonder if the California representative of the Bands of America Honor Band is from So Cal, or if they had to make a trek to get here.  

The US Air Force "Total Force" band was one of the bands at Bandfest that played in a LOT of rain.  We were honored to have them there, though, and President Brad stood in the rain, no hat, no umbrella, no poncho, just his TofR windbreaker to show his respect for our armed forces.  LIKE A BOSS!!!  Have I told you that I love President Brad?

I really liked the black and white flags that Grove City HS Marching Band used in their field show "Opposing Forces" at Bandfest.  I liked their show music, which had elements of "West Side Story" and Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet".  

Then we got ready to leave as we waited for the other reason we were there: VANGUARD.  After they approached our area, we followed them for a few blocks until we got to Allen St, where there was a Metro station about 4 blocks away.  We cheered for Brandon and David even though we couldn't necessarily see them.  They were AWESOME.  At one point, the parade stopped because a float broke down, so they played their 1999 "Canyon" music for the crowd.  I almost cried, I was so happy.  They also played that during Bandfest, along with 2014 "Scheherazade" and "Send in the Clowns". Way to start off the 50th Anniversary, SCV!  Thank you to the Tournament of Roses Association for recognizing this corps by having their color guard in the opening festivities on the street, the corps proper during the opening segment, their corps during the flag ceremony on the lawn (which I briefly saw during KTLA's pre-parade coverage), and for honoring them by making them the last marching unit in the parade!  President Brad is a drum corps fan.  Can we make him President forever?  

Pre Show Crowd Warm-up for Bandfest I

Maybe that's Brandon

That's David 2nd from the left in the top row

Beautiful flags used in the opening ceremony

We walked to the Allen Gold Line station and got home without much hassle, so I would definitely take the Metro again for the next Rose Parade I attend.  

I should add for posterity that Miss O's tooth fell out during the parade. Just because she's growing up, and able to deal with no bathroom until we quickly made it back to my house.


Bro's dream has come true and he's seen his favorite marching band and his favorite drum corps in the same Rose Parade.  Yay!  

Happy New Year, everyone!  May your 2017 be blessed with many happy memories like the ones we made today.

1 comment:

  1. Happy Marching Music Day! To celebrate, I'm sharing videos of Santa Clara Vanguard from the opening and closing of the parade plus the corps' performance at Bandfest along with bonus parade and Bandfest videos of Arcadia H.S., Broken Arrow H.S., and Lawrence Township H.S. marching bands.

    March Forth with Santa Clara Vanguard at the 2017 Rose Parade on Marching Music Day!