The All City High School Band of Burbank the Rose Parade, 1968

The All City High School Band of Burbank marching in the Rose Parade, 1968

It’s New Year’s Day, and even though the Rose Parade TV coverage starts at some ungodly hour here in Hawaii (something like 6 am), I always try to catch a glimpse of Burbank’s entry. According to the Burbank Leader, the city of Burbank has participated in the Tournament of Roses every year, with either a float, a band, or a decorated car (during World War II).

The Burbank Leader published a story on New Year’s Day, 2003 which detailed Burbank’s then-history of participation for 89 years, and its success record in winning prizes. “Burbank has continued to win various awards over the years, but the greatest award for the volunteers seems to be the sense of accomplishment, pride and community spirit which has come with every Burbank entry.

The Burbank Tournament of Roses Assn.’s consistent participation in the parade is unique because it is one of only six organizations that enter self-built floats and is staffed entirely by volunteers.”

The Burbank Tournament of Roses

The Burbank Tournament of Roses

The Burbank Tournament of Roses even has its own website where you can view a complete history of its designs and awards. There is even an application form available if you care to submit a design for next year’s parade.

When I was in college at the University of Southern California, a bunch of my friends decided to spend the night on the parade route, to insure a good viewing spot. I remember being kept up all night because of the traffic noise and party revelers and thought never again! I’m just content now to watch it on television, even if it’s early in the morning after New Year’s Eve. When I was a college freshman, I was in a choral group called the Trojan Chorale, and we performed during the half-time show at the Rose Bowl (That was the year O.J. Simpson won the Heisman Trophy!). As I was in the front row of the choir, my family all saw me sing on national television!

In our class, Laurie Eisenberg and John Wray remember marching in the Rose Parade with Burbank High School — and John especially remembers marching behind 12 camels!

Class of 1968, do you have any memories of the Rose Parade or the Rose Bowl?

About Katherine Crosier

I am an organist in Honolulu—a rare breed of folks who play the King of Instruments! Through stories, photos, and videos, this blog is a diary of my musical journey ... and my family just groans!

4 responses »

  1. Les Heller says:

    The only time I can remember going to the parade, was with Carol Aiken…might have
    been 1966 ?????????

  2. I like Johnny Wray got to march in two Rose Parades. My first year, sophmore year, I played the glockenspiel at the back of the combined Burbank bands. There were about 20 of us and we even got a solo. We played Colonel Bogies march. What a thrill that was. My senior year I was head banner carrier and I got to lead with two other girls holding heralds. Brr it was chilly. Along the way people asked if I could play it. I tried but not much came out. Great memeories.

  3. Merrily Thorne Prescott says:

    I went to the Rose Parade in 1968 with my cousin and a bunch of her friends from Temple City High. We drank hot chocolate and walked around all night long, it was cold but we had so much fun. My daughter, Tracy worked on floats for three years. They worked all night, New Years Eve. Then walked the finished float to its starting point. After the parade started, they went home to sleep. I was homesick for California when I watched the parade today.

  4. Bob Given says:

    Bob Given – I was in 10th grade at Burbank High School on January 1,,1966 As I remember the bands only got to march in the Rose Parade once every three years so so I was fortunate to have marched in the parade when I was a Sopohmore

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