LOS ANGELES, Calif. - It's Winter 1890... the first day of the year. Pasadena's Valley Hunt Club creates a parade to promote the city, it's beauty and its great weather.
Back then floats looked like horse-drawn chariots and stagecoaches. Five years later they took on the appearance of floral floats.
The Rose Parade on January, 1, 1949 was a special one! It was the first broadcast for our television station KTTV. Our archives are filled with great video of parades from the last 7 decades.
Each year's parades have come with new themes and grand marshals. This year's theme is "The Melody of Life!" Chaka Kahn is the grand marshal.
Past parades have had grand marshals like President Dwight Eisenhower, Olympic Gold Medalist Janet Evans, Frank Sinatra.
This year's President is Gerald Freeny. It was Freeny and his family that came up with this year's parade theme. He's the first African-American President of the Tournament of Roses Association, but he's given almost four decades to the organization working his way up to the leadership role he now holds.
His is the 130th Rose Parade. Of his theme Freeny says, "Music has the power to not only bring us together but take us back to memories and moments as nothing else can.
Given that, thanks to the the work of many over the years at KTTV we have the benefit of years of great footage of decades of parades and in this 70th year or our station it is nice to reflect the very first show on Channel 11.
The Rose Parade and all of the talented men and women who worked on those shows.