When we spoke with R. Scott Jenkins, president of the 2014 Tournament of Roses, shortly after he took office last year, he stressed upping the entertainment value of the Rose Parade across the board—on floats with more animation and live performers, in equestrian and band performances, with special acts between floats.
“There are lots of different ways to be entertaining,” he said, adding that he would like to introduce “new and exciting elements to a very traditional institution.”
He certainly achieved that in the 125th Rose Parade, and in this reporters opinion, that trend will continue. In addition to more performers on or accompanying floats, the bands put on great shows for the cameras and the equestrians added new elements.
There were also a few brand-new acts not related to the triumvirate of floats, horses and bands: Harlem Globetrotters, USA Jump Rope Palpitating Panthers, and Xpogo Stunt Team as well as the Rose Bowl All-Century Hall of Fame. The slideshow with this article showcases these, and the links in “Suggested by Author” box at the end of this article highlights some of the more entertaining floats.
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Celebrating their 88th year, the Original Harlem Globetrotters displayed their skills and humor in the 2014 Rose Parade. Bucket Blakes, Stretch Middleton, Flight Time Lang, Slick Willie Shaw and Wun "The Shot" Versher continue the tradition of showmanship and legacy of breaking down cultural barriers that has made for great family entertainment since 1927.
Wizardry on the court and in the street
The Original Harlem Globetrotters have brought their amazing talent in ball-handling and scoring baskets to 122 countries and territories on six continents, and in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. They have entertained hundreds of millions of fans, including popes, royalty and presidents, and now viewers of the Rose Parade
USA Jump Rope – Palpitating Panthers
Forty members of the USA Jump Rope Team, ages 13 to 32, jumped their way down Colorado Blvd. on New Year’s Day. Half came to Pasadena from all over the country, including Alaska. The other half are members of the Palpitating Panthers from La Cañada Flintridge just across the Arroyo. The LCF team, which received a Tournament of Roses Foundation Grant in 2010, practiced their routines by jumping around the Rose Bowl. Directors of the group are Jessica Fong, Jenna Fong and Laurie Moses
Xpogo Stunt Team
Extreme pogo performance is what Xpogo is about, and they do it all over the world. As part of the closing show of the 125th Rose Parade, the team divided to go before and after the All-Century Hall of Fame float. Xpogo holds 13 Guinness World Records, and has appeared in television shows, movies, commercials and music videos.
Traveling the world by pogo stick
The Xpogo Stunt Team bills itself as “the most talented and extreme pogo performance team in the world.” The team has headlined in 17 countries across the globe, including Brazil, China, Italy, Russia, Canada and the United States. The Xpogo Stunt Team has worked with major media outlets throughout the US.
Celebrating the 100th Rose Bowl Game
The Rose Bowl Game, which takes its name from the Rose Parade (not the other way around), fielded the 100th matchup on Jan. 1, 2014 when Michigan State University defeated Stanford. Leading up to it, the Rose Bowl Game and Football Writers Association teamed up to choose an All-Century Hall of Fame of one player from each decade. Xpogo and the Spirit Team from Agoura High School appeared with the float
Agoura High School Spirit Team
What would football be without a cheer squad? The Spirit Team from Agoura High School in Agoura, Calif. brought enthusiasm and spirit to the All-Century Rose Bowl Hall of Fame entry. The “Charger Girls and Stunt Men” have won 13 national championships. In addition to football games, the team participates in competitions and parades.
All-Century Hall of Fame
A giant football inset with video screens played clips of the 11 men chosen for the Rose Bowl All-Century Hall of Fame. Riding the float were Archie Griffin (1970's representative and overall All-Century Player) and John Mckay Jr. on behalf of his father John Mckay Sr. (1960's representative and all All-Century Coach).