Music transcends borders at Tournament of Roses Parade

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America’s biggest New Year’s Day celebration wowed both Pasadena residents, visitors and viewers around the globe on Tuesday, with performances by Chaka Khan, Kool and the Gang, and pop singer Anne-Marie at the 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade.

The Sweepstakes Award for most beautiful entry encompassing float design, floral presentation and entertainment, went to The UPS Store, Inc. for its “Books Keep Us On Our Toes,” a tribute to the value of books and reading. It was built by Fiesta Floats.

Other awards went to City of Hope’s “Harmony of Hope,” and the city of Alhambra’s “Home Tweet Home” floats, both built by Phoenix Floats.

Tournament of Roses President Gerald Freeny said this year’s theme, “The Melody of Life,” has universal appeal, since music touches the lives of people around the world.

“That’s the universal power of music,” Freeny said. “Music has a unique power to transcend borders and boundaries, to travel across countries and continents. It speaks to old and young.”

The parade itself featured 40 floral-covered floats, 18 equestrian groups and 20 marching bands from across the country and around the world, including bands from Japan, Sweden, Costa Rica and Canada.

Southland cities were well-represented, with Alhambra, Burbank, Downey, La Canada Flintridge and Torrance all contributing floats. Universal Pictures made its debut as a float sponsor, teaming up with DreamWorks Animation to present a float heralding the upcoming animated film “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.” The float featured a floral-covered, fire-breathing dragon.

There were also some technical issues. At one point, the Chinese-Amer

Once the parade concludes, the floats will be on display from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday during the Showcase of Floats at Sierra Madre and Washington boulevards.

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