​​The oldest self-built float in the rose parade


Red Sails in Sunset


Perils of Pauline


Hobo Heaven


Soaring Dreams

Feast of the Banners
South Pasadena observes its 50th year of the Rose parade participation with this entry, “The Feast of the Banners.” This age-old festival pays tribute to the courage of Japanese boys and their acquisition of manliness as they ascend to adulthood. The feast is dramatized by two huge carp floral banners. This holiday is celebrated each May 5 when one of the banners are flown from the housetop for each boy living there.

Source: 1970 Official Tournament of Roses Parade Souvenir Program


John Philip Sousa: March King
The 1974 float, prize-winner “Happiness is …a Thing of Beauty,” was rumored to be the city’s last, as difficulties recruiting volunteers, dwindling financial resources, rising costs of flowers, and the retiring of veteran volunteers needed to train newbie spelled disaster for one of the oldest traditions in the Parade. But, of course, once again, the city somehow pulled a rabbit out of its hat, and the following year entered still another prize-winning float with “John Philip Souza: March King.” When a shortage of flowers jeopardized the completion of the float, South Pas residents went into their gardens with clippers and donated the needed blooms, putting another feather in the city’s cap, and keeping South Pas in the Tournament.

Excerpt from The South Pas Float Story-2006 Official Souvenir “a History of Doing it Ourselves“ by Jim Taveres


Saturday Night
It’s eight o’clock and the town constable is rolling up the sidewalk-sound familiar? Certainly many towns throughout the nation identify with this passive but comical rendition of Saturday night. The sidewalk is made of dusty miller and the officer of purple iris and yellow mums. A loose dog of pampas grass chases the neighborhood cat. Taking his Saturday night bath, the home owner watches television from his mum covered tub. This is one of only five entries in the self-decorated class. An all-out volunteer effort, 1976 marks South Pasadena’s 57th entry. 
Source: 1976 Official Tournament of Roses Parade Souvenir Program

The country’s bicentennial brought the theme “America, Let’s Celebrate” to the Rose Parade. Hal Edgar, the South Pas Tournament of Roses Association vice president, helped design the entry “Another Saturday Nite in South Pasadena.” The float featured a constable literally rolling up the sidewalk in front of a house, while a dog chased a cat through the yard and a man inside took a bath. Demonstrating that, as great a town as it is, there ain’t much to do in South Pas on a Saturday evening, the piece evoked the belief of many suburbanites across nearly all generations that the town they grew in belonged to the crickets at night. As the float made it’s way down Colorado, it was met with delayed but hearty laughter, as onlookers slowly got it. Commentators on T.V., however, were oblivious to the reference and questioned the entry’s relevance to the Parade’s theme. “Another Saturday Nite” won the Judge’s Special Trophy for outstanding showmanship and dramatic impact.
Excerpt from The South Pas Float Story-2006 Official Souvenir “a History of Doing it Ourselves“ by Jim Taveres


Ostrich Races
For about 4 years this city was home of the world famous Cawston Ostrich farm where birds were raised for their plumage, although races were also held as part of the activity. Races were real challenge as birds were hard to control, as illustrated here. Base of the float is dotted with flower gardens of roses, tulips, and iris. 

Source: 1979 Official Tournament of Roses Parade Souvenir Program

In 1979, the history of South Pas and the Cawston Ostrich farm was celebrated with “The Great Ostrich race.” Costing $9,500, the float won a Founder’s trophy for the most beautiful entry built by volunteers from the sponsoring community or organization, beating out competition costing $20,000 to $35,000.

Excerpt from The South Pas Float Story-2006 Official Souvenir “a History of Doing it Ourselves“ by Jim Taveres