PASADENA –American Armenian Rose Float named “Armenian Roots” was awarded The Judges Trophy for most outstanding float design and dramatic impact, this past New Year’s Day, January 1st, 2018 as the parade took place on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena. Close to 750,000 people witnessed the parade live. It is also reported that close to 70 million people watched the parade on U.S Television and in 140 countries around the world.
This was the 4th year Armenians were participating in the Rose parade. There are 23 awards given by the Rose Float Association, including the Americana, President’s Award, Grand Marshal’s award, and Judges Trophy.
The float was designed by association board member Johnny Kanounji and includes the bust of a woman holding a sprouting pomegranate tree. She is wearing traditional Armenian headgear and garments decorated with cultural symbols, motifs, and colors. The Tournament’s official theme was “Making a Difference” to highlight those who contribute to their communities, however that community is defined, and never ask for recognition. “Since this year’s theme for the tournament was about giving back without any expectations, we thought of the Armenian woman: the mom, the sister, the daughter who always has a commitment to their family and community without any expectations,” said Mary Der Parseghian, a member of the association.
The association went through the local Armenian community and selected nine women who “have given back to the community” to be featured as float riders. They are:
Hermine Janoyan, who has received numerous awards for public service.
Grace Stepanian, a third year student at Cal State Los Angeles.
Telma Ghazarian Altoon, an ultra-marathon competitor.
Ramelia Markarian, Vice President of Business Development at Adventist Health Glendale.
Alina Dorian, an adjunct Assistant Professor at UCLA.
Sylvia Minassian, Founder and President of Arpa Film Foundation.
Sirvard Chimayan, CPA accountant.
Alice Petrossian, Educator of long standing.
Carmen Azinian, Librarian, active in community organizations.
The association first entered a float in 2015 and took home the tournament’s President Award. Some 100 floats paraded on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena. Several Mayors, stars, politicians, and community leaders also participated. There were several equestrian units from across the country including Ft. Hood Texas and St. Louis, Missouri.
Beautiful marching bands constantly played during the parade from high schools to universities, locally, from across the country and overseas.