Several weeks ago at technical float testing at Phoenix Decorating Company, Examiner was talking with Tournament of Roses Pres. Mike Matthiessen about whom he might choose to be the Grand Marshal of the 127th Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2016. When the president makes the announcement, he said, “The last thing you want to hear is ‘Who?’” The next to the last thing is “Why?”
Matthiessen didn’t hear either of those responses when he named his choice for Grand Marshal at Tournament House on Tuesday morning. Ken Burns, the recipient of scores of awards for his documentaries, including the 2010 Emmy for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, was “on the list from the get-go,” Matthiessen told atombash.com after the ceremony.
Burns’ schedule did not allow him to attend the announcement, but he expressed his awe at the honor in a video presentation. “I would never have imagined getting to watch the Rose Bowl Game as Grand Marshal,” he said. “I’ll see you in Pasadena and in one of our parks.”
The 127th Rose Parade is a collaboration between the Tournament of Roses and the National Parks Service, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Matthiessen said that his theme, “Find Your Adventure,” ultimately led to the choice of Burns for Grand Marshal. “[Burns] has taken an adventure and turned it into a passion,” he said.
“The Rose Parade is an annual tradition woven into the fabric of America, so it’s such an honor to be chosen as the Grand Marshal,” Burns said in the media release. “I’ve never been to the Parade in person, so this will be a new adventure for me. I’m looking forward to sharing the experience with my family and all the fans of the Rose Parade who will be watching on New Year’s Day.”
The 2016 Rose Parade will be a big event for PBS. Burns has made more than two dozen documentaries for PBS, from Brooklyn Bridge to the upcoming films Jackie Robinson and Vietnam. In addition, one of the most popular dramas on PBS, Downton Abbey, is going to be featured in the form of a Rose Parade float. The National Parks series will be rebroadcast in April.
Ken Burns accepts the honor
“Go out and find your park!” Ken Burns urged in the video played at the announcement of the Grand Marshal for the 127th Tournament of Roses Parade. Pres. Mike Matthiessen told atombash.com that it is important that the Grand Marshal understand what the Tournament is about, and Burns makes that connection.
Tournament Pres. Matthiessen announces the GM
Who the Rose Parade Grand Marshal will be is an annual guessing game, and the president likes to continue that game into the announcement. Pres. Mike Matthiessen teased the media: The GM was born in Brooklyn, is an avid reader, likes history, his life’s work is to bring to life people long forgotten, his films are known for the slow pan across still photos…. That clue let the cat out of the bag.
Ken Burns, 2016 Rose Parade Grand Marshal
“Just pinch me,” Ken Burns said to Pres. Matthiessen when he accepted the honor of being the 2016 Rose Parade Grand Marshal. Matthiessen said, “He was so awed…. He has taken adventure and turned it into a passion.”
The Royal Court
Princesses Sarah Shaklan, Rachelle Liu, Bryce Bakewell, Queen Erika Winter, Princesses Regina Pullens, Natalie Hernandez-Barber, Donaly Marquez were at the announcement of the 2016 Rose Parade Grand Marshal.