The last entries in the third chapter of “Inspiring Stories,” the theme of the 126th Tournament of Roses Parade, are a debut float for Kiehl’s Since 1851, a second-year equestrian drill team, and the venerable Spirit of the West Riders. The chapter “Community Spirit and Relationships” focused on leaders and organizations that make communities better places to live. Details on flowering and equestrian costumes are in the photo list with this article.
Kiehl’s Since 1851
“Inspiring a Beautiful World, “designed by Stanley A. Meyer and built by Fiesta Parade Floats, won the Extraordinaire Trophy for most spectacular float. It is a fitting float theme for a company that makes skincare products and supports three charitable initiatives: AIDS/HIV prevention, research and education, protecting and nurturing the environment, and children’s well-being. The company began as a pharmacy on Pear Tree Corner in New York’s East Village. It has supported its chosen causes with a cross-country motorcycle ride for HIV/AIDS research and had created limited edition products, donating the proceeds to environmental organizations and food programs.
The float was accompanied by four Harley-Davidson motorcycles, the first time in the history of the Rose Parade that sponsors were allowed to ride motorcycles. Kiehl’s Since 1851 has a motorcycle in every store, and both the current president, Chris Salgado, and the former president collect motorcycles. Riders were Billy Hausler, Richard Wagner, John Dadras and Charles Maseredjian. Timothy Brown, said to be the first person in the world cured of HIV, and Evan Dumas from Culver City USD, representing Recycle Across America, rode in sidecars.
Spirit of the West Riders
Led by Phil Spangenberger, Spirt of the West Riders from Leona Valley, Calif., have been in every Rose Parade since 1992 with the exception of 2010. The group is a living history, with authentic clothing and tack from the 1840s through 1920s. The characters represent various ethnicities active in the American West, from Californios to cavalrymen, from cowboys to ladies riding sidesaddle.
Spangenberger writes, “We have gone far beyond in how any other group has ever attempted to portray the various periods of the American West. While the audience may not know the period details of the outfits worn by our riders and horses, they do recognize that our look is unique and extremely colorful!” The group interacts with spectators along the parade route, sometimes engaging them in a friendly competition to see which side of the street can shout “Happy New Year” louder.
Prime Time Express Mounted Drill Team
From grit to glitz, equestrians in the Rose Parade span the spectrum of horses and riders. Johnna Ingram is the founder and coach of this mounted drill team from Groesbeck, Texas. The 12 riders have a penchant for performance horses and put on quite a show at Equestfest. All the animals are America Quarter Horses. Prime Time Express was chosen as the 2013 National Champion Drill Team in the United States Equestrian Drill Competition and also appeared in the Rose Parade that year.
For links to all articles about the 2015 Rose Parade winners, bookmark “A book with chapters: The 2015 Rose Parade in photos and words.” For the trophy winners, read “Rose Parade floats 2015: Who won in the 126th Tournament of Roses Parade.” Please post comments on Facebook at All Things Rose Parade.
Kiehl’s since 1851
The Kiehl’s float brought a little bit of Pear Tree Corner to the Rose Parade with a replica of the original and current East Village flagship store, including the neon pharmacy sign, full window dressings, mailbox and fire hydrant. The float also displays the historic Stuyvesant pear tree, which graced the corner from 1647 to 1867, and was replaced by Kiehl’s in 2003; a replica of the Kiehl’s Eagles Flying Team vintage biplane; and beakers representing the science of skin care.
Herbs and spices
Float riders were Kiehl’s president Chris Salgardo, SVP Rob Imig and eight Kiehl’s customer representatives. The float displayed bold expressions of classic Kiehl’s botanical ingredients including clusters of sculptured oversized sunflowers, roses, pear blossoms and pears, oranges and beakers. Materials used included dehydrated carrot, sesame and poppy seed, seaweed, statice, strawflower and lentils in various colors, winterberries, manzanita leaf, lavender, liatris, rice and cornhusk. On the deck garden, 15,000 hot pink Topaz roses flow through summer gardens created from peony, delphinium, gerbera, bells of Ireland, lilies, sunflowers, larkspur, tulips and spray roses.
Flying off the front of the Kiehl’s Since 1851 float was a replica of the Eagles Flying Team vintage biplane with a rotating propeller. The original is owned by the founding family of Kiehl’s. Crisp white coconut flakes, blue sinuata statice and red carnations created the plane’s colors and Party-Time gypsophila billowed beneath the plane.
A skinny mascot
Mr. Bones, Kiehl’s friendly skeleton mascot, waved to Rose Parade spectators while standing in front of a blackboard filled with chemical formulas. The original Mr. Bones human skeleton was used by founding family member Aaron Morse during consultations to educate patrons on various ailments and remedies. Today, Mr. Bones represents the Kiehl’s pharmacy heritage, commitment to customer service, education and science.
Spirit of the West Riders
Riding American Quarter Horses, Missouri Fox Trotters, Andalusians, Paints and Arabians, this living history group includes authentically costumed cowboys, cowgirls, cavalrymen, sidesaddle ladies, Wild West show performers, mountain men, Californio vaqueros, ranchers and lawmen who helped settle the American West. All the clothing is carefully researched and duplicated from original items or recreated down to the last period-correct detail, from hats to boots to firearms and accessories such as canteens and ropes. Women who ride astride wear period-correct split skirts.
Living history lesson on horseback
Like the clothing, the tack is carefully chosen to be correct to the period represented by the rider. For example, 1880s cowboys use Great Plains style “slick fork” saddles of the era, complete with period correct bridles and cowboy grazing bits, and the soldier uses a black McClellan cavalry-issue saddle with military bridle and bit. Saddle blankets are of the 19th century style, such as Navajo blankets or commercial saddle blankets of the period.
Prime Time Express Mounted Drill Team
These accomplished trick riders from Texas wear red, white and blue costumes in a Western show style, studded with red, white and blue stars in shining rhinestones. White western felt hats top the white and blue high-collared long sleeved show shirt and white leather full length chaps. Rhinestone conchos match the tack.
Tall in the saddle
Several of the women in Prime Time Express Mounted Drill Team rode the Rose Parade route standing in a special stirrup apparatus. Two outwalkers accompanied the group. Tack for the group is white leather bridle and breast collar with blue and diamond rhinestone conchos, leather saddles, blue saddle pad and white leg wraps.
Gorgeous Quarter Horses
The American Quarter Horse is the mount of choice for the Prime Time Express riders. Its physical characteristics and agility make it a good partner for show and rodeo riders as well as a good work horse. The breed generally learns quickly and has a calm, gentle nature and steady temperament, which might be called “cow sense.”