One person who will never forget the Rose Parade last January expressed her disappointment that the next one won’t take place.
South Pasadena’s Laura Farber, immediate past president of the Tournament of Roses, ventured down the 5-1/2 mile route in a 1911 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost with her family, taking it all in waving to the crowd along Colorado Boulevard, beaming with excitement.
Today she’s saddened, like millions of others, that the 2021 event coined “America’s New Year’s Celebration” has been scrapped due to the coronavirus.
“I am disappointed that the Rose Parade had to be cancelled but I imagine all understand the need to prioritize the health and safety of the participants, volunteers and the viewing public,” said Farber, the third woman and first Latina to serve as TOR president and 2020-2021 chair of the Rose Bowl Management Committee. “The risks that could occur if the parade took place are too great given the necessary preparation for all of its elements, floats, bands, and equestrian units. We are living in unprecedented times, which call for unprecedented actions and this painful decision was made to ensure the health and safety of the participants, volunteers, staff, sponsors, partners and vendors.”
She can only hope that the situation will improve and the parade will come back stronger in 2022. Ironically, the theme she chose for the 2020 version that took place just over 6 ½ months ago carried the theme “Power of Hope.”
Riding down the parade route Farber listened to the lively chants: “We love Laura, We love Laura,” the president at the time noting so many resonated with the powerful theme that might be even more powerful today.
In January, it took place at a time when there was no talk about COVID 19 and civil unrest like what exists today, especially after George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed on May 25 in Minnesota as a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, suffocating him.
Little did she know the message of “The Power of Hope” would carry so much weight today.
“Hope never quits,” Farber said prior to the January 1 spectacle. “Hope brings happiness, joy, dignity, respect, aspiration and achievement to all. Through hope, we can aspire to be our best, and in turn inspire those around us to reach higher. And with hope, anything, in fact everything is possible.”
Including the elimination of a virus that wiped the world famous Rose Parade off the calendar in 2021. “We look forward to next year with hope that this pandemic is resolved, our community and world can stay healthy, and our beloved parade can be planned and executed on January 1, 2022!” she said.