2021 Rose Parade | Will it Still Take Place this Upcoming Year?

The South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Committee was forced to cancel its May monthly meeting, postpone a major fundraising event and leave another in jeopardy as the coronavirus continues to impact the world

FILE PHOTO: Eric Fabbro | SouthPasadenan.com News | 2020 Rose Parade concludes on Colorado Blvd in Pasadena. The annual event has been cancelled for the upcoming 2021 year due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic

Like millions, Brant Dunlap wants a haircut.

With salons on the non-essential list of stores in the state’s effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Dunlap, stir crazy like many, can’t wait to get some of his locks lopped off.

He also can’t wait to see some movement in fundraising and construction on South Pasadena’s float, stopped completely like much of America as a result of the pandemic.

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A committee, which meets regularly inside the council chambers at City Hall to discuss ways to pay for the estimated $100,000 entry in the annual Rose Parade and address its development, won’t be gathering again this month, as Dunlap, the president of the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses (SPTOR), had to call it off as a result of the state’s order banning groups getting together as a safeguard against the spread of the virus.

One of the largest events to raise funds, a golf tournament at Arroyo Seco Golf Course scheduled for June, has officially been postponed while a car show slated for September remains a huge question mark.

“Maybe later in the summer,” Dunlap wrote in an update to SPTOR committee members, addressing the golf tournament.

He indicated Janet Benjamin, long committed as the float’s decoration chair, who also oversees the popular Cruz’n for Roses Hot Rod and Classic Car Show, and is struggling to drum up funding since past sponsors and donors have closed their doors during the COVID-19 crisis.

Benjamin usually puts the “pedal to the metal,” in May, as Dunlap described it, contacting car owners to showcase their vehicles, seeking vendors, and making arrangements through the local police department to close off Mission Street for the event.

“Time is against us, and there stands a possibility the car show is in jeopardy,” noted Dunlap, saying a back-up plan might be to move the golf tournament to September if it doesn’t take place. “Nothing is for sure.”

Not all is lost when it comes to fundraising. A See’s Candy Easter campaign netted just over $500. Committee member Alan Vlacich rode his bike around town and beyond dropping off his home-roasted coffee, adding another $1,200 to the effort while contributions in memory of Ted Shaw, long a mainstay of the success of the float, brought in another $2,000.

“Financially we are going to be very challenged,” said Dunlap, explaining funding to support South Pasadena’s float could be down 25 % to 75%. “We applied for multiple grants through the aid packages that have been released the past few weeks. So far we were denied on two of them. We are still in the running for two others.”

The SPTOR president has his fingers crossed funding will come the committee’s way as the bigger question looms if the 2021 Rose Parade will even take place.

“I have been in weekly contact with Tournament [House],” Dunlap said. “They are certainly monitoring this closely. They like us are planning on yes at this time. They are well aware of the financial impact this has already put on everyone. I’m confident in the end they will do the right thing.”

Anxious to get started working on the city float, Dunlap cautions, “Not Yet,” adding, “We are not considered essential, so gathering as a group is still not allowed.”

While the city’s entry is constructed entirely by volunteers, a bulk of the floats in the parade are built by professional builders who, after talking to Tournament officials, are not working at this time, according to Dunlap.

He’d like to gather the troops, bringing committee members up to speed via Zoom, saying it’s possible, but “due to the Brown Act it can not be a SPTOR meeting.” Yet, facing the possibility of June’s meeting being canceled, Dunlap said he will consider meeting by Zoom at a future date.

“Wow, hasn’t this been an interesting time in our lives?” he said. “We’ve seen our daily routines change 100%.”

He’s encouraged to hear Governor Newsom show the desire to slowly open up California, adding, “We will continue to monitor the guidelines regarding public assemblies and we will continue to adjust accordingly as they become relaxed or lifted.”

Dunlap is encouraged by the words coming out of Sacramento.  

“It’s nice to hear that soon we may have a few more doors open for business,” he said, not crazy about his appearance when he looks at himself in the mirror. “I can sure use a haircut.”