Cruz’n for Roses 2020 | September Car Show’s Fate Uncertain

As concerns of the coronavirus continue, fundraising events for South Pasadena’s float in the Rose Parade remain in question

PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com News | South Pasadena Tournament of Roses (SPTOR) Cruz'n for Roses Car Show 2019

For now, South Pasadena’s long-running car show is still scheduled for the fall, but the key fundraiser for the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses may soon be running out of preparation time.

“We are on the edge of time for sure,” said SPTOR President Brant Dunlap when asked for an update on the Cruz’n For Roses Hot Rod and Classic Car Show, noting that a full month of planning for the popular event has been lost due to the coronavirus.

He said the event slated for September 20 faces two major obstacles – not knowing what social distancing regulations look like in the future and securing necessary sponsorship at a time when many supporters in the past are “just barely opening their doors” and are not “committed at this time,” explained Dunlap.

The South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Committee, a group of dedicated volunteers, counts on funds derived from the event, and others, to pay for steel and flowers for the city’s float in the Rose Parade on January 1. Costs associated with the New Year’s Day spectacle annually total about $100,000.

Although it’s still in question if the event will will take place, Dunlap says Cruz’n for Roses Chair Janet Benjamin, who also oversees the decoration effort on the city float, “is pretty creative,” he said. “If there is anyway to pull off a car show somehow, someway she will.”

Along with no fundraising dollars coming into the organization this year, there’s been no work has been performed on the city’s entry. “So far, we have not met once at the site to work on the chassis or to inventory supplies,” said Dunlap. “Normally we have cleaned the chassis from last year, organized the containers, received our first order of steel, already had a mechanical inspection and started rough framing of steel.”

Social distancing regulations and gatherings “have eliminated us from doing anything at this point on the chassis as we are not considered essential,” he said of the public health guidance.

Asked about the status of the 2021 Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game, Dunlap said: “Tournament officials are monitoring the pandemic very closely. The decision to be made regarding the safety of all for the parade and game is massive to say the least. Officials are very aware that a final decision must be made sooner than later. It is my understanding that they are taking everything into account and hopefully we all will know which direction we are going in the very near future.”

With major fundraising efforts put on hold, Dunlap said he has concerns on how the organization is going to pay for steel and flowers and other essentials for the float. “We could realistically be down anywhere between 25-75% depending on how many fundraisers we lose,” he said. “Our June Golf Tournament is postponed for now. The car show is on the edge. Our raffle hinders on the parade and Rose Bowl game being scheduled and Crunch (Time Party) may not bring in the success it has the past few years.”

Dunlap made it known, “Yep, I’m officially concerned,” he said.

As a result of lack of fundraising, Dunlap stressed the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association will need the continued support it has had in the past, “now more than recent years,” he said. “Times are tough and may get tougher but if we continue to support what and whom we have in the past we will make it better together.”