Police and Fire Department Scaling Back Open House

Decision made to be more fiscally efficient by spending less on numerous resources required for the annual event

PHOTO: Alisa Hayashida | SouthPasadenan.com News | The Police and Fire Open House has been a big attraction for thousands over the years

A more streamlined annual open house, hosted by the South Pasadena Police and Fire department, will be held this September in conjunction with the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Cruz’n for Roses Hot Rod and Classic Car Show.

“We’re still holding it,” explained South Pasadena Police Chief Joe Ortiz about the September 15 event, “but we’ve scaled it back a little bit because of staffing.”

All the action will take place on Mission Street, as no activities will be held in the back lots of both the local police and fire departments like in the past.

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PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com News | 1930 Model A Ford at the annual Cruz’n for Roses event in South Pasadena

“We’re going to have booths set up from the Public Safety Commission, the police department, CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), and other first responder organizations that will set up along Mission Street along,” explained Ortiz. “We’ll also do some demonstrations there.”

The car show opening, which traditionally includes a color guard presentation from the police in front of a giant stage on Mission Street, will go unchanged. The Pledge of Allegiance and singing of the National Anthem will remain the same.

PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com News | The South Pasadena Police Department was there for the presentation of the flags during the opening ceremonies.

“We’re still engaged but not as much as we’ve been in recent years,” Ortiz said, noting that his department spent about $10,000 on overtime and other associated costs to host last year’s event. “That’s a lot of money. We’re trying to minimize the soft costs and be a little more financially responsible in our spending, and so we’ll cut back a little bit.”

Tours of the police and fire departments are a thing of the past. “We’re just going to scale down our participation and involvement,” Ortiz stressed.

The open house has been held along with the Cruz’n For Roses Car Show, gearing up for its 15th edition, over the years. It’s full speed ahead for the car show as all proceeds support the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses float, the oldest self-built float in the Rose Parade January 1 in Pasadena.

PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com News | A giant tent has been set up behind the War Memorial Building where construction on South Pasadena’s float entry in the Rose Parade on January 1 is underway

“What I hear from car clubs is the one they hold in South Pasadena every year is the best,” said Ortiz. “I hear that from three or four guys who are car guys who say ‘there’s something about that car show that happens every year in South Pasadena.’ It’s the one you want to be at.”

Janet Benjamin, who organizes the show for the SPTOR committee, is putting in long hours preparing for the event as she hopes some 250 automobiles will line up-and-down Mission Street, featuring classics, hot rods, and custom built automobiles.

Trophies go out the top cars, as owners donate a preregistration fee of $30 before the event and $40 on the event to held defray the estimated $100,000 it costs to build and decorate the city’s entry. Sponsorships help the SPTOR traditionally raise about $20,000 each year.

PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com News | A variety of cars were presented at the annual car show

A VIP section for a $70 donation provides a prime location in the show, a commemorative t-shirt, a special badge, coffee, donuts, lunch and golf cart tour of the show.

The tent for construction of the float went up on August 1, as construction on South Pasadena’s entry – “Victory At Last” – is underway in anticipation to its ride down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena on New Year’s Day. The float recognizes the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, allowing voting rights for women.

To enter cars in the event, call Benjamin at (626) 799-7813. For additional information, visit www.SPTOR.org.