Theme and Grand Marshal
Theme of the 2016 Rose Parade
"Find Your Adventure" is the theme of the 127th Rose Parade presented by Honda.
Find Your Adventure is a theme that has grown out of a unique partnership between the Pasadena Tournament of Roses and the U.S. National Park Service. The 2016 Rose Parade will help shine light on the centennial celebration of our nation’s national parks.
Both the Tournament of Roses and the National Park Service aim to preserve history, connect people through real-life experiences and engage the public in new adventures. As proponents of the American spirit, we encourage you to find beauty in the landscape that builds the backdrop of your lives. From coast-to-coast, we will add your stories of adventure to our collection while protecting our unique heritage and looking to the future.
Every person’s adventure is different – you may find yours at the top of a mountain while mine is in my backyard; your adventure may be extraordinary while mine is familiar. Our hope for the New Year is that however you define it, you will find your adventure and enrich your life.
Grand Marshal of the 2015 Rose Parade
2015 Rose Parade Grand Marshal Louis Zamperini
Olympian and World War II prisoner of war, Louis Zamperini, a true American hero who survived excessive hardships will be the Grand Marshal for the 2015 Rose Parade, themed "Inspiring Stories." Despite Mr. Zamperini's passing, the Tournament of Roses is dedicated to honoring him as the Grand Marshal of the 2015 Rose Parade.
Zamperini wrote his personal history in the book "Devil at My Heels" and his life story was documented in the New York Times best-selling book, "Unbroken," written by Pulitzer Prize winning author, Laura Hillenbrand. In December 2014, Universal Pictures will release the movie, "Unbroken," a feature adaptation of the book. Born in 1917 to Italian immigrants, Zamperini moved to Torrance, California in 1919 and became a world-class runner by the end of high school. Qualifying to run in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, he was America’s top finisher in the 5000 meter run, finishing the final lap in 56 seconds and causing Adolf Hitler to request a personal meeting with the track star.
During World War II, Zamperini retired from running and joined the U.S. Armed Forces as a bombardier in the South Pacific. While on a reconnaissance mission, Zamperini’s aircraft crashed into the Pacific Ocean. He and a crewmate survived for 47 days in shark-infested waters eventually drifting into a Japanese-controlled region where he was held and tortured for another two years. He survived the brutality of the war and came back to Southern California where he was treated like a hero and celebrated for his longevity. Zamperini married, had a family and started on a quest of forgiveness as an inspirational speaker – meeting with and forgiving the Japanese military guards who tortured him.
Zamperini lectured around the world on how to deal with stress, the meaning of Olympic spirit and the freedom he found through a personal relationship with God.
Louis Zamperini joined the impressive ranks of those who have fulfilled this role before.
The Rose Parade is broadcast live in the U.S. by several networks/stations. Please refer to our list of broadcasters or check your local listings. For seating and ticket information, please see our Tickets and Events page.