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.
Past parade themes can be found on our Media Resources page under Historical Lists.
Grand Marshal of the 2016 Rose Parade
2016 Rose Parade Grand Marshal Ken Burns
Award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns, who has directed and produced some of the most admired documentaries about the history of the United States, was announced today as the 2016 Tournament of Roses Grand Marshal. Throughout his almost 40-year career making documentary films, Burns, age 62, has been honored with countless awards, including 14 Emmy® Awards, two Grammy® Awards and two Oscar® nominations. Burns will ride in the 127th Rose Parade® presented by Honda, themed “Find Your Adventure” on January 1, 2016.
Tournament of Roses President, Mike Matthiessen, made the announcement at a public event at Tournament House in Pasadena, during which the 2016 Grand Marshal was revealed through a celebratory documentary video created by Burns -- http://youtu.be/eUoebRg5_p8.
“Ken Burns is a legendary figure and a great fit for this year’s Rose Parade theme, ‘Find Your Adventure,’” Matthiessen said. “We’re so honored to have someone like Ken, who has devoted his life to telling the story of America, lead the Rose Parade – America’s New Year Celebration® – that provides hope and joy to millions of people around the world.”
The “Find Your Adventure” theme for the 2016 Rose Parade is a result of a unique partnership between the Pasadena Tournament of Roses and the U.S. National Park Service, which will celebrate its centennial in 2016. Among Burns’s 2009 film, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea focused on the ideas and individuals that helped propel the parks and the National Park Service into existence. The series was filmed over the course of more than six years at some of the country's most spectacular locales, from Acadia to Yosemite, Yellowstone to the Grand Canyon and the Everglades of Florida to the Gates of the Arctic in Alaska. The National Parks: America’s Best Idea won Emmy® Awards for “Outstanding Nonfiction Series” and “Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming,” as well as the 2010 CINE Golden Eagle Award.
“The Rose Parade is an annual tradition woven into the fabric of America, so it’s such an honor to be chosen as the Grand Marshal,” said Burns. “I’ve never been to the Parade in person, so this will be a new adventure for me. I’m looking forward to sharing the experience with my family and all the fans of the Rose Parade who will be watching on New Year’s Day.”
Burns quickly became known for his style of using archival footage and photographs in documentary films, characterized by slowly zooming in and panning to subjects of interest – deemed “The Ken Burns Effect.” Since the Academy Award nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, Burns has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made, including The Civil War; Baseball; Jazz; Statue of Liberty; Huey Long; Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery; Frank Lloyd Wright; Mark Twain; Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson; The War; The Roosevelts: An Intimate History; which have all aired on PBS. For these accomplishments and more, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences honored Burns with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the News & Documentary Emmy® Awards in September 2008. Future projects that Burns has in the works include films on Jackie Robinson, the Vietnam War, the history of country music, Ernest Hemingway and the history of stand-up comedy. Burn’s next film, Jackie Robinson, made with his daughter Sarah Burns and her husband David McMahon, will air on PBS on April 11 and 12, 2016.
Burns was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1953. He graduated from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, in 1975 and went on to be one of the co-founders of Florentine Films.
Past Grand Marshals
|2015||Louis Zamperini||1951||Cpl. Robert S. Gray|
|2014||Vin Scully||1950||Paul G. Hoffman|
|2013||Dr. Jane Goodall||1949||Perry Brown|
|2012||J.R. Martinez||1948||Gen. Omar Bradley|
|2011||Paula Deen||1947||Bob Hope|
|2010||Capt. Chesley B. Sullenberger III||1946||Adm. William Halsey|
|2009||Cloris Leachman||1945||Former U.S. President Herbert Hoover|
|2008||Emeril Lagasse||1944||Amos Alonzo Stagg|
|2007||George Lucas||1943||Earl Warren|
|2006||Sandra Day O’Connor||1942||Kay Kyser|
|2005||Mickey Mouse||1941||E.O. Nay|
|2004||John Williams||1940||Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy|
|2003||Bill Cosby, Art Linkletter, Fred Rogers||1939||Shirley Temple|
|2002||Regis Philbin||1938||Leo Carrillo|
|2001||Tom Brokaw||1937||Eugene Biscailuz|
|2000||Roy E. Disney||1936||James V. Allred|
|1999||Buzz Aldrin, Jackie Robinson (posthumously), Shirley Temple Black, David L. Wolper||1935||Harold Lloyd|
|1998||Carol Burnett||1934||Adm. William S. Sims|
|1997||Carl Lewis, Shannon Miller||1933||Mary Pickford|
|1996||Kermit the Frog||1932||William May Garland|
|1995||Juan “Chi Chi” Rodriguez||1931||Gen. C.S. Farnsworth|
|1994||William Shatner||1930||James Rolph|
|1993||Angela Lansbury||1929||Marco Hellman|
|1992||His Grace, Cristobol Colon; Congressman Ben Nighthorse Campbell||1928||John McDonald|
|1991||Bob Newhart||1927||Dr. C.D. Lockwood|
|1990||Senator John Glenn||1926||Col. L.J. Mygatt|
|1989||Shirley Temple Black||1925||Lewis H. Turner|
|1988||Gregory Peck||1924||Col. George S. Parker|
|1986||Erma Bombeck||1922||Harold Landreth|
|1985||Lee A. Iacocca||1921||W.A. Boucher|
|1984||Danny Kaye||1920||Frank G. Hogan|
|1983||Merlin Olsen||1919||Frank Hunter|
|1982||Jimmy Stewart||1918||Dr. Z.T. Malaby|
|1981||Lorne Greene||1917||Dr. C.D. Lockwood|
|1980||Frank Sinatra||1916||Dr. Francis F. Rowland|
|1979||Lathrop K. Leishman||1915||M.S. Pashgian|
|1978||Former U.S. President Gerald R. Ford||1914||Charles Daggett|
|1977||Roy Rogers and Dale Evans||1913||Leigh Guyer|
|1976||Kate Smith||1912||E.H. Groenendyke|
|1975||Henry L. “Hank” Aaron||1911||Dr. Ralph Skillen|
|1974||Charles M. Schulz||1910||Dr. Francis F. Rowland|
|1973||John Wayne||1909||Walter S. Wright|
|1972||Lawrence Welk||1908||Dr. Ralph Skillen|
|1971||Reverend Billy Graham||1907||Dr. Ralph Skillen|
|1970||Apollo 12 Astronauts: Alan L. Bean, Charles Conrad Jr., Richard F. Gordon Jr.||1906||John B. Miller|
|1969||Bob Hope||1905||Dr. Francis F. Rowland|
|1968||Everett Dirksen||1904||Dr. Francis F. Rowland|
|1967||Thanat Khoman||1903||C.C. Reynolds|
|1966||Walt Disney||1902||C.C. Reynolds|
|1965||Arnold Palmer||1901||Charles Daggett|
|1964||Former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower||1900||Charles Daggett|
|1963||Dr. William H. Pickering||1899||Martin H. Weight|
|1962||Albert D. Rosellini||1898||Martin H. Weight|
|1961||William F. Quinn||1897||Edwin Stearns|
|1960||U.S. Vice President Richard M. Nixon||1896||Edwin Stearns|
|1959||E.L. “Bob” Bartlett||1895||Dr. H.H. Sherk|
|1958||Robert Gordon Sproul||1894||Dr. Francis F. Rowland|
|1957||Eddie Rickenbacker||1893||No Grand Marshal|
|1956||Charles E. Wilson||1892||Dr. Francis F. Rowland|
|1955||Earl Warren||1891||No Grand Marshal|
|1954||Gen. William F. Dean||1890||Dr. Francis F. Rowland|
|1953||Senator Richard M. Nixon|
|1952||Medal of Honor Men: Lt. Stanley Adams, Capt. Raymond Harvey, Lt. Thomas Hudner, Sgt. Ernest Kouma, Capt. Lewis Millet, Sgt. Joseph Rodriguez, Maj. Carl Sitter|