Theme and Grand Marshal
Theme of the 2017 Rose Parade
The 2017 Pasadena Tournament of Roses theme, "Echoes of Success," tells the story of how our character has developed through the selfless contributions of others and celebrates their inspirational gifts. It is a celebration for those people, institutions and organizations that help in the success of others.
Our successes are unique to each of us. Success is not gauged by the final score, not by how much wealth we accumulate and should not be weighed against the accomplishments of others. Success is measured by our own personal satisfaction in knowing that we achieved our utmost by doing our best when facing challenges.
But success cannot be achieved alone. We need the support and influences of others. Family, teachers, friends and coaches contribute to our success. The cheering section at the finish line. The hospital volunteers. The teacher who stays after school to help a struggling student. The parents who drive to all of the soccer games. The little sister who says, “you can do it.”
These influences in our lives, these people of selfless commitment, these “Echoes of Success” make us who we are. The 2017 theme celebrates those who have been instrumental in helping each of us and in helping others achieve success. It’s about the people and cultures that lend us a hand in reaching our destination.
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
|2016||Ken Burns||1951||Cpl. Robert S. Gray|
|2015||Louis Zamperini||1950||Paul G. Hoffman|
|2014||Vin Scully||1949||Perry Brown|
|2013||Dr. Jane Goodall||1948||Gen. Omar Bradley|
|2012||J.R. Martinez||1947||Bob Hope|
|2011||Paula Deen||1946||Adm. William Halsey|
|2010||Capt. Chesley B. Sullenberger III||1945||Former U.S. President Herbert Hoover|
|2009||Cloris Leachman||1944||Amos Alonzo Stagg|
|2008||Emeril Lagasse||1943||Earl Warren|
|2007||George Lucas||1942||Kay Kyser|
|2006||Sandra Day O’Connor||1941||E.O. Nay|
|2005||Mickey Mouse||1940||Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy|
|2004||John Williams||1939||Shirley Temple|
|2003||Bill Cosby, Art Linkletter, Fred Rogers||1938||Leo Carrillo|
|2002||Regis Philbin||1937||Eugene Biscailuz|
|2001||Tom Brokaw||1936||James V. Allred|
|2000||Roy E. Disney||1935||Harold Lloyd|
|1999||Buzz Aldrin, Jackie Robinson (posthumously), Shirley Temple Black, David L. Wolper||1934||Adm. William S. Sims|
|1998||Carol Burnett||1933||Mary Pickford|
|1997||Carl Lewis, Shannon Miller||1932||William May Garland|
|1996||Kermit the Frog||1931||Gen. C.S. Farnsworth|
|1995||Juan “Chi Chi” Rodriguez||1930||James Rolph|
|1994||William Shatner||1929||Marco Hellman|
|1993||Angela Lansbury||1928||John McDonald|
|1992||His Grace, Cristobol Colon; Congressman Ben Nighthorse Campbell||1927||Dr. C.D. Lockwood|
|1991||Bob Newhart||1926||Col. L.J. Mygatt|
|1990||Senator John Glenn||1925||Lewis H. Turner|
|1989||Shirley Temple Black||1924||Col. George S. Parker|
|1988||Gregory Peck||1923||H.L. Gianett|
|1986||Erma Bombeck||1921||W.A. Boucher|
|1985||Lee A. Iacocca||1920||Frank G. Hogan|
|1984||Danny Kaye||1919||Frank Hunter|
|1983||Merlin Olsen||1918||Dr. Z.T. Malaby|
|1982||Jimmy Stewart||1917||Dr. C.D. Lockwood|
|1981||Lorne Greene||1916||Dr. Francis F. Rowland|
|1980||Frank Sinatra||1915||M.S. Pashgian|
|1979||Lathrop K. Leishman||1914||Charles Daggett|
|1978||Former U.S. President Gerald R. Ford||1913||Leigh Guyer|
|1977||Roy Rogers and Dale Evans||1912||E.H. Groenendyke|
|1976||Kate Smith||1911||Dr. Ralph Skillen|
|1975||Henry L. “Hank” Aaron||1910||Dr. Francis F. Rowland|
|1974||Charles M. Schulz||1909||Walter S. Wright|
|1973||John Wayne||1908||Dr. Ralph Skillen|
|1972||Lawrence Welk||1907||Dr. Ralph Skillen|
|1971||Reverend Billy Graham||1906||John B. Miller|
|1970||Apollo 12 Astronauts: Alan L. Bean, Charles Conrad Jr., Richard F. Gordon Jr.||1905||Dr. Francis F. Rowland|
|1969||Bob Hope||1904||Dr. Francis F. Rowland|
|1968||Everett Dirksen||1903||C.C. Reynolds|
|1967||Thanat Khoman||1902||C.C. Reynolds|
|1966||Walt Disney||1901||Charles Daggett|
|1965||Arnold Palmer||1900||Charles Daggett|
|1964||Former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower||1899||Martin H. Weight|
|1963||Dr. William H. Pickering||1898||Martin H. Weight|
|1962||Albert D. Rosellini||1897||Edwin Stearns|
|1961||William F. Quinn||1896||Edwin Stearns|
|1960||U.S. Vice President Richard M. Nixon||1895||Dr. H.H. Sherk|
|1959||E.L. “Bob” Bartlett||1894||Dr. Francis F. Rowland|
|1958||Robert Gordon Sproul||1893||No Grand Marshal|
|1957||Eddie Rickenbacker||1892||Dr. Francis F. Rowland|
|1956||Charles E. Wilson||1891||No Grand Marshal|
|1955||Earl Warren||1890||Dr. Francis F. Rowland|
|1954||Gen. William F. Dean|
|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|
Download a PDF of our Grand Marshals from our Media Resources page under Historical Lists.