In an innovative presentation, the 126th Tournament of Roses Parade “Inspiring Stories” was divided into five distinct chapters. The second chapter, Heritage and Vision, opened with a salute to Hawaii, the home state of 2015 Pres. Richard Chinen.
The Hawaii Pa’u Riders, in their 10th Rose Parade appearance, led off the chapter in costumes representing the eight major Hawaiian Islands. Pres. Chinen and his family followed in a 1925 Yellowstone Touring Bus. Read more about that in “Rose Parade rides: Getting from the garage to Colorado Blvd.”
The Maui High School “Saber” Marching Band and Color Guard, with dancers and flaggies in brilliant pink and the band in crisp blue and white uniforms and colorful leis brought the music of the islands to Pasadena. A small band at 136, it nonetheless had a strong sound. Photos and details for these entries are in the list attached to this article.
The Dole Packaged Foods “Rhythm of Hawaii” float was the last entry in the Hawaiian-themed grouping. It won the Sweepstakes Trophy for the fifth time in a row.
For links to all articles about the 2015 Rose Parade winners, bookmark “A book with chapters: The 2015 Rose Parade in photos and words.” For the trophy winners, read “Rose Parade floats 2015: Who won in the 126th Tournament of Roses Parade.” Please post comments on Facebook at All Things Rose Parade.
President Richard Chinen
Tournament of Roses President Richard Chinen with his wife Kim wave enthusiastically at the crowds at the 2015 Rose Parade. Born in Japan and reared in Hawaii, Chinen and his family wore profuse leis of maile, orchids, kukui nuts, and other flowers. Chinen came up with the parade theme “Inspiring Stories” and the idea of dividing the entries into five chapters.
A family affair
The Richard Chinen family rode down Colorado Blvd. in a 1925 Yellowstone Touring Bus decorated by FTD floral designers. Family members included Richard and his wife Kim, and twin daughters Megan (Rose Queen in 2004) and husband Jesse Oakes, and Erin and husband Dave Palmer. The bus was found in a ditch in Elko, Nev. and was fully restored. It is owned by Barbra Carlsburg and displayed in the park every September by the Jammers group, named after the nickname for the original drivers.
Leiala Cook, dressed in the traditional pa’u riding garment with a velvet top (kepola) and satin skirt, leads the Hawaii Pa’u Riders in the 2015 Rose Parade. Her parents, John and Lita Cook, founded the group in 1981 and it has appeared in 10 Rose Parades since 1993. The leis worn by the horses are each made of 150 bundles of fresh Hawaiian flowers on ti leaf backings. Horses were introduced to Hawaii in 1803.
Color from the Islands
The eight princesses and their seven escorts in the Hawaii Pa’u Riders represent the eight major islands of Hawaii in the color of their clothing and leis: Oahu, yellow, ilima; Big Island, red, ohi’a lehua; Maui, pink, lokelani; Lanai, orange, kaunaona; Kauai, purple, mokihana; Molokai, green, kukui; Niihau, brown and white, niihau shells; Kahoolawe, grey and blue, ahinahina. The quarter horses, rented from Hart’s Ranch in Corona, Calif., have tack to match.
12 yards and 3 nuts
The pa’u was worn by Hawaiian royalty to cover their ball gowns to protect their formal gowns as they rode to events. Each pa’u bottom is 12 yards of fabric held together with three kukui nuts, which are rough and twisted into the fabric to hold it. The princesses wear a sating kepola and Hawaiian printed pa’u and the escorts wear printed kalakaua tops and black pants and a cowboy hat.
Maui High School Saber Band
The 136-member Maui High School Saber Marching Band and Colorguard made its first Rose Parade appearance in 2015. Director Kerry Wasano and Assistant Director Kristin Tanaka are both Maui High School graduates and were both drum majors when they were students. Other personnel are Ty Lim, Percussion Director; Ryan Yamamoto, Guard Caption Head; Edlyn Watabayashi, Guard Caption Head; Elizabeth Takamori, Hula Instructor.
Dancing in the street
Hawaii is a cultural melting pot, so many students in the band perform regularly in other cultural activities, such as hula, taiko, and traditional Filipino dance. The dancers perform a hula while the three drum majors and band dance for the cameras. Maui High School opened in 1913 and was the first academic high school on the island with 16 students. In 1972, the present campus opened in Kahului.
Music and flags
In an unusual arrangement, colorguard ranks intersperse with band ranks instead of marching at the back. This added color and excitement to the performance. Band uniforms were custom-designed by Fred J. Miller, Inc. in white and Blue Devil blue. Silver buttons and silver metallic lumina bars added accents to the jackets and gauntlets.
The bright colors of Hawaii are reflected in the pink dresses, red and yellow pompoms, and white leis, wristband, and ankle bracelets worn by the traditional Hawaiian dancers. The young women are part of the 29-member colorguard, which includes the flag girls that march with the unit. Elizabeth Takamori is the hula instructor.
A joyful colorguard member is the spirit of Hau’oli Makahiki Hou—Happy New Year. To have this happy new year, the Maui High School Band and Colorguard raised $300,000 by selling snacks and pizzas, car washes, and soliciting donations from the island community of 144,000. The State of Hawaii, County of Maui, and local companies and individuals also awarded grants to the organization. The “Parade of Dreams” Luau was attended by Richard and Kim Chinen, the Governor, Lt. Governor, one US Senator, State Legislators, the Mayor of Maui County, and County Council members.