It's one of the most celebrated and anticipated parades in North American and when it travels Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, CA on New Year's Day, two Cochrane musicians will be among those performing.
Drummer Jared Smith, 19, and flutist Jasmin Lemmon, 16, and the other 150-plus members of the Calgary Stampede Showband will be showcasing the talent of the famed youth band. They are the only Canadian marching band at this year's parade and are among the anticipated 22 performing to the delight of thousands lining the streets and millions watching the broadcast around the world.
Both Smith and Lemmon are excited to be part of today’s parade for the first time.
“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s going to be very cool,” says Smith, who’s in his fourth year with the showband.
This will be only the fourth time the Stampede showband has participated in the Rose Parade.
"It’s such an amazing experience, not only the Rose Parade but everything involved around it," says showband manager Ryan Hancock.
Since the fall, the band has been preparing, both musically and physically. The parade is just under 9 km in length and is three hours in duration.
"We’ve gone really hard with the learning and practising and we have six pieces ready to perform," says Hancock. "That's probably the most we’ll have performed in a parade since we did the last Rose Parade in 2012."
"It’s going to take about three hours to go from the beginning of the parade to the end of the parade and not only are they marching but they’re playing all the way through it, so there’s a lot of physical demand on the body."
The showband also participating in 1997 and 2003.
The showband has a record number of members this year and while Smith will soon be leaving soon, Lemmon has just begun. She thoroughly enjoys being a member of the showband and was thrilled to be selected in her first audition.
“It’s so much fun,” she says. “It was a dream of mind when I first started playing the flute, so it’s pretty cool for me to being doing this now.”
Known as the Tournament of Roses Parade at its inception in 1890, the parade has always included flowery creations and a large number of marching bands from across the US and later the world. Because the parade takes place while most of American’s major cities of the day were under snow, flowers were used as a theme to showcase the "paradise" experienced by residents of the California city.
Smith and Lemmon were also scheduled to appear with the Stampede showband at the 2018 Grey Cup but poor road conditions forced the cancellation of the trip.