Celebrating 50 Years | 1967 - 2017
Escorted Tours & Cruise Vacations

Tournament House the highlight of a yearly tradition

August 2, 2011 - 2:26am
Tournament House the highlight of a yearly tradition

Since 1895, the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California, has marked the beginning of a new year by offering vacationers a destination filled with flowers, music and celebration. However, out of all the pomp and circumstance, the presence of the famous Tournament House has often stood as one of the most recognizeable parts of the spectacle.

The history of the Tournament House owes much of its appeal to the estate of the late William Wrigley, Jr. The mansion was completed in 1914 and owned by Wrigley, the chewing gum mogul, until his death in 1958. Soon after, the stunning property was given to the city of Pasadena under the condition that it be the headquarter of the Tournament of Roses, and it has been ever since.

Though its outward presence, which is firmly rooted in Italian Renaissance style, is certainly impressive, the real appeal of the Tournament House is its interior. At 18,500 square-feet, the building fits in with the rest of the mansions on the so-called Millionaire's Row, and its 22 rooms are flush with photos, memorabilia and historical mementos from parades and Rose Bowl games passed.

Among the most well-known pieces in the home is the Waterford rose bowl that was created specifically for the 100th anniversary of the Tournament. Also on display are the crowns and tiaras worn by the revered Rose Queens and Princesses of yesteryear.

The grounds surrounding the Tournament House offer several gorgeous vistas, one of which is the Centennial Rose Garden, which features a number of flower varieties, including the rose developed specifically for the centennial.

In addition to the Centennial Rose Garden, the Wrigley Gardens are comprised of more than four acres of floral displays, including an impressive 1,500 varieties of flowers.

Each Tournament of Roses is certainly no small production, and requires the help of 935 members of the association as well as volunteers. The workers toil for a combined 80,000 hours to make sure that the Tournament House, as well as the parade, go off perfectly.