Wednesday, January 1, 2020

The 1969 Tournament of Roses Parade

Happy New Year, everyone! I thought for today, we'd travel back to January of 1969. While I have never been to an actual Tournament of Roses Parade, my family has gone a few times to view the "parked" floats after the parade, and this was one of those years. My dad took the color snapshots of the floats, included in today's post.

The parade's theme was, "A Time To Remember."

This Dr. Pepper-sponsored float was titled, "Playmates" and featured the characters from the story of Pinocchio. Walt Disney's Pinocchio was reissued in 1962 and 1971, so this would have been in between re-releases. I wonder if these were not supposed to be the Disney version of the Pinocchio characters?

A photo of the float, appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

Here is the original artwork for the float, taken from the Official Parade Program. The artwork definitely looks like the Disney characters.

After writing last month's post, I thought it would be fun to show some childhood toys (again), that relate to the floats in my dad's pictures. Here is my brother's Pinocchio marionette, which we saw in last month's post.

My brother and I also had a few Pinocchio children's records. Each of them included a song "From The Original Soundtrack" on one side, and "A Story From Pinocchio" on the other side. I've always liked the artwork on the Disney 45 RPM record sleeves.

We also had this "non-Disney" Pinocchio record.

Next, we have the Sunkist Growers' float titled, "Return of Doctor Dolittle." The original version of Dr. Dolittle (with Rex Harrison playing the title character), had been released in theaters thirteen months earlier, in December of 1967.

My brother and I had quite a few Colorforms sets, including this Doctor Dolittle set. Does anyone remember the jingle from the Colorforms commercials?

♪♬ "It's fun to play, the Colorforms way!" ♬♪

For those of you who aren't familiar with Colorforms, Wikipedia gives this description of them: "Colorforms is a creative toy named for the simple shapes and forms cut from colored vinyl sheeting that cling to a smooth backing surface without adhesives. These pieces are used to create picture graphics and designs, which can then be changed countless times by re-positioning the removable color forms."

Colorforms are still manufactured today. For a decade by decade history, check out their official site at:

Here's the background for the Doctor Doolittle play set.

And here are some of the pieces. Unfortunately, a few of the pieces were lost over the years.

This photo from eBay, shows what the complete set would have looked like.

The instruction booklet gave an example, of how you could arrange the pieces.

Getting back to the parade, the "Friends of Dr. Seuss" float was sponsored by the City of South Pasadena and featured The Cat In The Hat, as well as other Dr. Seuss characters.

The Cat In The Hat book was written by Theodor Geisel under the pen name, Dr. Seuss and was first published in 1957. This float would have been appearing in the parade two years before the book was adapted into an animated television special.

My mom enrolled my brother and I, in a "book club" for the Dr. Seuss books. I can't remember the frequency, but every so often (maybe monthly?), we would receive a new book in the mail.

Back then, the books came with dust jackets. It appears that the original books, with their dust jackets still intact, go for big bucks on ebay!

St. Paul, Minnesota sponsored a float titled, "Minnesota Fun - Winter and Summer." The float featured a giant "jack-in-the-box," representing Minnesota's Winter Carnival.

My brother had a generic "clown" version of a jack-in-the-box toy:

And I had a "Flipper" version, which was given to me on my third birthday. Neither one of our jack-in-the-box toys survives today, but I found the ones that we had, on eBay.

This Universal Studios-sponsored float was titled, "Remember When." After the parade, the float was taken to Universal Studios and could be viewed by guests on the tram tour. This photo is used here, courtesy of "Matterhorn1959" (and originally appeared on his blog, "Stuff From The Park," in September of 2012.)

I'm including a few other pages, from the Official Parade Program.

The 1969 Tournament of Roses Royal Court:

Information on post-parade viewing of the floats in Victory Park:

Various advertisements from the Official Parade Program:

The back cover of the program:

Once again, a VERY happy New Year to all!