Claudia S. Alaniz
The 133rd Rose Parade took more than two years to prepare.
It was five years for Tournament of Roses President Dr. Robert Miller. Before the start of the 2020 Rose Parade, Pasadenan was already planning – coming up with a theme, making a list of applicants for chief marshals.
But production planning for 2021 was stopped, as in most other countries, in the spring of 2020. In the summer of 2020, tournament officials canceled the parade due to concerns over COVID-19. The celebration was canceled only three times, during the war, in 1942, 1943 and 1945.
For Miller, a return in 2022 is important not only for Pasadena, but also for millions of viewers around the world.
“Every New Year we celebrate new beginnings. This year we will be able to celebrate healthy new beginnings, with the hope of a new year out of darkness into light. “
Having volunteered for the tournament for over 35 years, Miller stuck to the theme planned for the 2021 Parade: “Dream. Believe. Achieve.”
The topic, mainly related to education, will now also be devoted to “science and scientists, first responders, health workers – they helped us get through the last 18+ months”.
Miller said. “More than anything else, we put on a parade that shouts, ‘We’re coming back.’ America is strong and we can get through the toughest of times, especially the pandemic. ” “
Miller noted that public health and safety is a priority, asking all volunteers and staff to be vaccinated and follow the guidelines and policies of local and government officials.
“We work with (our thousands of members) to make sure they follow the rules. It is our responsibility to ensure that people are as safe as possible, ”Miller said.
Tournament volunteers continue to spend thousands of hours in the community helping people in need during the pandemic.
Miller’s long career in education includes 20+ years at Pasadena City College, where he held several positions including president.
“I am passionate about getting a community college education for the first generation and underprivileged people and breaking the cycle of illiteracy and poverty,” he said.
Miller knows the challenges faculty and students faced during the pandemic when they switched to online education. Early in his career, he worked for a telecourse consortium in the late 1970s.
“There is still a lot to be said for personal learning, but with the onset of a pandemic, a pandemic comes, and if necessary, it moves into online education,” he said.
Levard Burton, as Chief Marshal 2022, was a perfect fit for Miller’s theme and achievement through education.
“Education is a great equalizer,” he said. “Levar, a child of divorce whose single mother was an educator, worked so that they, too, could rise above their humble beginnings.”
The longtime actor and presenter, including over 20 years of Reading Rainbow, continues to be involved in supporting literacy for all.
Viewers can expect more extras at this year’s parade, but Miller is thrilled with the groups participating this year.
“We have 20 incredible groups to overcome and survive,” Miller said. “Last year, fundraising was incredibly difficult and with the pandemic it was not easy.”
One venue will feature 295 band leaders, riding or walking, representing all states, including Mexico.
“This is a salute to group leaders who not only teach work ethics, teamwork (and) discipline, but also the life skills that music education provides,” Miller said.
The Millers will turn the Parade into a family event with Miller, his wife Barbara (with whom he decorated floats in the early 1970s), their son and his wife, daughter and her husband, four grandchildren and his nine-year-old mother, traveling through Colorado. The boulevard meets 2022.