Rose Parade celebrates NPS Centennial


The 2016 Rose Parade is themed “Find Your Adventure” and is a first-ever partnership with the National Park Service to celebrate the agency’s centennial.  

The Parade will consist of 44 floats, 20 bands, and 19 equestrian groups, including riders and mounts from the National Park Service, “The New Buffalo Soldiers,” and the Calizona Appaloosa Horse Club. This year’s grand marshal is documentarian/filmmaker Ken Burns, whose award-winning National Parks: America’s Best Idea documentary told the story of this country’s national parks.

Wood ‘N’ Horse on the Boulevard— The Calizona Appaloosa Horse Club’s parade group will bring to life the adventures of the Nez Perce and the Appaloosa breed’s ancestral past to parade-goers as they ride along the famous Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena during the Tournament of Roses Parade on Friday, Jan. 1, 2016.   

Steve and Christy Wood of Three Rivers will once again be participating as members of Calizona’s Equestrian Group. They will appear as the 67th entry, about two-thirds of the way through the Rose Parade, just after the Saratoga High School Marching Band (65) and the Shriners Hospitals for Children float (66). 

This is the fourth time Calizona has been honored with the opportunity to show off the Appaloosa on New Year’s Day. The club also was represented in the parade on New Year’s Day in 2010, 2012, and 2014. 

Christy trains her horses to participate in the parade by exposing them to loud music while they’re being ridden. In previous years, she’s utilized Joe the Drummer’s one-man percussion trailer. This year, it was a college student with a drum set.

Riding in their elaborate regalia, Calizona’s parade entry is dedicated to and will commemorate the Appaloosa Horse Club’s Chief Joseph Trail Ride, of which the final segment of the 13-year journey will take place in July 2016. Christy has participated in this challenging ride during this current cycle and will be part of the group riding the final leg this summer. 

As adventurous as it is historic, the Chief Joseph Trail Ride is a celebrated event, crossing through several national parks. There is also a National Historic Trail designated in commemoration of the 1877 flight of the Nez Perce.       

Calizona’s Equestrian Group is comprised of 14 mounted riders, including Steve and Christy, with four new members that will experience their first Rose Parade ride. The group will also participate in the Tournament of Roses Equestfest, which precedes the New Year’s Day parade. 

Equestfest will be held Tuesday, Dec. 29, beginning at noon, at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. This event allows the public to view all of the 2016 Rose Parade equestrian teamsand watch beautiful horses and talented riders perform drills, dances, trick-riding, and roping. 

Attendees may stroll through the stables, talk to riders, and learn about the various tack, breeds, and themes while also enjoying the vendor court.

National Park Service rides again— During the parade, National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis will lead the National Park Service Equestrian Unit featuring agency employees, volunteers, and partners.  The equestrian unit will pay homage to America’s past with riders depicting the historic Buffalo Soldiers; the present with pack horses, mounted rangers, and U.S. Park Police; and the future with junior rangers who represent the next generation of park stewards.

National Park Service spreads the message— Also preceding the January 1 parade is a three-day extravaganza called “Live on Green Pasadena.” Three Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks employees will make the trek south to participate in the event to spread the word about these local parks.

Mike Theune, fire education officer; Dana Dierkes, public information officer; and Christy Brigham, chief of resource management, will represent Sequoia-Kings Canyon. Held from December 29 to 31, Live on Green offers free admission and is expected to attract between 40,000 and 60,000 attendees.

There will be live music and other performers, food and drink prepared by guest chefs, games and entertainers for kids and teens, and seven “zones of fun” where attendees will learn about the hundreds of national park locations and what is special about each one.

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