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Stinkin' Rose Parade

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During the past week since we posted about culinary legend Julia Child’s passing, LAist has been angrily stewing (so to speak) over a local issue related to the woman who transformed the way Americans perceive and experience food.

What a loss that the Pasadena native was never featured as Grand Marshal of the Tournament of Roses Parade. Ideally this should have happened in 2003, in commemoration of her 90th birthday year, but any point in the Rose Parade history would have been acceptable. Bill Cosby, Art Linkletter, and Fred Rogers served as co-Grand Marshals in 2003; the awesome Mr. Rogers died soon after so we can’t begrudge his having received this honor.

Nevertheless, Julia was an American treasure who any city would be thrilled to claim as its own. The flood of obituaries and remembrances for Ms. Child published since Friday has served as a steady reminder of this fact. PBS even accelerated the completion of Julia! America’s Favorite Chef, the documentary that aired last night.

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Pasadena squandered what could have been a special opportunity—shame on the Grand Marshal selection committee! (Unless she was offered the position and refused, so if that’s the case forgive this rancorous tirade.) Perhaps this insulting oversight has something to do with those terrible corny themes which, by the way, are in need of some serious revamping. 2005 is the year to “Celebrate Family,” and LAist is eager to see how inclusive the Tournament’s definition of “family” is.

For us Rose Parade disparagers (and fans), Charles Phoenix’s astonishingly amusing Southern California retro slide shows provide the best avenue for savoring decades of this ritual’s finest. But let’s get back to the future. Please feel free to share any compelling ideas for themes and/or Grand Marshals.