Happy New Year! Hope you had a wonderful holiday season. This year, we rang in the New Year with the Eastern time zone, so that we could leave at 5:30 a.m. Pacific time to attend the 119th Rose Parade. After fighting traffic in the car and fighting traffic by foot, we finally found our spot at the corner of Orange Grove Blvd. and Colorado Blvd., just minutes before the U.S. Navy flyover.
As I watched the amazing bands round the corner, I couldn’t help but reminisce about my own experience there on Jan. 1, 1996.
The Northwestern Wildcats had not had a Rose Bowl birth since 1949, so it seemed like the entire university flew out to Pasadena to cheer us on. I remember marching toward the mountains on Colorado Blvd. and soaking in the view, the sun and the purple crowd.
Here are a few of my most memorable Rose Bowl moments:
• A 4 a.m. wakeup call on New Year’s day (and I thought 5 a.m. was early this year)
• The float in front of us breaking down—giving us needed rest—and strangers in the crowd offering us water
• Actor Charlton Heston shaking my hand backstage at a Northwestern concert and variety show
• Rehearsals in the dark
• A purple sunset (surely that meant Northwestern would win) and a dip in the ocean—which I would never dare to do now—on New Year’s Eve
• The crushing loss, then a voice in the crowd shouting out, “Northwestern may have lost the game, but it won halftime.”
So as I watched those bands make the turn, I know firsthand about the time, commitment and energy involved. I also know their love of every grueling minute— on the bus, on the six-mile march and on the field.
Christine Ngeo Katzman
Publisher & Editor-in-Chief
P.S. Congratulations to Eddie Carden and Elizabeth Geli, Halftime Magazine interns and members of the USC Trojan Marching Band, who made their third straight trip to the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl.