The Place Behind the Parade - NBC Southern California

The Place Behind the Parade

The Tournament House is HQ; you can tour it, too.

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    The Place Behind the Parade
    Courtesy of the Tournament of Roses Archives
    The Tournament House in Pasadena (Courtesy of the Tournament of Roses Archives)

    Every fine old home should have a name beyond its address. Several around Southern California do, but few are probably as instantly recognizable from their monikers as the Tournament House.

    The words "Tournament House" summon images of a particular parade, and roses, and queens, and gum king William Wrigley Jr., and Pasadena's regal Orange Grove Boulevard, which was once the thoroughfare for back-east swells looking for a slice of sunshine. And so those words should; the mansion at 391 S. Orange Grove is the wide-lawned, veranda-fronted headquarters for everything Tournament of Roses.

    We imagine the house is beyond bustling come the close of the year, but starting in February, on Thursdays, you can tour the building and see where the queen and her court prep and all the football memorabilia and various paintings and artworks. It's frankly grand, but then you'd expect and want that from the home that serves as the place where a world-famous, 122-year-old parade comes together, and its accompanying game, which itself is nearly a century old.

    Closing month for tours is August, because the getting ready for New Year's Day begins in earnest in September, not surprisingly. Learn more about the Tournament House, and how much Mr. Wrigley paid for it back in 1914. Okay, we'll say: $170,000. They're 1914 dollars, of course, but still. Fun fact.