Strutters Keep Rose Parade In Step
While Rose Parade spectators focus on lavish floats carrying the intricately adorned rose queen and members of her court or cheer for their favorite school band, The Strutters are there to make sure one of the largest events of its kind in the region goes on without a hitch, Texas Rose Festival spokesperson Victoria Ashworth said.
The Strutters will be most visible to the public on Saturday, the day of the parade. Early that morning, members line up the more than 130 entrants, which includes several bands, marching groups, floats, dignitaries and Shriner’s units.
The organization was founded in 1939, seven years after the first Rose Parade was held. Before 1939, the parade was organized by a committee of the festival association.
Strutters will be responsible for getting the units off in the right order, maintaining adequate spacing and dealing with any problems that may surface during the procession, which is viewed annually by thousands.
This year, the Strutters are led by Chris Jones. Other officers of the Strutters are Richard McKellar, Heath Henry, Tab Lawhorn, Fred Haberle, Scott Knight and David Dial.
“Preparation does not happen overnight. In fact, it takes place throughout much of the year. Strutters meet to assess how things went following the parade and discuss how the parade can be improved in the future,” Ms. Ashworth said.
A pre-parade show in Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium will begin at 8:45 a.m. and includes the Tyler Junior College Apache Belles, TJC Marching Band and Dance-N-Drill Flyers.
West-side stadium tickets are available through the Cowan Center by calling 903-566-7424. Tickets will also be available the day of the event. Tickets are $3.
The parade will step off at 9 a.m. on Front Street at Glenwood Boulevard. The route continues west to the East Texas Fairgrounds and ends inside Rose Stadium.