Pasadena may have the Tournament of Roses, Arcadia may boast of being the home of the Rose Queens and Sierra Madre may have a prize winning float, but what’s a parade without a band? That’s were Monrovia comes into the picture. Well, maybe not this year, but the first band ever entered in the Rose Parade was from Monrovia, way back in 1891.
Monrovia’s City Band was founded just 18 months before the parade, in June of 1889. At that time the band was a bit heavy on horns featuring five Cornets, three Alto, two Tenor, one Baritone and two Bass Horns (in different keys) and light on reeds, having only one Piccolo and one Clarinet. The band was kept in tempo with one snare drum, one bass drum and a cymbalist.
By the time of this formal portrait, the group had grown to include two clarinets and a couple of trombones.
There may more glamour in what other cities provide, but Monrovia can take pride in its historic addition to the January 1st tradition.