Collector's Rose Parade trophies reflect a return to tradition

Collector's Rose Parade trophies reflect a return to tradition
The Sweepstakes Trophy is given to the winner of the Sweepstakes Award on Jan. 1 at the Tournament of Roses Parade. (Courtesy Pasadena Tournament of Roses)

Although Glendale did not enter a float in this year's Tournament of Roses Parade, one woman has preserved two vintage parade trophies as a reminder of the city's former winning ways.

Shushanik Devine, who moved to Glendale from Europe in 1997, is a private collector. At a New York auction almost 20 years ago, Devine bought two sterling silver Rose Parade trophies that were previously awarded to Glendale during the early 1900s.

Devine is today living in Burbank with her husband and has preserved the Glendale trophies in her home. She recently shared the treasures with Tournament of Roses Assn. officials after discovering that the organization was going to reintroduce silver trophies as prizes for the best floats this year.

"The float means a lot to the people who are working on them, Devine said last week. "I'm very glad [the Rose Parade is] bringing the tradition back. People will get more excited. They will be more proud of the job ... they have done. It's very nice."

In Devine's collection is the 1929 Grand Sweepstakes bowl trophy and the 1930 Best Theme prize awarded to Glendale. Not since the 1930s has the Rose Parade awarded trophies to the winners of its float competitions.

Terry Madigan, chair of the Tournament of Roses judging committee, said no comprehensive records exist on the location of the early float trophies, and he has only recently began to see them appear at auctions.

Roughly two dozen trophies have been donated to the the organization, and they are often stored for display at the official headquarters of the Tournament of Roses Assn., known as Tournament House.

"There's no specific reason [why we brought them back] other than we are an organization that puts a lot of value into our traditions, and I think we had all looked at those trophies every time we were in the house and wondered why we stopped them," Madigan said.

A sterling silver cup, designed by a company in Connecticut, was given to this year's Sweepstakes Award winner. A replica of the trophy with the engraved name of the winner will be on display at Tournament House.

"We're really excited to restart this tradition," Madigan said.


Jeff Landa,

Twitter: @JeffLanda