Two Lutheran High Teachers to Appear in Rose Parade


Lutheran High School teachers Linda Varnes and Lyndsay Ermeling will proudly wave to about 450 million spectators Jan. 1 as they ride on the only religious float participating in the 111th Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena.

“It will be incredibly exciting,” said Ermeling, director of choral activities at Lutheran High. “I have watched the parade for as long as I can remember. It was always such a huge family event.”

The 50th annual Lutheran Hour Float, themed “Praise God Forever,” features a country church rendered in onion seed, white rice, grass and dried flower petals and surrounded by two large trees and fresh flowers. The float is sponsored by the International Lutheran Layman’s League.


Varnes, a teacher for 28 years, designed the 19 “stained-glass windows” that will be placed on the church and has contributed her artwork to five previous Lutheran floats.

“They have been a lot of fun to do,” said the Norco resident, who has watched the parade live three times. “A lot of people are going to see this, and what I hope they see is the face of Jesus.”

Varnes is also a 15-year member of the Petal Pushers, a group of 5,000 people between the ages of 13 and 85 that helps decorate a dozen of the 55 floats in the parade.

She said she spent 100 hours drawing the stained-glass depictions of Christ’s life. And based on her tireless efforts on this and past floats, the English teacher was among 12 people from around the world selected by the Layman’s League in April to be in the parade.

“More people see the artwork generated by the Rose Parade than most people have seen a masterpiece in a museum,” Varnes said.

Ermeling, who is a Lutheran High graduate and was named Miss California in 1996, is a representative of the Lutheran Layman’s League, an international organization of Lutheran volunteers.


Marissa Espino can be reached at (714) 966-5879