Valley Hunt Club

The Valley Hunt Club is a private social club located in Pasadena, California, that is most noted for starting the Tournament of Roses Parade in 1890. Its members were former residents of the East and Midwest eager to showcase their new home's mild winter weather. "In New York, people are buried in snow," announced Professor Charles F. Holder at a Club meeting. "Here our flowers are blooming and our oranges are about to bear. Let's hold a festival to tell the world about our paradise."

During the next few years, the festival expanded to include marching bands and motorized floats. The games on the town lot (which was re-named Tournament Park in 1900) included ostrich races, bronco busting demonstrations and a race between a camel and an elephant (the elephant won). Reviewing stands were built along the parade route, and Eastern newspapers began to take notice of the event. In 1895, the Tournament of Roses Association was formed to take charge of the festival, which had grown too large for the Valley Hunt Club to handle. Members each year enter a carriage pulled by friesian horses with out riders.

The Valley Hunt Club continues to be located at 520 South Orange Grove Boulevard, CA 91105, which is the Formation Area of each year's Rose Parade and near Tournament House . While still a private social club, the Valley Hunt Club has become more inclusive in the twenty-first century. With the exception of the Wrigley Mansion, the current home of the Tournament of Roses Association, and the Bissell House, the mansions of midwestern magnates that once stood alongside the Club on Orange Grove Avenue have been replaced by condominium and apartment complexes.

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