By Bennett Owen
Now that’s a passel of Palominos in Pasadena. 100 to be exact, symbolizing the centennial of Roy Rogers’ birth.
Horses and riders escorted a float honoring the “King of the Cowboys"…decorated with more than 11-thousand roses, five-thousand gerberas and 500 carnations…with Roy’s son and grandsons on board singing Happy Trails. In all, a fitting tribute to the memory of a man who embodied the cowboy spirit to a generation of youngsters the world over.
Aside from being a founding member of the Sons of the Pioneers, Rogers went on to star in 88 western movies, some with tongue firmly planted in cheek…
The Roy Rogers television show was also a hit and The Roy Rogers Riders Club had more than two million members in its heyday in the 1950s.
Of course this isn’t the first time the ‘Singing Cowboy’ rode the streets of Pasadena. He made seven appearances in all and, along with wife Dale Evans, was Grand Marshalls in 1977. Hmmm, Marshall…that’s fitting somehow. In 1954, Rogers rode a floral replica of his famed horse, Trigger.
A year later he helmed a float highlighting the Soap Box Derby…it just doesn’t get any more American than that.
As for the 2012 edition, his son, Roy Jr. commented, “Dad never made it to 100, but he’s looking down on this float with a smile.”