Asbarez: Armenian Float Wins ‘Grand Marshal’ Award at 135th Rose Parade

Members of the American Armenian Rose Float Association and performers from Lilia Margaryan Dance Studio pictured with the “Armenian Melodies” float

The American Armenian Rose Float Association’s 2024 float entry, “Armenian Melodies,” won the “Grand Marshal” award for Most Outstanding Creative Concept and Float Design at the 135th Tournament of Roses.

This year marked the 6th anniversary of the American Armenian Rose Float Association’s participation in the iconic parade.

Inspired by the strength of Armenian matriarchs throughout history, “Armenian Melodies” featured dynamic Armenian mother and daughter figures dressed in vibrant, traditional garb —“taraz” — surrounded by important symbols within Armenian heritage and culture. Tying in perfectly with the 135th Tournament of Roses theme of “Celebrating a World of Music,” “Armenian Melodies” showcased several musical instruments endemic to Armenia.

The “Armenian Melodies” float captured the heroism of Armenian mothers as exemplars of determination, resilience and fortitude in the face of centuries of upheaval. The float was a reminder that, through their steadfast support, Armenian mothers inspire their families and communities to persevere, even through turbulent times.

The float featured Armenian birds that are indigenous to the Armenian Highlands, including the crane, chukar and little ringed plover. Traditional wind and percussion instruments native to Armenia were also on display. Instruments included on the float were: the duduk, shvi, blul, parkapzuk, as well as the dhol and nagara.

Other objects symbolic to Armenian culture, made entirely of flowers, were also on display on the “Armenian Melodies” float, including the AARFA’s tricolor logo, pomegranates, apricots, and an “arevakhatch” or sun cross, which symbolizes eternal life.

Lilia Margaryan Dance Studio, based in Glendale, also took part n the 135th Tournament of Roses. A total of 10 students performed alongside the American Armenian float throughout the parade’s 6.5-mile route.

AARFA is a nonprofit organization for the sole purpose of presenting the American Armenian community’s achievements to the world. Help AARFA continue this tradition by donating online.

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS