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Riverside County — from Riverside to Hemet — will be representing in 2018 Rose Parade

By in Press Enterprise on December 28, 2017

By Ryan Hagen, Craig Shultz

Millions of people will tune their televisions to the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day and see highlight after highlight from Riverside County.

Among those eagerly waiting for Riverside’s entry — the 90th out of the 93 entries — will be Gloria Bonokoski.

In 1950, when Bonokoski rode on the city’s first entry, none of her friends saw it on TV.

“Very few families had TVs in those days,” she said. “The first TV I saw was in 1949.”

Now 84 and still living in Riverside, Bonokoski was 16 when she tried out for the choir on the float, which had the theme of an Easter sunrise service on Mt. Rubidoux.

“I was an alto, and there were four of each (soprano, alto, tenor and bass), plus alternates,” she

Riverside singers appear in the city’s 1950 Rose Parade float. Photo courtesy of Gloria Bonokoski

said. “But when we got there, we all squeezed on. There were 20 of us, and it was pretty small.”

Riverside sponsored a float from 1950 until 1959, but it has had no official presence since. The Jan. 1, 2018, Tournament of Roses parade will be the first in a decade with a float sponsored by an Inland city — and the first in nearly 60 years sponsored by the city of Riverside.

As it returns to the parade this year, Riverside will be joined by other Inland participants. They will include performers from “Ramona,” the iconic Hemet outdoor play about injustice to California Indians in the late 1800s; “the B.O.S.S.” or “Bands of Santiago Sharks, the marching band of Santiago High School in Corona; and Donate Life tributes to local organ donors.

“It allows us as a city to share the good things happening in Riverside,” said Mayor Rusty Bailey, who will walk beside his city’s float with wife, Judy.

Mission Inn replica

Riverside’s entry also […]    

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