The 2020 Tournament of Roses just got a whole more Latinx. On Tuesday, it was announced that the 2020 Tournament of Roses co-grand marshals would be the 87-year-old EGOT winner Rita Moreno, Olympic gold medalist Laurie Hernandez, and actress Gina Torres.
“That is the representation that I have always wanted to see as a little kid and now you have three generations of it,” the 19-year-old gymnast told ABC 7. Hernandez, who is of Puerto Rican descent, was a member of the “Final Five” gold medal-winning U.S. women’s gymnastics team at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. She also won an individual silver medal.
Torres is a Cuban-American actress known for her roles in Suits and the spin-off Pearson as well as Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena: Warrior Princess, Alias, and Westworld. The 50-year-old actress told ABC 7, “At this point in my career, to actually be acknowledged as a Latina woman, having not been able to be that for a great part of my career, for me is an incredibly emotional experience.”
She also recalled how growing up in the Bronx, she and her mother would love watching the Puerto Rican Day Parade together. “My mom just stopped cold,” she recalls. “And then suddenly, at the top of her lungs, I heard her say: ‘Que viva Puerto Rico!’ and I said, ‘Mami, but we’re Cuban,’ and (my mom) said, ‘Not today! We’re all the same!'”
And Moreno, who made her grand entrance during the announcement ceremony on Tuesday in true Rita fashion, arrived dancing.
“It’s something I’ve watched on television all of my life, and that I would be asked to be one of the grand marshals for this extraordinary Rose Parade, I’m thrilled,” Moreno told ABC 7.
The Puerto Rican Oscar-winning actress and star of One Day at a Time later made a request that everyone dance and that they play a “Latino song” and the DJ delivered with Marc Anthony’s “Vivir Mi Vida.”
Their turn as grand marshals comes the same year the Tournament of Rose announced Laura Farber its first-ever Latina president in the parade’s 130-year history.
Farber has been involved with the tournament for 26 years now, she came to the U.S. as a child from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She and her husband, Tomas Lopez who is an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, chose the theme for this year’s parade to be “The Power of Hope.”
“Our families came here because this country represented a beacon of hope,” she said during the grand marshal ceremony. “Hope of freedom of expression, of association, of speech, of education, and of economic opportunities.”
This year there will also be more Latinx bands at the parade including one from Mexico and others from Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, and El Salvador. The parade will take place on January 1, 2020, in Pasadena, California.
“At a time when the country and the world is most divided, our celebration and our parade will bring everyone together,” Farber told the Pasadena Star-News.
We applaud the Tournament of Roses for truly stepping up and including the Latinx community and providing such a grand platform for a trio of women of color with Caribbean roots with a South American Latina leading the helm.