First Time at Bandfest and Ronald Reagan Library

Wednesday was scheduled to be the longest day of the week long itinerary. Bandfest, where some of the Rose Parade bands play, was first, and then the Ronald Reagan library afterwards.  Although it makes for a long day, I understand now why they split it.  The band event last two days and if you are a marching band enthusiast I can certainly understand why you would want to attend both days, but for us a few hours was definitely enough.  Unfortunately my high school marching band, Grove City High School, was not scheduled for band fest but I was still glad to see a bit of it. The event is held at Pasadena Community College, alma mater for Penny from Big Bang, and the campus was very nice.  When we walked in we were given little drums and sticks and then this very energetic woman talked us through playing some rudimentary songs.  It was fun and the crowd, myself included, really got into it, plus it was a great way to kill time while everyone got seated.

Some of the Pasadena College band played outside while we were waiting in line

Some of the Pasadena College band played outside while we were waiting in line

These cool cut statues were artwork around the campus

These cool cut statues were artwork around the campus

The drums they gave us

The drums they gave us

The couple who led the crowd participation before the event

The couple who led the crowd participation before the event

First up is the Pasadena City College Honor band which is comprised of current students, alumni, and some of the best and brightest from southern California high schools.  I was particularly impressed by the herald section which walks in front of the rose princess float and the baton twirler who was absolutely excellent and really beautiful.  It’s a dying art baton twirler and I know how hard it is as I spent many hours as a child trying to master it….never quite managed.

The heralds play 15 new compostions every year during the 5 mile parade march

The heralds play 15 new compositions every year during the 5 mile parade march

I always loved the Herald's capes and it was great seeing them close up

I always loved the bands capes and it was great seeing them close up

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The band marching onto the field

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Very excited to see male flag persons. That would never have happened 30 years ago

Very excited to see male flag persons. That would never have happened 30 years ago

The baton twirler

The baton twirler

Next was the Albany State College Marching band. Their dancers were great and it was the long time dream of the band director to take his group to the parade

Next was the Albany State College Marching band. Their dancers were great and it was the long time dream of the band director to take his group to the parade

Marching in the Rose Bowl Parade is the "Super Bowl" for marching bands and they have to go through a rigorous competition process to make it

Marching in the Rose Bowl Parade is the “Super Bowl” for marching bands and they have to go through a rigorous competition process to make it

This group did some things I have never seen before. Very cool

This group did some things I have never seen before. Very cool

The Virginia Military Institute had both a band and a piping team. They were my favorite

The Virginia Military Institute had both a band and a piping team. They were my favorite

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After the military group we walked back to the bus early.  We were in the direct sun and as the morning went on I went from coat to fleece to short sleeve shirt and was still very hot.  Plus I needed a little people break.  We were eating lunch on the bus (Panera Catering which was very good) as we drove from Pasadena to Simi Valley and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. This is by far the biggest presidential library in the country (made possible by generous contributions from Boone Pickens) and has an entire Air Force One plane inside of it, as well as Marine One and a presidential limosuine. It really was impressive, plus they had a special Christmas tree exhibit (with themed trees for each country President Reagan visited) and a football memorabilia gallery since he was such a football fan and was in a movie about Notre Dame. I liked the museum much better than I thought I would and absolutely recommend it (regardless of your political affiliations) if you are ever in the area.

Nice statue of President and Mrs Reagan you could pose with

Nice statue of President and Mrs Reagan you could pose with

Arguably the slogan than won his first presidential election

Arguably the slogan than won his first presidential election

Couldn't resist standing behind the podium

Couldn’t resist standing behind the podium

The outfit First Lady Nancy wore to the inauguration

The outfit First Lady Nancy wore to the inauguration

Couldn't resist standing behind the podium

Couldn’t resist standing behind the podium

The outfit First Lady Nancy wore to the inauguration

The outfit First Lady Nancy wore to the inauguration

The suit he was in when he was shot

The suit he was in when he was shot.  The white circle (1B) is the bullet hole

And an exray showing how close the bukllet was to his heart. I had no idea it was that close

And an x-ray showing how close the bullet was to his heart. I had no idea it was that close

I think everyone can agree with this statement

I think everyone can agree with this statement

A complete reproduction to scale of his oval office along with the actual chair he sat in . Very neat

A complete reproduction to scale of his oval office along with the actual chair he sat in . Very neat

He was fond of western art

He was fond of western art

He kept a daily diary and those entries have been made available

He kept a daily diary and those entries have been made available

I loved some of the gifts he received while in office

I loved some of the gifts he received while in office

This stautue was given by the First LAdy of France to commemorate the centennial of the gift of the Statue of Liberty

This stautue was given by the First Lady of France to commemorate the centennial of the gift of the Statue of Liberty

Many of Nancy's outfits. She was pretty tiny

Many of Nancy’s outfits. She was pretty tiny.  I like her taste in clothes.

The coolest thing was a complete Air Force One Plane. It was dissamsembled and reassembled here with the building being built around it

The coolest thing was a complete Air Force One Plane. It was disassembled and reassembled here with the building being built around it.  See how the wheel is mounted on a giant pillar

See how the wheel is mounted on a giant pillar

See how the wheel is mounted on a giant pillar

 

They also have his MArine One helicopter which they have just recently opened for tours

They also have his Marine One helicopter which they have just recently opened for tours

And his 1983 limosine

And his 1983 limosine

One wall was all glass three stories tall with an amazing view

One wall was all glass three stories tall with an amazing view

The line for Air Force One was pretty long, but that is what we wanted to see the most.  Even though they said no pictures, they let us take them as long as we kept the line moving.  Have to say it doesn’t look anything like what you see on TV or in the news.  Much smaller than I thought it would be.

Communication center time zones

Communication center with time zones

The presidents chair used by Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and both Bush

The presidents chair used by Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and both Bush

The First Lady's room

The First Lady’s room

Senior Staff area

Senior Staff area

Loved the typewriter

Loved the typewriter

Security area

Security area

The very small galley even had its own white house dishes

The very small galley even had its own white house dishes

It didn't meet expectations but both of us were glad we got to see it

It didn’t meet expectations but both of us were glad we got to see it

Lisa, who is waving, is our tour leader. She's awesome

Lisa, who is waving, is our tour leader. She’s awesome

I really enjoyed standing on the steps of Marine One

I really enjoyed standing on the steps of Marine One

Now this is more like it

Now this is more like it

They had Santa flying the copter

They had Santa flying the copter

With a marine standing guard

With a marine standing guard

This very nice man took this pic of us

A very nice man took this pic of us

And his 1983 limosine

And his 1983 limosine

Next we had a little snack and then continued with the tour.  The building is three floors and built a bit like IKEA where you have to follow the path, but we did have plenty of time with our 4 hours to see everything we wanted.

The perfect snack. Caffeine, Sugar, and salt

The perfect snack. Caffeine, Sugar, and salt

Nice statues of the famous meetings between Reagan and Gorbachev with video playing behind

Nice statues of the famous meetings between Reagan and Gorbachev with video playing behind

I particularly appreciated that they included a timeline of the Iran Contra scandal. They didn't gloss over the more negative aspects

I particularly appreciated that they included a timeline of the Iran Contra scandal. They didn’t gloss over the more negative aspects

One of the coolest rooms had several saddles and belt buckles

One of the coolest rooms had several saddles and belt buckles

This saddle was gifted to him by Gorbachev. I wonder if he ever used it?

This saddle was gifted to him by Gorbachev. I wonder if he ever used it?

Many dignitaries gave him custom belt buckles

Many dignitaries gave him custom belt buckles

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This full sized horse was great because you sat on it ...

This full sized horse was great because you sat on it …

And could take a picture with yourself riding with President Reagan

And could take a picture with yourself riding with President Reagan

It cracked me up that his Camp David jacket had his name on it!

It cracked me up that his Camp David jacket had his name on it!

The flag presented at his funeral

The flag presented at his funeral

His riding boots

His riding boots

In addition to the regular library items there were two extra exhibits.  One was a Christmas tree themed with decorations from every country President Reagan visited.  I really enjoyed those and there was a football exhibit because he was such a huge fan and I loved, loved that.  They also had a very nice gift shop with lots of variety and although we didn’t buy anything they were doing a brisk business.

Trinidad

Trinidad

Russia

Russia

This one was for the vatican and was beautiful

This one was for the vatican and was beautiful

Canada

Canada

Canada was great

Canada

My favorite was this China one

My favorite was this China one

Lots of cool Jerseys all worn in regulation play

Lots of cool Jerseys all worn in regulation play

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And old style jerseys

And old style jerseys

Memorabilia

Memorabilia

And a great collection of leather helmets

And a great collection of leather helmets

Ronald Reagan as he appeared in a movie about Notre Dame

Ronald Reagan as he appeared in a movie about Notre Dame

They even had a inflate gate demonstration area. I could tell the difference between the two inflated balls but it was pretty slight

They even had a inflate gate demonstration area. I could tell the difference between the two inflated balls but it was pretty slight

Doug Williams was the first African-American quarterback to win a super bowl and also the oldest at 44. I remember that game well

Doug Williams was the first African-American quarterback to win a super bowl and also the oldest at 44. I remember that game well

Doug presenting a Just Say No Jersey to Nancy

Doug presenting a Just Say No Jersey to Nancy

And here it is

And here it is

I got chills when I saw this MArcus Allen Heisman trophy

I got chills when I saw this Marcus Allen Heisman trophy

The grounds are also very beautiful and since the museum is up on a hill the views are spectacular.  Plus he is buried on the property and you can visit the site.  This makes my third presidential burial site, the others being John F. Kennedy and FDR.  One of the people in our group, Harvey, has visted all of the presedential libraries except Herbert Hoovers and says this is by far the largest.

The view

The view

A piece of the Berlin Wall that was presented to him

A piece of the Berlin Wall

The roses were still in bloom despite the chilly weather

The roses were still in bloom despite the chilly weather

Was not thrilled to see this sign..yikes

Was not thrilled to see this sign..yikes

The back of the museum. Since it is built on a hill this is actually the third floor

The back of the museum. Since it is built on a hill this is actually the third floor

The Seal on his grave

The Seal on his grave

The back of the grave

The back of the grave

And the front. IT faces the setting sun

And the front. It faces the setting sun

It was a long day, but a really cool museum and I am glad I went since this is probably not something I would have done on my own.  We hit rush hour traffic though and didn’t get back until 7pm so it was a 12 hour day.  So glad we have New Years Eve day off so I can catch up on some things and then the Rose Bowl Parade!!!!!

6 thoughts on “First Time at Bandfest and Ronald Reagan Library

  1. I have loved reading about your past few days. I loved the information on the floats and the Disney one you worked on. I did get to see that one on TV this morning. Very cool. You are a rock star!! I really enjoyed all the great picture of the Reagan Library. That is on our list to do and now even more so. Thanks again for all the great information and wonderful pictures. I loved all the horse pictures and videos. The dogs are so cute. Happy New Year.

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