By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– January 1, 2020 marks not only New Year’s Day and the annual Tournament of Roses® Parade, but kicks off a year of 400th anniversary festivities for the descendants of those who came to America aboard the Mayflower and landed in what is now Plymouth, MA in November 1620. To commemorate the anniversary, the California Society of Mayflower Descendants is sponsoring a float in the parade—positioned #6 in the lineup—that will have been decorated solely by Mayflower descendants and their families and friends.
The theme of this year’s parade is the Power of Hope, and the Mayflower float is themed Voyage of Hope – 1620.Designed and built by Fiesta Parade Floats, the Voyage of Hope – 1620 float is based on the original Mayflower ship. Visually, the float may dispel myths about our Pilgrim ancestors, who have earned a false reputation for wearing only black and buckles. In reality, as the Mayflower descendants who ride the float will illustrate, the Pilgrims wore colorful garb in their daily life—black fabric was too expensive and was mostly saved for special occasions.
Both the California Society of Mayflower Descendants and its national parent organization, the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, have education as their mission—specifically, American history education, which is of particular relevance today, with so much attention focused on the Constitution and its meaning. An oft-forgotten fact is that a crude document, the Mayflower Compact, drawn up on board the Mayflower as she anchored in Provincetown Harbor off the coast of Cape Cod that first winter, formed the foundation of American democracy and governance.
The Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of California is a non-profit lineage society dedicated to preserving the history of our Mayflower ancestors through education and research. Members are active participants in the documenting of tens of thousands of Mayflower ancestral lines that may otherwise be lost to history. Members are also provided an opportunity for fellowship with others who share a common ancestry and are interested in advancing awareness of the history and contributions of the Pilgrims.
The General Society of Mayflower Descendants was established in 1897 to honor Pilgrim ancestors and keep their story alive. The Mayflower Society has established a network of more than 150,000 descendants all over the world who form lifelong bonds, cherish the sacred memory of their ancestors and continue their legacy through purpose, preservation, and education.