Serving the community: 2018 Rose Parade floats from cities and volunteer organizations

The City of Alhambra celebrated its 90th Rose Parade float with “Story Time,” a salute to the Civic Center Library’s 110th birthday. The bookworm is reading “Tales from the Alhambra,” the source of the city’s name, to his insect buddies.

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Cities and service organizations, such as the ones in the gallery below, present the attractions of their communities and accomplishments of their organizations through the visual impact of Rose Parade floats. These entries brought both beauty and fun to the 129th Tournament of Roses. Here’s the basic info on each; riders and flowering are in the captions. Be sure to check out the 2018 Rose Parade page for a listing of all the articles about floats on TheRoseExaminer.com.

  • Lions Clubs International, “Preserving Our Environment,” Phoenix Decorating Company, Michelle Lofthouse designer
  • South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, “Booster Club,” Self-Built
  • City of Alhambra, Calif., “Story Time,” Phoenix Decorating Company, Mike Abboud designer
  • Kiwanis International, “Racing to Serve Children,” Phoenix Decorating Company, Michelle Lofthouse
  • City of Carson, “Honoring the Past – Envisioning Our Future,” Fiesta Parade Floats, Art Aguirre designer
  • Lutheran Laymen’s League, “Bringing Christ to the Nations,” Phoenix Decorating Company, Michelle Lofthouse

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Los Angeles entries in 2018 Rose Parade date back 120 years

The 375-member Los Angeles Unified School District All District High School Honor Band made its 46th appearance in the 129th Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 1, 2018.

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

I will state my bias right up front. I am and always will be an Angeleno. I’ve lived in the Pasadena area for the past few decades, but my hometown is one of the many communities in the megalopolis that is LA. Thus, there is a bit of pride in seeing the longest-standing city entry—it goes back 120 years—rolling down the Tournament of Roses Parade route. The 2018 float was part of a cluster of entries representing Los Angeles. The theme of the 129th Tournament of Roses Parade was “Making a Difference.”

Salvation Army Tournament of Roses Band, based in Long Beach, represents the Greater Los Angeles area. The Salvation Army Church serves in 128 countries. The band invites guest Salvation Army bands from around the world to join them at the Rose Parade; this year, it was a band from Angola, dressed in traditional regalia. This marked the SA band’s 99th consecutive year in the Rose Parade. Kevin Larsson directs the LA band.

Los Angeles Police Department Metropolitan Division Mounted Platoon is committed to children in the Los Angeles area. Members volunteer time with kids in Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and with those who have lost parents in the line of duty. Some of these youngsters walked behind. The unit was joined by an LAPD Honor Guard and the LA Police Emerald Society Bagpipe & Drum Band. This was Chief Charlie Beck’s final Rose Parade appearance. He retired from the LAPD in June, 2018.

The Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board sponsors float for the City of Los Angeles. “Everyone Is Welcome,” designed by Mike Abboud for Fiesta Parade Floats, expresses the city’s love for and nurturing of one of the most diverse populations in the world. LA welcomes people of every race, culture, and gender identity, who fill the air with hundreds of different languages and the scents of scores of different cuisines in neighborhoods throughout the city.  At least 224 different languages are spoken by people from 140 countries.

Architecture ranges from the quirky lighted pylons at Los Angeles International Airport to the grandeur of the iconic Griffith Park Observatory, which the director calls “LA’s hood ornament” for its perch on Mt. Hollywood. Behind on the float is the Hollywood sign on Mt. Lee, with waving searchlights beckoning people to the city. Annually, LA hosts 47 million people. For flowering and riders, read the captions on the photos.

Los Angeles Unified School District All District High School Honor Band, directed by Tony White, represents the second largest school district in the county. The band was marking its 46th consecutive year in the Rose Parade. LAUSD educates children in neighboring cities, as well as in the City of LA, and the 375 members are drawn from all over the district. The unit reflects the great diversity of the area, both ethnically and economically. The students put in some 400 extra practice hours to be ready for the parade.

The band has five drum majors, 271 brass, 60 percussion, 14 banner carriers, and 30 color guard. Woodwind players in the district can try out for the Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band. Assistant Directors and Unit Leaders are Art Duardo, Darnella Davidson, Veronica Gonzalez, Ariel Legaspi, Victoria Lopez, Ramon Mendez, Erick Quintanilla, and Marc Manriquez. Assistants and volunteers are Bladimir Castro, Scott Martin, Danny Barcenas, David Profeta, Kevin Cisneros, Kyle Kawahara, Luis Sanchez, Allan Valladares, Davier Arroyo, Grover Castro. Dose Gamboa, Doselyn Gonzalez, Christian Melgoza, Dose Nava, Amir Parvinian, Miguel Velasquez, and Ernie Sandoval.

 

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Floral Design award winners in the 2018 Rose Parade

City of Hope has been transforming the future of health since 1913, through research, prevention, and treatment. The float depicts one of the Wishing Trees on campus, with notes of hope fluttering from the branches. It won the coveted Isabella Coleman Award.

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Since the foundation of the Tournament of Roses Parade is flower-covered floats, it may seem odd that in the new system of float awards there is a specific category for Floral Design. The floats that take home awards in this category display the most effective, beautiful, creative, and bountiful use of fresh botanical materials. One of the most prestigious awards, the Isabella Coleman, is in this category.

The winners in the 2018 Rose Parade are listed in the table below, and descriptions of flowering and animation are in the captions in the photo gallery. It’s a large gallery, but the floats are well worth the clicks.

Some interesting notes on a few of the floats:

City of Hope rider Daniel Bliley began donating platelets on his 18th birthday in memory of his mother, who died of leukemia when Daniel was 8. Fifteen years later, he has donated 200 times. Read more about this young man on the City of Hope website.

United Sikh Mission is a Southern California nonprofit founded by Rashpal Singh in 2006 to benefit the poor in rural Punjab. One of the major efforts is providing eye clinics. The dedication to service is foundational to Sikhism, which can be seen in this depiction of the Golden Temple kitchen (langar) which feeds 100,000 people a day. The Leishman Public Spirit Award, the organization’s first, is well-deserved.

A sapling from one of Hiroshima’s A-bomb survivor trees was on the Rotary float and slated to be planted in one Rotary’s Peace Gardens.

More than 97 percent of the flowers on the Cal Poly Universities float were grown in the State of California, which garnered them California Grown certification for the seventh year; the only Rose Parade float to do so. Masses of fresh flowers included 10,000 roses, 10,000 gerbera, 12,000 chrysanthemums, 12,000 button and cushion mums, and 1,000 irises.

Taiwan-based China Airlines signed the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce Buckingham Palace Declaration in 2017. The airline has pledged to not transport illegal wildlife and related products.

 

2018 FLORAL DESIGN CATEGORY
Award Sponsor “Theme” Builder, Designer
President Award for most outstanding use and presentation of flowers Western Asset Management Company “Oceans of Possibility” Phoenix Decorating Company, Michelle Lofthouse
Isabella Coleman Award for most outstanding presentation of color harmony through floral design City of Hope “Transforming Lives with Hope” Phoenix Decorating Company, Michelle Lofthouse
Queen Award for most outstanding presentation of roses Downey Rose Float Association “Working Together” Self Built, Jeff Shadic, Jason Redfox, Thom Neighbors
Leishman Public Spirit Award for most outstanding floral design and display from a non-commercial participant United Sikh Mission “Serving Kindness” Phoenix Decorating Company, Michelle Lofthouse
Princess Award for most floral display among entries 35 feet and under in length Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee “Planting the Seeds of Service” Phoenix Decorating Company, Michelle Lofthouse
Past President Award for most outstanding innovation in the use of floral and non-floral materials Cal Poly Universities “Dreams Take Flight” Self Built, N/A
Founder Award for most outstanding floral display built and decorated by volunteers from a community or organization Burbank Tournament of Roses Association “Sand-Sational Helpers” Self Built, Catherine Glandeon, Fred Fraleigh
International Award for most outstanding floral display among floats from outside the United States China Airlines “Caring for Our Sea” Artistic Entertainment Services, John Ramirez
Tournament Volunteer Award for most outstanding floral display of the rose parade theme among floats 35 feet and under in length Shriners Hospitals for Children “Caring for Kids Around the World” Phoenix Decorating Company, Cynthia McMinimy

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