by Laura Berthold Monteros
First in a series of two
Weighing in at a tad over 74 tons and stretching a full 126 feet, Lucy Pet’s “Gnarly Crankin’ K-9 Wave Maker” broke two Guinness World Records for the longest and heaviest Rose Parade float on Jan. 2, 2016. The previous record was made in 2012 by Natural Balance Pet Foods “Surf’s Up!” then owned by Joey Herrick, founder of Lucy Pet Foundation. Eight dogs took turns surfing in a 65-foot-long tank containing 6,600 gallons of water. They got rides from the “beach” back to the deck in floral woody wagons while “Who Let the Dogs Out” boomed from speakers.
The gigantic creation, designed by Frank Garcia and built by Fiesta Parade floats. Fiesta also built a smaller version of Lucy Pet’s Gnarly Crankin’ K-9 Wave Maker to travel around the country auditioning dogs for the Rose Parade. The first surfing dog float, at 119 feet, had difficulty making the 109-degree turn from Orange Grove to Colorado Blvd., so there was some of talk about whether this one would make it. Ingeniously, the front part of the float was hitched to the tank unit to facilitate the turn. CEO Tim Estes, cigar clenched in teeth, directed the float around the corner.
Lucy Pet Foundation operates a mobile low- to no-cost spay and neuter clinic for cats and dogs. There will be more about Lucy Pet and and inteview with Joey Herrick in Part Two of this series. For Lucy Pet, the parade theme “Echoes of Success” is achieved by putting a significant dent in the number of dogs and cats that are euthanized due to overpopulation.
Flowering included 15,000 blue iris, hydrangea and delphinium blossoms to create the water on the sides of the float; more than 25,000 roses in coral tones, 8,000 specialty anthuriums grown especially for the Lucy Pet float, and more than 10,000 dendrobium and hybrid vanda orchids. The driver was under the tank section and the observer perched on a lifeguard chair on the front section.
Lucy Pet’s “Gnarly Crankin’ K-9 Wave Maker” all photos copyright 2017.