Cities & Cultures All photos copyright 2016 Ramona Monteros, except as noted Destination Irvine - Irvine Chamber of Commerce "Innovation Rocks!" designed by Mike Abboud and built by Phoenix Decorating Company was the city’s first entry in the Rose Parade. It represented Irvine’s 16 hotels. Peter the Anteater is UC Irvine’s mascot.Destination Irvine "Innovation Rocks!" celebrated the 50th anniversary of the University of California Irvine as an innovation hub. Irvine is known for life-changing innovations in technology and life sciences.Eight interlocking gears and two bubble machines created a whimsical mood on Destination Irvine - Irvine Chamber of Commerce "Innovation Rocks!"Fanciful flowers nestled among the roses on the Destination Irvine "Innovation Rocks!" Rose Parade float.American Armenian Rose Float Association, Inc. "Discover Armenia," designed by Johnny Kanounji and Mike Abboud and built by Phoenix Decorating company celebrated 16 landmarks of Armenia on the organization’s second Rose Parade float. The Mother Armenia statue of Yerevan, Armenia is front and center and the Sardarapat Memorial rises in the rear.Three television personalities rode the “Discover Armenia” Rose Parade float: Araksya Karapetyan from Good Day LA, Sona Movsesian, Conan O'Brien assistant, and Ellina Abovian from KTLA. Two of the ladies are seated in front of two Urartu sphinxes."Discover Armenia" float: Tatev Monastery, built in the 9th century, and 10th century Gavazan Swinging Column. The column is a feat of engineering, constructed with a pivoting base to withstand earthquakes.Two riders beside the “We Are Our Mountains” monument, now in Azerbaijan, and in front of the pre-Christian era Temple of Garni on the “Discover Armenia” float.Riders in front of the Sardarapat Memorial on “Discover Armenia.” White doves were released from the float during the Rose Parade.City of Glendale, Calif. “Getting There Is Half the Fun,” designed by Michelle Lofthouse and built by Phoenix Decorating Company was Glendale’s 101st Tournament of Roses entry, placing the city behind only Los Angeles in Rose Parade longevity. Its entries have won more than 50 trophies, including 12 Sweepstakes.The feathers on Glendale’s official bird, the peacock, fluttered in the breeze on “Getting There Is Half the Fun.” The swirls in the “eyes” of the tail feathers are Glendale’s city logo.Glendale’s “Getting There Is Half the Fun” had 15 riders in various conveyances: Sarah, Arthur, and Rachel Fritz; Robert and Catherine Nicksin; Patricia Trytten;, Lori, Olivia, Evan, and Michael Silao; Melody Rogers; Katherine and Glenn Yamada; Charleen Badell-Slaughter, and Bill Slaughter.Trains, planes, automobiles, and even bicycles have brought folks to the City of Glendale throughout the decades. The plane propeller spun and the locomotive wheels rotated. Bikes on Rose Parade floats are real, but completely covered in botanical materials. The float observer did double duty as the engineer.United Sikh Mission, “A Sikh-American Journey,” designed by Michelle Lofthouse and built by Phoenix Decorating Company. The second entry for this organization celebrated the Vaisakhi a Punjabi harvest festival. The Punjab region of India is home to the Sikh culture and religion.The white horse and Sikh rider dominated the front of United Sikh Mission “A Sikh-American Journey.” The equality of all human beings is central to Sikh beliefs.Sikhs wore traditional and conventional clothing on “A Sikh-American Journey” in the Rose Parade. The temperature was close to freezing when the parade started, which is a good reason for the young man to be wearing gloves.Dancers joyfully accompanied the United Sikh Mission float. The rectangular baskets among the roses held authentic Indian sweets, which were allowed because they are a natural substance.A working Ferris wheel was framed by traditional Punjabi urns and peacocks on the United Sikh Mission float. Sikhs work with underprivileged communities through civic, educational and personal development programs.The rear of the United Sikh Mission float featured a map of India detailing the Punjab region framed by stalks of grain and the American and Sikh flags. The region is similar in agricultural wealth to California’s Central Valley, where many Sikhs live and farm.United Sikh Mission, “A Sikh-American Journey,” designed by Michelle Lofthouse and built by Phoenix Decorating Company, viewed from the “off-camera” side. Photo by LB MonterosCity of Alhambra “Parks Make Life Better,” designed by Dave Pittman for Phoenix Decorating Company marks the city’s 88th entry in the Rose Parade. The arch is symbolic of Alhambra’s location at the mouth of the San Gabriel Valley.A solo cyclist guided Alhambra’s “Parks Make Life Better” along Colorado Blvd. in the Rose Parade.Child’s play, golf, and soccer are a few activities that take place when “Parks Make Life Better” in Alhambra. Alhambra’s six parks—Alhambra, Almansor, Granada, Story, Emery, and Burke Heritage—offer community services to the residents.Riders on “Parks Make Life Better” included City of Alhambra's City Manager Mary Swink and several Park & Recreation employees. The leaves on the twin trees were whole magnolia leaves. Photo by LB MonterosLutheran Laymen's League/Lutheran Hour Ministries “Jesus is the Light of the World,” designed by Michelle Lofthouse and built by Phoenix Decorating Company It is the organizations’ 66th Rose Parade entry. The lighthouse topped by a cross is a traditional symbol of the float’s theme.“Jesus is the Light of the World” carried both biblical era and modern disciples in a 20 foot fishing boat, complete with nets of tightly-wrapped raffia. Riders were Dr. John Nunes and Monique Nunes (Chile), Rebeca De Franco (Guatemala), Sathiyanathan Sathiyabalan (Sri Lanka), Dave Rueter, Matt Nolte, Christopher Schaar, Vivian Ernst, Rebekah Buchholz, Ryan Cosgrove, and Dick Gast, General Chairman of the Lutheran Hour Ministries Float Committee.Roses encircled the lighthouse Lutheran Laymen's League/Lutheran Hour Ministries “Jesus is the Light of the World.” Every year, some 4500 Lutheran Petal Pushers volunteers decorate seven Phoenix floats.