Torrance Rose Float Association “Protecting Nature…The Madrona Marsh Preserve” by Fiesta Parade Floats won the Mayor Award.
by Laura Berthold Monteros
The flower-covered floats in the Float Design category in the Tournament of Roses’
new system of float awards display themes that touch our lives or have specific design elements. 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:
The Sierra Madre float, its 86
th entry, wrote, “Ten years ago we had the first grandmother to drive a Rose Parade float and this year we have the first great-grandmother to drive a Rose Parade float. Kay Sappington, our Chair of Float Decoration, has 13 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren, and to top it off, parade day is her birthday. The observer, LaDonna Gaydosh, is a grandmother with seven grandchildren.” The new Torrance rose was featured on the Torrance float. Named after the city, it was introduced last year by the American Rose Society to mark its 125
th anniversary. La Cañada Flintridge had its own first. Driver Aram Dergharapetian, at 19 years, 5 months old, was LFCTRA’s youngest ever float driver and one of the youngest in Tournament history. 2018 was Aram’s second time on the float; he was the animator on “Backyard Rocketeer” last year. Another note: It’s said to be the only float in the parade equipped with a data recording system, similar to an airplane’s “black box.” Information is stored for analysis and can be viewed in real-time by the float operating crew.
The art department at Paradiso Parade Floats worked on the Donate Life float Aztec calendar for two months, resulting in stunning detail. They researched and adapted the design to incorporate the memorial portraits.
“Make Your Own Momentum,” the entry from Amazon Prime and Paradiso, did indeed make its own momentum. It was the only human-powered float in the 129
th Rose Parade and the first entry ever to be pushed by people down the 51/2 mile route. (Quite a few years ago, the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs float was a litter carried by several handsome and scantily-clad young men. It was quite the treat!)
2018 FLOAT DESIGN CATEGORY
Sponsor “Theme” Builder, Designer
Theme for most outstanding presentation of the parade theme Donate Life “The Gift of Time” Paradiso Parade Floats, Charles Meier
Bob Hope Humor for most whimsical and amusing entry La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association “Panda-Monium” Self Built, Renee’ Hoss-Johnson, Brianne Johnson
Director for most outstanding artistic design and floral presentation Odd Fellows and Rebekahs Rose Float “Sacrifice to Serve” Phoenix Decorating Company, Michelle Lofthouse
Note: Write up in the Grand Marshal article.
Crown City Innovator for most outstanding use of imagination, innovation, and technology The Grand Tour–An Amazon Prime Original “Make Your Own Momentum” Paradiso Parade Floats, Charles Meier
Grand Marshal’s for most outstanding creative concept and float design Dole Packaged Foods “Sharing Nature’s Bounty” Fiesta Parade Floats, Stanley Meyer
Fantasy for most outstanding display of fantasy and imagination Sierra Madre Rose Float Association “Chivalry!” Self Built, Joanne Garcia (concept)
Animation for most outstanding use of animation Underground Service Alert of Southern California (DigAlert) “Making It Safe for All” Fiesta Parade Floats, Stanley Meyer
Americana for most outstanding depiction of national treasures and traditions Farmers Insurance Group “Honoring Hometown Heroes” Phoenix Decorating Company, Dave Pittman
Golden State for most outstanding depiction of life in California City of Riverside “25th Annual Festival of Lights” Fiesta Parade Floats, Stanley Meyer
Mayor for most outstanding floral display from a participating city Torrance Rose Float Association “Protecting Nature…The Madrona Marsh Preserve” Fiesta Parade Floats, Irene Tsay (concept) & Art Aguirre
Sierra Madre Rose Float Association won the Fantasy award for “Chivalry!” which portrayed a young knight-to-be bandaging a wounded dragon. Sierra Madre princesses sitting under the rose blossom tree are Emma Allen, Petra Shair, Amy Stapenhorst, Emily Verdin.
The Sierra Madre horned dragon’s head moved in all directions, controlled by a joy stick operated by an on-board animator. The tail and wings, and the head of the knight, also moved.
40,000 fresh flowers were used to carpet “Chivalry!” and create the rose trees, including roses, gladiola, gerbera, asters, Veronica, agapanthus. The dragon appears to be ti leaves with button mums.
This gorgeous float for the Torrance Rose Float Association by Fiesta Parade Floats won the Mayor award. Towering egrets watch over the unique ecosystem of the Madrona Marsh Preserve in Torrance, which is home to more than 1,000 species of rare flora and fauna. Monarch wings fluttered.
“Protecting Nature…The Madrona Marsh Preserve” decoration: Trees, 3,000 stems of alstroemeria; deck, 5,000 Santana and Queensday roses; egrets, flake coconut, dendrobium, yellow split peas for beaks; throughout, protea, larkspur gerbera.
Torrance riders: Irene Tsay; American Rose Society Pres. Pat Shanley & ED Laura Seabaugh; Madrona Marsh Preserve Pres. Suzan Hubert & VP Bobbie Snyder; Bill Arrowsmith, Connie Vadheim, Cathie Sinfield
Dole Packaged Foods “Sharing Nature’s Bounty” reflected the company’s commitment to FOOD Share and Feeding America. In a flight of fantasy, animals from around the world come together in a variety of habitats to share the earth’s water, from the waterfall in back to the ocean in front.
A drummer walks beside the Dole float, next to an ocean filled with silverleaf dolphins and bright fish. Some 50,000 Mokara orchids and roses are intermingled in varying shades to capture the colors of the grasslands, lowlands, and tropical forest. Thousands of exotic flowers and 7,000 Topaz roses create the tropics.
Twelve dancers performed a fusion of traditional and modern dance representative of Chile, Philippines, Thailand, Sierra Leone, and Hawaii. A 5-foot wide waterfall cascaded 10 feet down to the deck. Can you spot the macaw and the toucan?
Encircled by a plumeria lei, the animals on “Sharing Nature’s Bounty” were covered in a variety of grasses and dry materials. The elephants moved their heads around. Peeking out just beneath the baby elephant is an orange octopus.
“Honoring Hometown Heroes” from Farmers Insurance Group honored first responders with a parade within a parade. The chief in a convertible, a fire engine, kids on a bikes, and members of the marching band take part in the small-town procession.
The float used 222,300 flowers, including red and white carnations, iris, roses, orchids, delphinium, mums, stock, and gladiola. Among the first responders were real live Farmers agents and district managers.
Riders were David Sewell, Greg Windham, Rick Schnider, Paul Harrington, Christian Slayton, George Wen, Tim Ahearn, Marte Formico, and Dan Brown. The ladder raised to 24 feet, the pedals on the bikes moved, and wheels on the bikes and cars rotated.
Every animal on “Panda-Monium,” built by La Cañada Flintridge Rose Float Association, was animated. The mischievous bears bedeviled their hapless neighbors, a turtle, a snake, and a banana-munching monkey.
It’s easy to feel sorry for Sha Shé (Silly Snake)! Lemon, lime, and tangerine peels created its skin. The pandas’ white fur used 2,200 mums and Fat Choy, a natural black fungus commonly used in oriental soups, was stretched and fluffed to look like black fur.
Approximately 3,500 roses and more than 10,000 other blooms were used on “Panda-Monium.” Various grasses and dry materials, as well as edibles such as fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, and beans were used. Three different types of butterflies dotted the float.
These cool cats and dapper dogs may be great at construction, but they should have called 811 before they put the shovels in! “Making It Safe for All” from DigAlert, a free nationwide service that locates underground utility lines, illustrates how a simple call can avoid catastrophe.
The DigAlert float used a preponderance of dry materials for the animals and machinery. Flowers included more than 9,000 hot pink roses and 3,000 lavender and alstroemeria stems for the trees, and gardens of alstroemeria, lisianthus, lilies, waxflower, iris, roses, gerbera, solidago, renunculars, heather, monte casino, liatris, bouvardia, sunflowers, and tulips.
Animation: Crane gyrates and its load swings; backhoe jerks, sputters, and puffs smoke as it twists around; boom and bucket raise and lower; real water and CO2 spurt from broken main; all animals are animated.
“The Gift of Time” by Donate Life demonstrated the best in Rose Parade floats: beauty, color, meaning. The float celebrates the lives of organ donors and recipients with floragraph portraits on the Aztec calendar. Outwalkers carried flower-filled baskets.
A waterfall cascaded out of the mouth of the sculpted jaguars, front and back. Riders included NFL coach Sam Wyche and baseball legend Rod Carew.
A butterfly and waterfall graced the back of the Donate Life float by Paradiso Parade Floats. Organ and tissue recipients and living donors waved at the crowd.
The float was flowered with nearly 200,000 blooms, including various roses and orchids, heliconia, carnations, chrysanthemums, protea, and anthurium. Leaves included smilax, alocasia, monstera, and ti.
At 150 feet, the Amazon Prime Video “Make Your Own Momentum” came in just five feet shy of the Rose Parade length limit. The huge human-powered wheels brought attention to the show “The Grand Tour.”
Each wheel had had different images from “The Grand Tour,” such as hubcaps, steering wheel, tires, revolution gauge, map, landmarks, and ring roads, and featured a floragraph of one of the presenters. The first was Jeremy Clarkson.
Eight people pushed each wheel for 5 ½ miles along the Rose Parade route. We were told that the inner drive wheels were motorized and there brakes for the steep downslope on Colorado Blvd.
Inner drive wheels rolled forward and the outer cosmetic wheels revolved counter-clockwise. Gears, wheels and gauges were animated as well.
Richard Hammond’s floragraph was on the second wheel, set among fiery yellow, orange, and red shades of rose, carnations, marigolds, and chrysanthemums.
James May brought up the rear on the fanciful third wheel. Floragraphs were created with blends of nigella, poppy seed, and crushed sweet rice.
The annual Festival of Lights at the Mission Inn in Riverside was named “Best Public Lights Display in the Nation” and the “Best Holiday Festival” by the readers of USA Today.
Fireworks and streamers shot from behind the Moorish/Spanish styled tower. The lamppost is topped by the Riverside Raincross. Riders and outwalkers include David and Kristen Bristow; Duane and Kelly Roberts, keepers of the Mission Inn; Mayor and Riverside native William R. "Rusty" Bailey III.
Parrots Josephine and Napoleon, Mission Inn mascots, perch among “bougainvillea” created by 7,000 dendrobium and alstroemeria. More than 30,000 orange roses framed the deck. Flora displays were thousands of roses, orchids, euphorbia, liatris, hydrangea, and amaranth.
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