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 86th 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 125th 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 129th 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
Roses seem appropriate for any occasion, and never more so than in the Tournament of Roses Parade. Some float sponsors offer people an opportunity to remember a loved one by purchasing a memorial rose that is placed on their float. With the theme of the 2018 Rose Parade being “Making a Difference,” what better way to remember someone who made a difference in the lives they touched!
Each rose has a tag for the name of the honoree and a short dedication. Donate Life and Odd Fellows and Rebekahs are featured in this article, but as others come up, we will add them.
“The Gift of Time,” designed and built by Paradiso Parade Floats, is Donate Life’s entry. The float honors both organ donors and recipients. Roses can be dedicated to donors, families, recipients, and those waiting for transplants by using the online form until Dec. 20. Current donations are listed here. This will be the organization’s 15th year in the Rose Parade.
Odd Fellows and Rebekahs have sponsored floats for 66 years. The 2018 entry, “Sacrifice to Serve,” honors recipients of the Purple Heart and will feature riders who have received the medal. Prospective riders can download the 2018 Rider Application before Aug. 3. The 2018 Memorial Garden order form is not yet posted, but will be on the rose float site soon.