With only a few days left before float judging on Jan. 1, 2012, the City of Los Angeles and Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County are stepping up the pace of getting the float ready for the 123rd Rose Parade on Jan. 2, 2012.
Wednesday was a flurry of activity in Phoenix Decorating Company’s Rose Palace, for all the floats. This column has been doing a special focus on the LA/NHM float, “Dinosaurs in L.A.’s Backyard,” for the past few months, and this is the last pre-parade view of the making of a float.
For links to all the articles on the LA/NHM float, including video of road tests, see “Follow that float: Los Angeles/Natural History Museum, from plans to parade”
We talked with some of the volunteers who steadily worked while sharing their experiences and joy at being able to assist in creating something so grand and beautiful.
The story of the float is in the pictures, though, so make sure to check out the photo gallery at left and read the captions for all the info.
Husband and wife team Tony and Linda Perez (slides #3 & #4) were busy ironing and snipping corn husks. Just like making tamales, the dry husks must be soaked in water first. Tony was putting each piece one-by-one through a mangle to dry them. Linda then cut them into small pieces for gluing on the float.
Tony and Linda are members of the Natural History Museum, “proudly from Carpenteria, California.” They’re making the 90-minute commute to take the early shifts in the float barn.
“It’s a wonderful museum,” Linda enthused. “We love that museum!” Tony agreed.
This is their first time volunteering for float decorating, but not the first time Tony’s been in town for the Rose Parade. For several years in the ‘90s, he worked for a tour operator, and drove people to the parade, dropped them off, and picked them up afterwards. The first time he saw the Rose Parade all the way through was in 2007 “when George Lucas was the guy”—the grand marshal.
Michael Vargas (slide #1) is also in his first year as a float decorator. He went online and signed up to volunteer. His job was putting snipped brick-colored strawflowers on the wall of the Natural History Museum Beaux Arts building. He demonstrated the technique for us.
“I’m lovin’ it!” he said. The third-generation Ventura County resident said he is an artist for Trader Joe’s and worked with Disney opening up California Adventure.
“I always enjoy being part of history, especially California history,” he said. It will be Michael’s first year to see the Rose Parade live.
“I can’t even describe the enthusiasm and joy,” he said of the volunteers. “Everyone jumps in and makes friends in a short period of time. It’s so amazing. I can’t wait until it’s finished.”
The theme of the 123rd Rose Parade and 98th Rose Bowl Game is “Just Imagine…” The events take place on Monday, Jan. 2, 2012 to avoid interfering with worship services on Sunday. The Tournament of Roses is a celebration that lasts several weeks in the fall and winter, with the high points being the Rose Parade presented by Honda and the Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO. Keep following your Tournament of Roses Examiner for the latest news and for upcoming announcements.
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