With its 84th entry in the Tournament of Roses Parade, Burbank Tournament of Roses Association (BTORA) had a winner in “Are We There Yet?” The float depicted the Raccoon family looking for an adventure: teen Rocky for a great beach, Rebecca for a rapid river, dad Ralph for a photogenic campsite, and mom Rita for peace and quiet. They came home with a souvenir, the Theme Trophy for excellence in presenting the parade them, “Find Your Adventure.” Reflecting the 2016 collaboration with the National Parks Service in honor of its centennial, the entry had the name of each National Park in California on the float.
The self-built float was designed by Linda Cozakos and Adam Ostergard. They communicated via email, because Ostergard works in Shanghai, China. KTLA-5 said that she is the first White Suiter (Tournament volunteer) to design a Rose Parade float. This was also the first entry she has submitted to the BTORA design contest that has won an award. Cozakos has also volunteered as the floral designer for the Burbank float; she took Examiner through the process awhile back.
The all-volunteer BTORA builds the float for the City of Burbank and is supported by the city, Burbank Water and Power and Burbank Parks and Recreation Department. There were nine separate animations on the float, which can be seen in the photo list below, along with details on flowering and components.
The theme of the 127th Rose Parade and 102nd Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2016 was “Find Your Adventure.” If you have a question or would like a reply to your comment, please post on Facebook at All Things Rose Parade or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are we there yet?
One of the most common questions on a family vacation provided the inspiration for the Burbank float in the 127th Rose Parade. With its depiction of a family adventure and the names of all the National Parks in California, the entry was a great match for the “Find Your Adventure” parade theme. The Burbank float is eco-friendly, using propane instead of gasoline and recycled water from Burbank Water and Power for the flower vials and buckets.
Florals included 12,000 cushion mums in two colors, 10,000 roses in 12 colors, 15,000 heads of strawflower, 2,400 belladonna lilies, 4,000 stems of statice, gerbera, hydrangea and carnations. Purple bougainvillea, pink crepe myrtle and California Buckwheat were collected from gardens in Burbank.
Burbank floats are always highly animated; some of the animated animals can be seen in this photo. Mom and Dad Raccoon heads turned right to left and up and down, one of the squirrels moved, and Sister swayed up in down in her kayak. Dry materials included onion seed, poppy, flax and cranberry seeds, orange and yellow lentils, green peas, white, black, kidney and fava beans, rice, parsley, dill, cinnamon sticks, seaweed, coconut, palm fiber and net, pinecones, ti leaves, melaleuca pods and bark, raffia, onion skin, Ming moss, hyacinth root, black Asian moss, cocoa shells, and coffee husks.
Woody wagon and Teardrop trailer
Ralph Raccoon drives the family’s 1948 Ford Woody, a favorite among Californians, and towed a vintage Teardrop trailer. The trailer was built from original plans used by the Teardrop company. The tailgates on the trailer and station wagon opened and closed. HGTV reported that burgundy and butterscotch mums were specially grown for the car.
While Papa Bear naps on the other side of the float, Baby Bear tries to catch a fish with his paws. As the paws opened and closed, the fish jumped up and down. This photo shows a close up of the variety of floral material used on the float.
Riding the waves
Rocky Raccoon practices his surfing atop the Teardrop on an animated board. His T-shirt commemorates the 125th anniversary of Yosemite National Park and the logo on his hat debuted the logo for the 100th anniversary of the Junior Park Ranger program. The map shows the names of some of the National Parks in California. Each of the 27 parks in California was named on the float.
Eating on the go
At least the Raccoon family won’t go hungry. The Weber grill atop the Woody wagon has a ready supply of hot dogs. One might not think it would be too difficult to find an old barbecue to mount on a float, but BTORA looked for months. The metal had to be completely covered with botanical materials. The screen on the front window is for the observer to see the parade route.
Three National Parks are marked on the bumper stickers, and the license plate—in vintage California yellow on black—is CO 2016. CO perhaps for Colorado Blvd., the main route for the Rose Parade and also part of Route 66. The trees on the left hold Papa Bear’s swinging hammock; that’s his leg hanging over the side.
This photo from the Showcase of Floats shows Papa Bear in his hammock at the right. The hammock was hand-crocheted raffia, and the bear’s fishing line was raw cotton spun by Alice Allen, a retired NPS ranger. Melvin Moose, whose head turned, may be a familiar face to Rose Parade fans. He is quite the versatile actor, having played a giraffe in 2015 and a horse in 2014.