The City of Torrance is proud of its fire department, and rightfully so. Out of 47,000 fire agencies in the United States, only 97 earned a Class 1 rating. Torrance is one of them and has been since 1995. To honor the firefighters and paramedics, the city portrayed a whimsical rescue on its 2016 Rose Parade float, “What a Purr-fectly Paw-ful Adventure.”
The float tells the old story of a brave firefighter rescuing a cat that got stuck in a tree trying to harass the birds. Designed by Art Aguirre for Fiesta Parade Floats, it won the Princess’ Trophy for most beautiful float 35 feet and under. Taking his place beside the fanciful fire truck was recently retired Fire Chief William Racowschi. For pictures and flowering, scroll through the photo list below.
Torrance has a long history with the Tournament of Roses; this entry is its 61st float. Last year’s entry, “Louis Zamperini—A Race Well Run,” won the Theme Trophy for its tribute to the 2015 Grand Marshal. Fire Station No. 2 is located at Zamperini Field, the airport named after the Olympian. The Torrance Rose Float Association is run by an all-volunteer board of directors and most of the volunteers who decorate the float come from Torrance.
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 email@example.com.
The City of Torrance’s “What a Purr-fectly Paw-ful Adventure” won the Princess’ Trophy in the 2016 Rose Parade with a tribute to the city’s firefighters and paramedics. More than 8,000 roses were used on the float, which also featured delphinium, the city’s official flower. The gardens included alstroemeria, lisianthus, lilies, waxflower, iris, roses, gerbera, solidago, heather, Monte Casino, liatris and tulips.
The ladder can’t quite make it to where it needs to be, as it swivels back and forth while the eyes on the fire truck swish like windshield wipers. The float observer appears to be in the passenger seat.
The fuzzy tabby was created with orange marigold and cream and gold strawflower petals. The tree was covered with melaleuca bark and fresh salal foliage. The cat turned its head from side to side.
Sculpted sunflowers, fresh bouquets featuring delphinium, and a white picket fence created a tranquil backyard scene—at least until the family cat went after a tree full of birds. All four of the animals on the float, including these two dogs, moved their heads from side to side. The pooch in the doghouse was decorated in gold and brown flax seeds with details of dried cranberry leaves and eyes of seaweed, split peas and rice. Dalmatian Cloe has one brown and one blue eye.
Newly retired Torrance Fire Chief William Racowschi served the department 35 years, the last seven of them as chief. The truck was covered in whole red carnations, yellow strawflower confetti, black onion seed with silverleaf and eucalyptus leaves to simulate chrome.
Blue sinuata statice and crisp white coconut chips created the feathers on the birds on the Torrance float. That bell around the cat’s neck certainly gave them warning. The sunflowers were covered in yellow strawflower petals with centers of solid Mercedes roses.
The little cat Bub is worried about his mom stuck on the tree. He moved his head back and forth. The picket fence was covered in white coconut flakes and the lawn was freshly grown soil-less fescue grass.