It didn’t take much acumen to know that PETA wouldn’t like the SeaWorld float, “Sea of Surprises,” being built by Fiesta Parade Floats for the 2014 Rose Parade. In an emailed press release on Wednesday afternoon, the organization announced plans to protest at the announcement and coronation of the 2014 Rose Queen on Thursday evening.
PETA’s protests over a circus elephant (not a real one, a sculpted beflowered one) that the City of Glendale sponsored in the 2012 parade caused the float committee to change the name of the float. “Stepping Out in Style” became “Just Imagine the Music, Fun and Freedom.”
SeaWorld has long been a controversial facility in Southern California for its treatment of sea mammals, even though it took over at least some of the rehabilitation work when Marineland in Los Angeles County closed.
Fiesta Parade Floats posted the rendering of the SeaWorld float on Oct. 16, and the coronation is the first major Tournament of Roses event since then. While the Tournament doesn’t design or build the floats, it does approve the designs.
Here is the text of the press release:
Holding signs that read, "Take Orca Abuse out of the Rose Parade," a group of PETA members will gather outside the Rose Queen Announcement and Coronation ceremony to make clear their objections to the inclusion of a big-bucks SeaWorld-sponsored float in this year's parade. The protesters will point out that the float—which depicts orcas leaping happy and free in a magnificent sea—bears no resemblance whatsoever to an orca's life of severe confinement at SeaWorld, where these magnificent animals are kept restricted to tiny concrete tanks, breaking their teeth on the underwater bars, and forced to perform cheap, circus-style tricks.
"It ruins the Rose Parade's happy image to allow SeaWorld to buy its way in to promote its much-criticized and cruel theme parks," says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders. "PETA will make sure that families attending the Rose Parade see that a realistic SeaWorld float would show orcas swimming in endless circles and banging their heads in frustration and despair against the side of their concrete prisons."
In the wild, orcas swim as far as 100 miles a day. But at SeaWorld, captive orcas—many of whom were taken from their ocean homes and family pods—continually turn in circles in small barren concrete tanks and live far short of their 60-year life expectancy. At least 23 orcas have died in U.S. SeaWorld facilities since 1986—and not one died of old age. SeaWorld has also been fined for allowing trainers in the water with frustrated orcas—which, as the high-profile death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau demonstrates, can be fatal.
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The theme of the 125th Rose Parade and 100th Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2014 is “Dreams Come True.” The Tournament of Roses is a celebration that lasts several weeks in the fall and winter. Like All Things Rose Parade on Facebook or subscribe to Tournament of Roses Examiner by clicking the "Subscribe" link for the latest news and for upcoming announcements. If you have a question or would like a reply to your comment, please post on Facebook or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org