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Sierra Madre catches the big one with Mayor’s Trophy in 2014 Rose Parade

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Dreams can come true if one pursues them, but as the 2014 Sierra Madre Rose Parade float, “Catching the Big One,” proved, sometimes you should be careful what you dream for.

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In this case, the three Sierra Madre princesses got a bit more than they bargained for at the end of their fishing line. A gigantic fish, flapping its tail and tossing a rowboat to and fro as the fishing line bobbed about, loomed 26 feet over the parade route. The self-built float was designed by Charles Meier and won the Mayor’s Trophy for Most Outstanding City Entry.

The rowboat was christened Douglas D in memory of longtime Sierra Madre Roses Float Association (SMRFA) volunteer Douglas D. Sutcliffe. The float was dedicated to him and his wife Donna. The boat’s motion was created with a U-joint mechanism, and SMRFA volunteer Kay Sappington assured us that the girls had no problem with the constant motion for the 5 ½ mile ride.

As a side note, both boys and girls ages 15-18 can try out to be a prince or princess on the Sierra Madre float. They represent SMRFA to service clubs and civic organizations, speaking about the float and the association.

Sierra Madre has entered floats since 1917, winning many awards including the prized Isabella Coleman Trophy in the 2013 Rose Parade. The float frame is on view for all to see during the annual Fourth of July Parade.

Flowering included 10,000 roses, 35,000 carnations and 6,000 iris as well as mums, strawflower, various orchids, agapanthus, coconut, lentils, rice, walnut shells, corn husks and magnolia leaves. Accents on the fish’s body were created with grapefruit, oranges and kumquats.

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Columnists are not notified of comments via Disqus, so if you have a question or would like a reply to your comment, please post on Facebook at All Things Rose Parade or email The theme of the 125th Rose Parade and 100th Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2014 was “Dreams Come True.” Subscribe to Tournament of Roses Examiner by clicking the "Subscribe" link for the latest news and for upcoming announcements for the 2015 Tournament of Roses.