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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