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South Pasadena, Alhambra, Torrance, LA, Beverly Hills shine in 2014 Rose Parade

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Even when they don’t bring home trophies, Rose Parade floats sponsored by cities contribute a great deal of pride to the community. They represent a slice of the city’s life and outlook, and plenty to delight the eye of viewers on the street and throughout the world.

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The slideshow attached to this article reveals the beauty and humor of the floats that rolled down Colorado Blvd. on New Year’s Day, 2014. Winners or not, they stayed true to the Rose Parade theme of “Dreams Come True” and continued in the tradition of spectacular flower-covered floats.

A little about each city’s entry:

South Pasadena “Intergalactic Vacation” was designed by Richard Carlow and Eugenia Chen and self-built by the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association. The whimsical entry fulfilled a child’s dream of going to outer space and being photographed by an alien on a hover board. Dad follows in a rocket ship towing a teardrop trailer. The SPTOR folks collected 1.5 million Bougainvillea blooms in and around the city to use in every form, from whole blooms for petaling to powder for smooth finishes. It takes 100 blooms to make 1 tablespoon of powder.

Alhambra “Monster Truck!” was designed by Art Aguirre and built by Phoenix Decorating Company. A monster truck filled with monsters that seem to have been inspired by Maurice Sendak would be the dream of any kid who read Where the Wild Things Are. A bleary-eyed green-faced monster with a party hat reflected what many a party-goer feels like on New Year’s Day.

Torrance “Everyone Plays” celebrated the 50th anniversary of the American Youth Soccer Association (AYSO), which was born in Torrance. The float was designed by Raul Rodriguez and built by Fiesta Parade Floats. The motto of AYSO means that every child, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, size, shape, or ability, gets time on the field in every game. Riding the float was Cobi Jones, a former USA and LA Galaxy soccer star who started his soccer career in AYSO.

Los Angeles “Endless Entertainment,” also created by the team of Aguirre and Phoenix. The float was packed with LA icons: the space shuttle Endeavor, representing the California Science Center; Griffith Observatory, called “LA’s hood ornament” by director Ed Krupp; historic Olvera Street; Chinatown, represented by a gigantic dragon encircling a colorful tiled column a la Simon Rodia, topped by the Watts Towers; the glamor of Hollywood with the Walk of Fame, Chinese Theatre, Hollywood sign, and Universal Studios; and murals of Disney Hall and LA Lakers star Kobe Bryant. In a previous article in this column, city councilmember Curren Price, Jr., Dist. 9, said the float “expresses the ethnic and cultural diversity of Los Angeles.”

Beverly Hills “”Centennial” was designed by Dave Pittman and built by Phoenix. It presented the glamor, wealth and beauty of the city which many Hollywood stars call home. Bell Park with its arched sign, the Beverly Hills shield seen along the streets, and the towering city hall were depicted on the float.

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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 2015.