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SeaWorld celebrates 50 years with 2014 Rose Parade win

Protecting sea life
Protecting sea life
Ramona Monteros

Fiesta Parade Floats delivered another spectacular see-through seascape in the 2014 Rose Parade with “Sea of Surprises” for SeaWorld to kick off the 50th anniversary of the theme park. The float won the President’s Trophy for Most Effective Floral Use and Presentation. Stanley A. Meyer Design LLC designed the concept.

Law enforcement and security personnel walked at the sides and rear of the float, due to a planned protest by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) during the parade. The protest took place earlier, out of camera range, and was not apparent along the route according to parade-goers we interviewed.

Like the 2012 Natural Balance float, “Sea of Surprises” created the depth of an undersea world with an arched coral reef and layers of sea creatures swimming by. It was a stunningly beautiful entry, with a 55-foot long crashing wave of 20,000 light blue, dark blue and purple iris, thousands of white Blizzard roses, dendrobium and cattleya orchids.

A family of orcas leaped out of the crest, moving up and down at different speeds to create a more natural impression and to make it seem as if the wave itself was moving, followed by a snorkeling boy bobbing in the water with pumping legs and turning head to take it all in. The float teemed with floral marine animals, including starfish, sea anemones, sea horses, sea turtles, manta rays, crabs and fanciful fish.

Other animation included real bubbles pouring from the snorkel, a sea lion with rotating head perched on the orange reef (created by layering pincushion protea, dendrobium and thousands of orange and red anthuiums, and more than 15,000 florescent orange roses), and gently rocking sea life that simulated underwater movements.

For more about the botanicals used and the riders, look through the photo list attached to this article.

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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 lbmonteros@yahoo.com. The theme of the 125th Rose Parade and 100th Rose Bowl Game on Wednesday, 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.

Protecting sea life
Protecting sea life Ramona Monteros

Protecting sea life

With PETA protests against SeaWorld before and during the 2014 Rose Parade, the Tournament of Roses and Pasadena Police Department made sure the float was surrounded by security. There were no violent incidents, and only one protest of note, in which several protesters sat down in front of the float. The float won the President’s Trophy for Most Effective Floral Use and Presentation.

Rollicking orcas
Rollicking orcas Ramona Monteros

Rollicking orcas

Comparing this photo with the previous one shows the range of motion of the swimming orcas. They moved at different speeds, which gave a lifelike impression. The 55-foot wave with a 55-foot long was created 20,000 light blue, dark blue and purple iris, thousands of white Blizzard roses, dendrobium and cattleya orchids.

Seaweed for sea creatures
Seaweed for sea creatures Ramona Monteros

Seaweed for sea creatures

The orcas’ distinctive black-and-white skin was created with glossy black seaweed and white sweet rice. They are known by various names, including killer whales for their hunting and status as an “apex predator” and “blackfish.” Wild orcas are not considered a threat to humans, according to Wikipedia, but there have been cases of captive orcas injuring or killing their handlers.

Dry materials create brilliant colors
Dry materials create brilliant colors Ramona Monteros

Dry materials create brilliant colors

The boy’s skin used a mixture of walnut shell, paprika spice and cornmeal; hair was gold and yellow strawflower petals; bright blue eyes of sinuata statice; trunks of orange safflower spice with accents of red ilex berries. The sea lion was fashioned in shinny brown flax seeds and seahorses were covered in in orange lentil and yellow strawflower petals.

Celebrity scientists
Celebrity scientists Ramona Monteros

Celebrity scientists

Pedro Ramos-Navarrete, SeaWorld Orlando and Julie Scardina, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment were two of the riders on “Sea of Surprises.” Scardina has been a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno more than 60 times and Ramos-Navarrete appears on Sea Rescue, a show that tells stories about the rescue, rehabilitation and return to the wild of marine animals and airs on ABC.

Riders represent SeaWorld
Riders represent SeaWorld Ramona Monteros

Riders represent SeaWorld

Jon Peterson, SeaWorld Orlando and Jennifer Miller, SeaWorld San Diego wave at Rose Parade viewers. The two appear with Ramos-Navarette on Sea Rescue, along with Jody Westberg, SeaWorld San Diego and Chuck Cureau, SeaWorld San Antonio (riding off camera). The show airs Saturdays on ABC and tells about the rescue, rehabilitation and return to the wild of marine animals.

Off-camera side
Off-camera side Laura Berthold Monteros

Off-camera side

Fiesta Parade Floats has plenty for parade-goers on the off-camera side to see. This shot, taken at the post-parade Showcase of Floats, demonstrates the depth of field and interesting elements on that side. Materials used were black onion seed and white coconut on the penguins, silverleaf protea leaves on the dolphins, and yellow strawflower petals, white sweet rice, orange lentil and individual black beans for the distinct color bands on the angel and clownfish.

Inside the float barn
Inside the float barn Laura Berthold Monteros

Inside the float barn

Prior to the Rose Parade, we visited the Fiesta Parade Floats site and caught decorators in action. Individual elements were attached to the float after decoration. The sea turtle, which was decorated in green split pea and mung beans applied one by one and accents of petaled eucalyptus leaves, sports a humorous warning. A chambered nautilus is covered in brown and tan seeds.