By Ted AYALA
Last year’s entry in the Rose Parade was a memorable one for Glendale. Not just for its continuation as the longest consecutively participating city in the history of the parade. But also for reasons more notorious: problems with funding, organizational uncertainties, and most of all, the design of the float.
The design, a circus elephant, drew the anger of animal rights groups, including the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). What became a quiet tradition morphed into a controversy that provoked strong reaction beyond the city’s borders.
But Rose Parade 2012 came and went. And though the city’s Rose Float program took a bruising from some members of the public, the city learned from its lessons, paving the way for a smoother process in 2013.
Case in point: the proposed float for the 2013 parade demonstrated to Glendale City Council on Tuesday. Animal references of any sort are out. Replaced, instead, by innocuous references to the float’s main sponsors.
Glendale Adventist Hospital and the Americana at Brand contributed a total of $60,000 for the Rose Float fund—about two-thirds of the $90,000 required.
Donned with the theme “Living the Good Life,” the design includes images of doctors performing operations, the façade of the Alex Theatre and an Americana trolley. Phoenix Decorating of Pasadena is returning to construct the float.
Council, though generally pleased with the design, made a few suggestions.
“When I think of ‘living the good life,’” said Councilmember Laura Friedman, “somehow a surgeon cutting into someone doesn’t come into mind. Can’t we [use images] of people giving birth or yoga classes?”
Friedman also suggested changing the float’s theme to “The Good Life – Animated.”
Though most of the funding for the float has been secured, $30,000 remains outstanding. According to City Manager Scott Ochoa, 15 solicitations for sponsorship have so far been sent, though he acknowledged that funding may be difficult to come by.
The Rose Float committee, comprised of civic officials and sponsors, agreed to revise the float’s design according to Council’s recommendations.