On Wednesday, La Cañada Flintridge residents watched proudly as a 20-foot-tall truck of five dogs escaped from a persistent dogcatcher.
The self-built La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Assn. float, “Dog Gone!” won the Bob Hope Humor Award.
FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the number of times the city has entered a float in the Tournament of Roses Parade. It is the 36th entry, not the 21st.
The float features an animated dogcatcher, named Steve, who is running after a group of dogs who are driving away in his 1930s-style truck.
The previous day, Ann Neilson, current president of the association, watched as the entry floated down La Cañada streets to be evaluated by the judges.
“It was absolutely perfect,” she said. “There wasn’t a glitch of any kind. It was a perfect show.”
“Dog Gone!” will be on display in La Cañada’s Memorial Park on Saturday, from about 9:30 a.m. until mid-afternoon, Neilson said.
All five dogs will be eventually removed from the float and given to donors who purchased them, she added.
This year’s float relied heavily on donors, as thousands of dollars worth of equipment was stolen from the association’s construction headquarters in October. The association received more than enough donations to replace the equipment and finish the float.
A veteran team of volunteers worked on the 2014 float, clocking in around 45,000 hours. Earlier this week, they were joined by a group of Explorer Scouts, who helped with the final decorations.
The concept was concocted by an eighth grader from Orange County, winner of the annual idea contest that is already underway for next year.
Mechanical engineer Dustin Crumb said there are more than 7,000 roses on the float, which began construction in a lot behind the La Cañada Water Company shortly after Memorial Day.
“Each flower has its own bottle of water so there are 7,000 individual bottles,” said Crumb.
The flowers were added after sundown on Dec. 30, always one of the last things to do before the event. The float also featured small live citrus trees.
“Some years it is much harder to keep the flowers fresh when the weather is too hot, but this year has been perfect,” said Crumb.
Official observer David Granish said La Cañada is lucky to be “in the shadow of JPL” and to have some of JPL's engineers to work with.
“We are blessed with some great talent and great concepts, creativity and passion,” said Granish.
“Dog Gone!” is La Cañada's 36th entry in the Rose Parade.
Sal Polcino contributed to this report.