A North Hollywood teen has become one of the youngest people to design a float for the Burbank Tournament of Roses Assn.
On Feb. 24, float officials announced that 13-year-old Catherine Glandon and Frederick Fraleigh, a longtime family friend, were the winners of the local float design contest for the 2018 Rose Parade.
Their entry, preliminarily titled "Clean It Up," depicts a beach cleanup, where an octopus, crab, seal and some seagulls help remove trash and recyclables from the ocean. The design coincides with the 2018 Rose Parade's theme, "Making a Difference."
It is the second time Catherine has submitted a design entry to the association and the first time for Fraleigh. The duo's design was one of 50 entries association members reviewed in late January.
Catherine, who was born in Burbank and is currently an eighth-grade student at Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood, said that she wanted to win the competition but was unsure if her design would make the cut.
"It came as a surprise when they picked my design," she said. "I was jumping up and down, and it was so amazing. I told everybody in my family about what happened, and they couldn't believe it."
The idea for a beach cleanup-themed float came to Catherine during an English class where the teacher and students were discussing different ways that California residents recycle.
"I love the ocean, so I was thinking [about] all the trash that's on the beaches," she said. "So I put the two ideas together, and I just sort of came up with [the design]."
Catherine, who has been volunteering with the Burbank Tournament of Roses Assn. since 2010, admitted that she was not the greatest at drawing a rendering, so she sought the help of Fraleigh, 43, of Burbank, who is a freelance special-effects artist.
Fraleigh said that it didn't take long for him to come up with a sketch of the design. He spent a day with Catherine and her family talking about ideas for what the float should look like and made sketches during their conversation.
"It went from her mouth to my hand to the paper," Fraleigh said.
Even Fraleigh said he was surprised their design made it to the top six entries, let alone was selected as the association's No. 1 pick.
Though he has worked on several motion-picture projects, Fraleigh said he does not know how he'll react when he sees the Burbank float traveling down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena on Jan. 1.
"It's going to be something totally different from anything I've ever done," he said. "It's going to be completely satisfying when I see it. I can't wait."
Catherine concurred with Fraleigh, adding that having her design selected is still surreal for her.
"I don't know how to describe it," she said. "It's so cool and wonderful, and I can't believe it actually happened. I keep thinking that it was a dream, and that it's not real."
On Saturday, the Burbank Tournament of Roses Assn. will host a brainstorming session at its warehouse next to Burbank Water and Power on Olive Avenue to start turning Catherine and Fraleigh's concept into a float that can be built.
Anthony Clark Carpio, email@example.com