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LCF Rose Parade float ‘Tree Frog Night’ off to hopping good start after first test drive inspection

LCF Rose Parade float ‘Tree Frog Night’ off to hopping good start after first test drive inspection
Ryan Babroff, of Pasadena, left, and Ernest Koeppen, of La Cañada, try out the road capabilities of the La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Assn. 2019 float "Tree Frog Night" Saturday in a test drive on Hampton Road, overseen by a Pasadena Tournament inspector. (James Carbone / La Cañada Valley Sun)

The 41st consecutive Rose Parade float entry of the La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Assn. — “Tree Frog Night” — cleared a hurdle Saturday, passing its first test drive and receiving an “all clear” from Pasadena Tournament inspectors.

The bare chassis may not look like much, but the decorated float will weigh 30,000 pounds, stand 23 feet high and carry three animated frogs, who will strum and tap their toes to an instrumental cover of Three Dog Night rock classic “Joy to the World” as they perch above waterfalls of irises and orchids before two 7-foot tall dancing fish.

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“I jokingly call it ‘frogs on a log in a bog,’” float developer Janis Peterson said in an email interview.

The La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Assn.'s 41st float entry into the 2019 Rose Parade in Pasadena, "Tree Frog Night," The design is a whimsical nod to this year's theme "The Melody of Life."
The La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Assn.'s 41st float entry into the 2019 Rose Parade in Pasadena, "Tree Frog Night," The design is a whimsical nod to this year's theme "The Melody of Life." (Courtesy of LCF Tournament of Roses Assn.)

Thanks to the Tournament’s two-year “Donate to Animate” campaign, which has raised $15,000 of a $25,000 goal, a new animation computer and controls will synchronize all the movements. This is no small task given the sheer size of the figures — a harmonica played by one frog is 5 feet long.

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Construction is well underway, Peterson reported, and sign-up for Decoration Week will soon be available online at lcftra.org.

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