Torrance Float in Rose Parade to Be Completely Californian

Times Staff Writer

First it was Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl (1973-1983), then Fred Flintstone's cartoon pet Dino the dinosaur (1984), and last year sheep, buffalo, elk and a grizzly from Wyoming. Next year there will be dolphins and other sea life of the coast of California.

What all these creatures have in common is that they all have been or will be on Torrance's float in the annual Rose Parade.

The City Council on Tuesday night quickly and quietly approved the design and Marineland as a co-sponsor of an $80,000 float called "California Ocean Antics." The theme for 1986 parade is "Laughter."

Unlike last year, when the council questioned whether its float was promoting Torrance or Wyoming, council members seemed relieved that this time the co-sponsor is at least from the same state.

Yellowstone Float

(Last year's float was called "Springtime in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming," and some council members were angered that Wyoming received more attention than Torrance in the televised parade commentary.)

The selection of a local co-sponsor--Marineland in Rancho Palos Verdes is less than 10 miles from Torrance--also quieted a move to have the city sponsor a float by itself.

The Torrance Rose Float Assn., a community group of volunteers that coordinates construction of the float, had requested $48,000 to pay the entire cost of the 1986 float. The request is now moot because a co-sponsor was found, but the request may be resubmitted for the 1987 float, according to Georgean Griswold, past president of the association. The city has already committed $32,000 for the 1986 float. The committee will ask for an additional $8,000, and Marineland will provide $40,000.

Girl Riding Dolphins

The float will feature Pacific bottlenose dolphins and garibaldi, a fish indigenous to the Pacific Coast. The figure of a girl will be riding two dolphins--one foot on the back of each dolphin--and will bob up and down as high as 24 feet as if the dolphins were swimming in and out of the water. The city received a waiver to exceed the parade's float height limit of 16 feet.

Another child mannequin, wearing snorkeling gear, will have a sea turtle nipping at her fins. Her leg will move as though the turtle is tugging at her foot. A third figure will swim alongside another dolphin.

The side of the float will say "City of Torrance salutes Marineland." The words Torrance and Marineland will be the same size, but different colors.

"It a well-rounded, exciting entry," said Jim Barrowman, the float designer.

Plenty of Publicity

For its investment, Marineland will be getting plenty of publicity. The televised annual New Year's Day parade is viewed by millions worldwide.

"It would be impossible to predict the cost of this publicity," said Laurie Armstrong, a spokeswoman for Marineland. "The Rose Parade is such a tradition. Being in it is beyond worth."

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