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Life and Arts

A celebration for the ages

Many guests gave a double thumbs-up to the Burbank Tournament of Roses float entry “Centennial Celebration” when it was unveiled during New Year’s Eve under the Olive Avenue bridge.

What wasn’t to love? There were icons in 3-D — City Hall, Bob’s Big Boy, the Bob Hope Airport terminal filled with people and luggage — pictures of Walt Disney and Johnny Carson and a soundtrack featuring themes like “Thanks for the Memories” and “When You Wish Upon a Star.”

“It encompasses everything in Burbank and the surrounding area,” said Gregg Cicourel of North Hollywood, who owns a business, Collectible Wizard, in Burbank. “It proves that Burbank is the Hollywood of the world, not Hollywood.”

His wife, Jaci Verser, was in awe.


“The Burbank Tournament of Roses Assn. has outdone themselves,” Verser said. “The design, the animation and the soundtrack — it’s fabulous!”

The unveiling also served as a kick-off for Burbank’s yearlong celebration of its centennial.

“It’s the most amazing float to commemorate Burbank’s 100 years,” said Wendy Olson of Burbank.

Valarie and Michael Spencer brought their two children, Sierra, 10, and Madison, 6, to see the float.


“It’s a great reminder of why we live here and what’s so great about living here,” Michael Spencer said.

Sierra’s favorite icon on the float was the car.

“It’s awesome!” she said. “It’s the best one they’ve had so far!”

Mayor Anja Reinke and former City Manager Mary Alvord said they were looking forward to riding in the car for the Rose Parade.

Reinke wore a Burbank High School letterman’s jacket, owned by Steven Ferguson, chairman of the Park and Recreation Board. Alvord, a Burroughs grad, donned a Burroughs letterman’s jacket.

Reinke added that it could become an annual event if a sponsor like the Cartoon Network comes forward. Officials declined to say how much the network contributed financially, but did say the company provided the free food and service at the unveiling.

“This event was a huge success,” Reinke said. “Many people indicated that they would love to see this as an annual event.”