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‘A great community trophy’: Burbank’s award-winning float on display through Sunday

Dozens of residents from Burbank and nearby communities flocked to the corner of Olive Avenue and Glenoaks Boulevard in downtown Burbank to get an up-close look at this year’s award-winning Rose Parade float created by the Burbank Tournament of Roses Assn.

Though some of the fresh flowers have started to wilt, those who visited the float, titled “Stompin’ Good Time,” Friday afternoon were still in awe of the intricacies and effort put into the creation.

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It will be available for viewing in the lot across the street from the Burbank Central Library through Sunday.

At about 1 p.m. on Friday, longtime volunteer Jon Reeves hopped into the float, which took home the Animation Award during the parade on New Year’s Day, and turned on the float’s animation components.

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With their smartphones in hand, people walked around the float and recorded its various moving parts, such as a wolf playing a fiddle, a pig playing a saxophone, a crocodile swaying in a hammock and a skunk blowing on a jug.

“Seeing all these people here makes my year,” Reeves said. “This is my payment, if you will, for doing the float — hearing all the comments, talking to people and getting them to understand how much more goes into building these floats than they realize.”

Chatting with Reeves was Wayne Poirier, a former vice chair for the Burbank association who has designed two of the group’s previous floats and has helped with the construction process for about 25 years.

Poirier, who used to live in Burbank and now lives in Sun Valley, said he is proud to see that the association and all of its volunteers are continuing to create magnificent floats that win awards year after year.

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“They’ve grown a little bit every year,” he said. “Every year, they learn something new and [try] something new. They’ve had a run of winnings because they have a group of people that are dedicated to this.”

Burbank residents Colleen Nash and Gavin Perry walked a few laps around the float to spot every detail they could. The married couple had watched a livestream of the parade and wanted to see the float in person.

Nash said she liked the simulated flame animation at the back of the float, in which objects decorated to look like flames rotated underneath an alcohol still and emitted actual smoke that was created using a smoke machine.

“It’s such an underrated piece of detail that just blew me away,” she said. “It was something that you’d miss on the livestream.”

Meanwhile, Perry enjoyed the fact that he was able to walk around the entire float and see what the cameras missed during the broadcast.

“You don’t really get to see all the details when you’re watching the parade on TV,” he said. “[Here], you get to see all 360 degrees.”

Burbank resident Briana Coyne said she was mesmerized with the float when she saw it during the broadcast and was even more awestruck seeing it up close.

Coyne said her favorite parts were all of the animals, especially the crocodile.

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For her, seeing the community come together to make an award-winning float makes her proud to live in Burbank.

“People do so much to make this float great — all the design details, the creativity, the ingeniousness of all of it,” Coyne said. “We’re not paying people to make this for us. People volunteer to do this. It’s a great community trophy.”

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