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Dog days of winter

Irma Lemus

SOUTH SAN FERNANDO DISTRICT-- For Janet Diel and her four children,

building the 2000 Burbank Tournament of Roses float is more than just

volunteering, it’s carrying on a family tradition.

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Diel, 52, said the inflammation of her spinal cord which has kept her

confined to wheelchair has not dampened her enthusiasm for the work,

which she has performed with her family in each of the past 14 years.

“I remember when I would bring my youngest daughter, Joey,” recalled

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Diel, “I would feed her and put her back on the stroller and go right

back to putting flowers on the float.”

For Diel and many other float volunteers, the clock is ticking. They

have only three more days before Burbank Police escort the finished

product to Pasadena for the big event.

The making of the Burbank float is a year-long process, said Teri

Bastian, president of the Burbank Tournament of Roses Association. Unlike

most of the other entries, the Burbank float is built entirely by

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volunteers. The project is funded partly by the city and partly by

private donations, Bastian said.

“We pick a design in January for the following year’s float,” she said.

The theme of Burbank’s last float of the 20th Century “To The

Future...At Full Throttle!” depicts a puppy flying a fantasy rocket,

piercing through a cloud, as comical birds scramble to get out of the

way.

The cloud base of the 54-foot-long float will be covered with more

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than 20,000 flowers such as tulips, orchids, irises, roses and

carnations, Bastian said. Other organic materials to be affixed to the

float include ground sweet rice, seaweed, corn husk, an assortment of

beans, cauliflower and popcorn.

Bastian said that local designers submit their visions each year to

voting members of the association. Names of the participants are not

revealed until after a winner has been selected to avoid any chance of

impartiality. This year’s float was designed by Burbank resident and

association member Clark Jellison.

A musical combination of Van Halen’s “Dreams” and the tune “Those

Magnificent Men and their Flying Machines” will play as the float makes

its way down the parade route, Bastian said.

For the rest of this week -- known as “Deco Week” in parade parlance

-- volunteers will be working around the clock to finish the float by the

Friday evening deadline. On Monday, there was an unmistakable feeling of

community spirit as the volunteers chipped away at the project. “The

city of Burbank has a great support group in the community,” said

Jeanette Marriott, the decoration chair.

Marriott said some volunteers don’t sleep the night before the

parade, following the float to Pasadena to make sure it arrives safely

and remaining on hand to perform touch-up work.

“If we get parking close to the float we’ll stay in our cars, but if

we don’t than we’ll just stay up all night,” said Marriott. Final judging

of the floats occurs at about 3 a.m. Saturday.

“Once the winner is announced, we all go into our cars and sleep for

a couple of hours,” she said.

Diel said helping to build Burbank’s Tournament of Roses floats has

been an important part of her life and she’s passing that on to her

children.

“The float really gets to people. There is something exciting about

knowing that people around the world will see your work,” Diel said.

IF YOU GO

FLOAT PREJUDGING

What:Tournament of Roses officials judge Burbank’s float.

When: Thursday and Friday (photo opportunity) at 2:10 p.m. Where: Public service department Barn, 320 N. Lake Ave. (park at the Olive

Avenue MetroLink parking lot).

THE PARADE

What:The 2000 Tournament of Roses Parade.

When: Saturday from 8-10 a.m.

Where: Orange Grove Boulevard to Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena.

Details: Viewing spots along the parade route can be claimed beginning

at noon Friday. Parking is on a fist-come, first-serve basis at paid

parking lots along parade route. Overnight parking on Pasadena streets is

permitted beginning at noon Friday.

PAID PARKING SITES IN PASADENA:

33 East Green Street, near Fair Oaks Avenue

150 East Holly Street near Arroyo Parkway

462 East Green Street, near Los Robles Avenue

465 East Union Street near Los Robles Avenue

TRANSPORTATION:

MetroLink will run special trains to the parade. For more information,

call MetroLink at (800) 371-LINK. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan

Transportation Authority will provide regular bus service to the Rose

Parade. For more information, call the MTA information line at (800)

COMMUTE.

FLOAT VIEWING:

What: Parade floats will be on display at Pasadena’s Victory Park.

When: Saturday from 1:30 to 4:45 p.m. and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Where: Sierra Madre Boulevard between Washington Boulevard and Sierra

Madre Villa Avenue and on Washington Boulevard between Sierra Madre

Boulevard and Woodlyn Road.

Cost: $4

Information: Call the Tournament of Roses information line at (626)

449-ROSE or the tournament office at (626) 449-4100.


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