Burbank float, constructed on home turf, takes home award

Burbank's “The Dream Machine” won the Mayor's Award for best municipal float — adding to the city’s storied performance at the annual Tournament of Roses Parade.

Burbank’s history of awards at the Rose Parade is especially sweet since the floats are constructed entirely by volunteers, an effort that has produced pyrotechnics, hydraulic-powered moving parts and smoke machines for an extra flair that makes the designs stand out.

Jon Reeves, a member of the Burbank Rose Float Assn. Board of Directors, designed the hydraulics and many other elements of the 2012 float, which included a bed carrying a sleeping boy. The bed was made of structural and pencil rod steel, chicken wire and a plastic cocoon originally developed for mothball ships, Reeves said.


FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Reeves of president of the association.


Themed “Just Imagine,” the parade attracted an estimated 900,000 visitors and featured 44 floats, 21 marching bands and 20 equestrian troupes marching down the 5½ mile route through the heart of Pasadena. The parade was held the day after New Year’s to avoid disrupting Sunday church services.

Neighboring cities also won awards for their designs. La Cañada Flintridge won the Bob Hope Humor Trophy for “If Pigs Could Fly” and South Pasadena won the Fantasy Trophy for “When Life Gives You Lemons...”

Some of those cities were also represented on this year's Rose Court — the group of seven young women who will represent the Tournament of Roses at events and receptions throughout the year. Pasadena native Drew Washington, 16, a student at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy in La Cañada Flintridge, is this year's Rose Queen.

Washington said she was “excited” from atop the Royal Court float minutes before the parade started. “I've been looking forward to this day since October.”

J.R. Martinez, a decorated veteran of the Iraq war and a champion on “Dancing with the Stars,” was the parade's grand marshal. He sat in an open car as fans cheered and waved.

“It's been a beautiful four days,” Martinez said. “The people are so nice and so accommodating. I can see why this tradition continues.”

The Rose Parade and Rose Bowl game generates $180 million in economic activity, according to Tournament of Roses officials, ranging from the corporate sponsorship of individual floats and the football game to money spent in the region by visitors who come for the game or the parade.

The University of Oregon Ducks defeated the University of Wisconsin Badgers 45-38 in this year's game, which kicked off at the conclusion of the parade.

-- Bill Kisliuk and Adolfo Flores, Times Community News

Photo: The City of Burbank float, titled "The Dream Machine," rolls down Colorado Blvd. during the 123rd Rose Parade in Pasadena on Monday, January 2, 2011. The float won the Mayor's Trophy for most outstanding city entry, national or international. Credit: Raul Roa / Times Community News

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