Unclassified Info: Beginning to float toward float euphoria

I'm ecstatic about the proposed design for Glendale's float entry in the 2013 Tournament or Roses parade.

Seriously. I am.

I know, I'm the guy who called for our city to stop putting floats in the parade. And I've been critical of those who support the concept of a float as a marketing tool, mostly because my 20-plus years in marketing and advertising has me believing that anyone who spends more than $100,000 for less than 15 seconds of air time without a focused message is foolish.

But that was yesterday. Today, you can look up in the sky for flying pigs because I'm changing my tune based solely on the enticing description of the float design, as reported late last week: “The float features the Americana's red trolley and images of a doctor and nurse to represent the two companies that put up a total of $60,000 for the $99,000 float. It also includes a film roll and animated searchlights.”

The concept also includes allusions to the Alex Theatre and Glendale's animation history.

Well done! I do believe if we are going to get corporate sponsors to foot the bill, they should have the right to create the float in ways that will depict their financial or social contribution to the good folks of Glendale.

In the case of the Americana, I am sure hordes of people will flock to Glendale to ride the trolley there as a result of the mega-mall's participation. Even though I haven't done so myself, I'm sure a lot of Americans would love to ride the semi-historic car in a circle that literally takes you nowhere slowly.

I do think it fits nicely into the parade theme for 2013 Rose Parade, “Oh, the Places You'll Go.” When I think about creating an impression of Glendale, I'd like potential visitors to think that once they get here, life will be an endless, short loop.

Of course, if they get injured on this nearly static ride through a manufactured slice of American living, they have the comfort of doctors and nurses ready and willing to treat whatever ails them. Whether these representations will help even those without insurance, or at least some sort of co-payment, is yet to be determined.

But heck, floats aren't supposed to be representations of socialism, right?

With the current corporate sponsorships in place, that still leaves us about $31,000 short, according to Community Services & Parks Director Jess Duran. He is likewise hopeful that another source of income will be found by way of corporate sponsorship or community donations.

Because I'm a giver, I have an idea that I think will further advance this concept of letting the world know what other businesses they'll find in Glendale. I say we allow smaller entities to use their wares to cover the float. Who needs flowers when we have an abundance of materials that say, “Come see what we're made of … literally!”

To bolster the Americana's contribution, I propose we craft the trolley using tuna sashimi from Katsuya, French fries from Jewel City Diner and guacamole from Frida.

We can make the doctor and nurse out of hummus, stuffed grape leaves and tabouleh from Carousel. And the recognizable spire of the Alex Theatre can be made of submarine sandwiches courtesy of Mario's Deli.

For the film roll and animated searchlights, we'd be well served to let Porto's Bakery cover them in their world-famous potato balls and empanadas.

To complete the cacophony of corporate communications, we could even incorporate into the design a small section of the L.A. River, which we could fill with Mai Tais from Damon's.

Finally, we'll need some greenery to keep from being disqualified, so perhaps we can get some of the local entrepreneurs growing marijuana illegally in properties around the city to donate some of their fine product — anonymously, of course. If that doesn't work, then maybe we just grab a few kilos out of the evidence lockup at the Glendale Police Department.

The side benefit to this last suggestion is we would most likely end up with a glut of volunteers willing to help decorate the float. The downside would be that three hours into the decorating, they'd most likely begin eating everything on the float.

GARY HUERTA is a Glendale resident and author. He is currently working on his second novel and the second half of his life. Gary may be reached at gh@garyhuerta.com.

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