La Cañada Flintridge float soars

Ann Neilson is mighty proud of her 42-foot-long, 18-foot-high brontosaurus.

Neilson, the president of the La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Assn., said she swelled with pride on Tuesday when the city’s float, “Dino-Soar,” wheeled around the corner onto Pasadena’s Colorado Boulevard during the 124th Rose Parade.

“We were a big success,” Neilson said. “Everything was working. The music was playing. The people next to me in the grandstand were excited, saying, ‘I love this float.’”

The Tournament of Roses judges liked the float, as well, giving it the award for best animation. The float features a brontosaurus inspired by pterodactyls to attempt flight. It features 38 moving parts, the most of any entry in the parade.

Early on Tuesday morning, Dwight Crumb, 64, and his son Dustin, 37, of Pasadena, were two of the many float volunteers to give “Dino-Soar” a last check.

“I can't really rest until we get through the cameras,” Dustin Crumb said, referring to the intersection known as TV Corner, at Orange Grove and Colorado boulevards.

Dwight Crumb said the volunteer effort was rewarding in several ways.

“I consider myself very lucky to be spending a day a week with my son,” he said.

Building this year’s float was a significant challenge, Neilson said. Welding the brontosaurus and stretching a neoprene shell over the frame were tough tasks. But featuring such a large centerpiece was a good move, she added.

“That’s one big animal, and it makes a big impression on people,” she said.

For the first time this year the La Cañada association allowed walk-in volunteers to help with the float, and also allowed younger children to play a role. During the parade, Neilson said, she sat by a 6-year-old who had earned her La Cañada patch by placing peas on one of the float’s prehistoric animals.

Previously, the association had required float volunteers to be 13 or older.

“This was the first year we had children working alongside their parents, and it worked out well,” Neilson said. “We had grandmas with grandchildren; it was a nice community gathering place for everybody.”

“Dino-Soar” will be on display in La Cañada Memorial Park on Saturday, from about 10 a.m. until mid-afternoon, Neilson said.

Meanwhile, planning begins for the 125th Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2014. For information on the float design contest sponsored by the La Cañada Flintridge Assn., visit

La Cañada was also represented on the city of Glendale float, “Living the Good Life!”

Featuring a trolley car, a roll of movie film and Glendale’s Alex Theatre, the float also carried Lance Bird and Sierra Katow, both 18. Both won $10,000 scholarships and the right to ride from Caruso Affiliated, owners of Glendale’s Americana at Brand and a major sponsor of the city’s float.

Bird, a graduate of St. Francis High School who now attends Pomona College, said he’s seen several Rose parades, but not from the center of Colorado Boulevard.

“I've never been in one,” he said.” It's very exciting.”

Katow, who attended La Cañada High School and now is a student at Harvard University, had only seen the parade on TV.

“I grew up watching the Rose Parade on television,” she said. “Seeing it from the inside is really cool.”

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