Rose Parade: “Preservation Celebration”
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2008 Rose Parade

Rain Bird International’s “Preservation Celebration” won the Sweepstakes Trophy for most beautiful entry with outstanding floral presentation and design. The float offers a flowered representation of India’s Bengal tigers and peacocks around temple ruins. It was built by Fiesta Parade Floats. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
American Honda’s “Passport to the Future” won the Crown City Innovation Trophy, awarded for best use of imagination and innovation to advance the art of float design. The Honda Ridgeline-inspired truck rises from a cloud of smoke and converts into an airborne craft that blasts off. The float was built by Phoenix Decorating Co. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
Human rights organizations protested the Rose Parade’s most controversial entry, the Chinese Olympics-themed “One World, One Dream,” which protesters say is a propaganda tool for a government that sanctions imprisonment and torture of it opponents (Karen Tapia-Andersen)
In the city of Sierra Madre’s “Valentine’s Day,” lovers in swan boats made of coconut glide on a lake of irises, orchids and roses. The float, built by volunteers, won the Princess’ Trophy for most beautiful float 35 feet or under. (Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times)
The Trader Joe’s entry “Getting There Is All the Fun,” featuring a flying train, was awarded the Craftsman Trophy for exceptional showmanship and dramatic impact, over 55 feet only. The float was built by Phoenix Decorating Co. (Karen Tapia-Anderson / Los Angeles Times)
The Chinese Olympics-themed float “One World, One Dream,” featuring the five official mascots of the 2008 Beijing Games, was sponsored by the Roundtable of Southern California Chinese-American Organizations and Avery Dennison Corp. and built by Festival Artists. (Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times)
Santa Fe Springs entered a two-float unit, “A Celebration of Life -- Dia de los Muertos,” commemorating the 3,000-year-old holiday celebrating the cycle of life. The float won the Extraordinaire Trophy for most spectacular entry over 55 feet. (Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times)
A woman paddles on “The Lewis and Clark Expedition,” winner of the President’s Trophy for most effective floral use and presentation. The float, sponsored by the city of St. Louis, was built by Phoenix Decorating Co. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
“Life Takes Flight” features four colorful balloons on a float that carries 24 riders whose lives have been saved by renewed organ, tissue and blood donations. Eight donors or their family members carry tether lines. The float, which won the Judges’ Special Trophy, is sponsored by Donate Life and built by Phoenix Decorating Co. (Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times)
“Carnival of Taiwan” was awarded the International Trophy for most beautiful entry from outside the continental U.S. The float, sponsored by China Airlines Ltd., was built by Festival Artists. (Karen Tapia-Andersen / Los Angeles Times)
“The Circus Comes to Town” brought traditional circus fun to the parade, including a steam-spewing locomotive leading an animal car and a trapeze car with performers perched three stories above the street. The float is sponsored by Western Asset and built by Phoenix Decorating Co. (Karen Tapia-Andersen / Los Angeles Times)
“Salute to the Rose Parade” features a 20-foot-tall sculptured rose that blooms from bud to full blossom. The float, sponsored by Bayer Advanced and built by Phoenix Decorating Co., won the Queen’s Trophy, awarded for most effective use and display of roses in concept, design and presentation. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
“Viva Italia,” the Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino’s first Rose Parade entry, features some of Italy’s most iconic landmarks, including the Campanile Tower of St. Mark’s Square and the palazzi along the Amalfi coastline. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)