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February 2, 2017

Rose Float Design Submission

I knocked off a lifetime bucket-list desire this year by submitting a design for a Rose Parade float to the Burbank Tournament of Roses Association.  The BTOR float is community funded, designed, and built.  Their design process is open to anyone in the community; you don't even have to be a Burbank resident.  Their board winnows down all the selections received to a few choices which are voted on by their membership (to be a member, one must pay a small yearly membership fee).   

The 2018 Rose Parade Theme is “Making a Difference.” It is "meant to honor and celebrate all of the people in our communities, who quietly and without desire for reward or recognition, act in selfless, generous and kind ways to aid or benefit’s about the human acts of kindness that enrich the lives of others and are the source of inspiration, hope, joy and optimism for all of us.”  I couldn't think of a better focus that fits within this theme than to promote animal rescue.  

My idea is to have one little girl, taking a knee in a park-like setting, with a brother standing next to her. The little girl is wearing a t-shirt that says "Fostering Saves Lives."  Her arms are outstreched wide, and in one arm is looped a leash.  Opposite and facing them, in a single cement shelter kennel (without getting too dark or depressing) is a cluster of abandoned and stray animals--a chihuahua, a big dog, a medium sized terrier, a kitty cat, and a bunny rabbit. The chihuahua is in the front, taking the lead, and is running to the girl.  It's clear she is rescuing the pup and will be giving it a happy home.

Unfortunately, I don't have the artistic talent to draw out the scenario in my head.  I put out feelers for some help, and finally connected with a friend from my film work, who is a talented sketch artist, of the type that does accurate court drawings and portraiture.  I sent him my idea with less than twenty four hours to the submission deadline.  We had little time for revisions or collaboration, so I gave him free reign to run with it, and waited excitedly to see what he would come up with.  While his composite differs from what I would have done in some ways, I was happy that we were able to submit in time and get the theme idea in front of the committee. 

Titled "One Paw at A Time," the text that accompanied our drawing read: "A little girl exits a shelter to a park-like setting, beginning a pet's new life as a foster." 


Postscript:  Tonight was the community voting of the designs.  Of fifty designs submitted this year, the Board chose six to present to the membership, and ours was one of them!  Through a voting process, our design received third place!  I never imagined my design would make it past the board-level, and due to a scheduling conflict, I was not at the meeting.  But my friend sent me a report with pictures.   

The winning design was created by a thirteen year old girl, possibly the youngest float designer in BTOR history.  I don't want to give anything away, so I won't say more, except that I am pleased that it also has a theme which makes a statement. 

The non-selected submissions were laid out on tables after the voting.  All of the submissions were elaborate and detailed, and some quite professionally drafted.  I was amazed at the forethought that went into the animation as well as the overall theme.  

I am stunned that we made it into the final voting round.  Of the five years I've worked on the float, they've all been cute-sy but nonpolitical.  The theme of this year's parade opened the door to some lofty statements.  I can't wait for Deco Week of the 2018 Rose Parade!

1 comment:

  1. Nice summary! You should be very proud of your submission. Funny, as soon as I saw it, I knew it was yours and honestly it was my favorite. I waited to text you for confirmation until after it was eliminated to be fair and non biased. I wish you could have been there, but you would have been a nervous wreck! Great concept, be proud!


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