Parade Day

We were up well before dawn on New Year's Day and headed over to Pasadena to enjoy the parade. It was chilly out but no rain, so it was a great way to start the day. There was all sorts of traffic to get through, as buses with the bands seemed to be everywhere, but eventually we got to our assigned lot and then found our seats.

Float at the staging area

All of the floats are gathered at a massive staging area at the start of the parade, lined up in the order they will be seen during the parade itself. This is when the 3rd and final judging takes place, so the dancers and musicians were there doing their thing when we arrived.

Founders' Trophy

As we were driving to Pasadena we got the very welcome call that "Oktoberfest" had won the Founder's Trophy for "Most outstanding float built and decorated by volunteers from a community or organization." Our second float and our second award! What a great way to start both the day and the new year.

Carol and Ross King

With the winners newly announced, there were all sorts of TV crews out trying to get footage for their morning broadcasts and inserts during the parade. Here Carol enjoys a laugh with Ross King, the entertainment reporter for KTLA, Channel 5 here in Los Angeles.

First view

Finally, there it was - "Oktoberfest" came into view. We knew it was coming as we had heard the oom-pah band, but it was still just great to see it out there. The crowd reaction was great, and the dancers really poured it on for the TV cameras.

Next view

Never did I dream while in the beer halls and tents of Munich that those evenings would someday suggest a float for the Rose Parade. It was a fun project and Carol did a fantastic job overseeing the truly Herculean job of supervising the decorating.

Last view

The parade moves by at a fairly good clip so each float is in front of the cameras for around 30 seconds. This point is important, as a design needs to be simple enough that viewers will get the concept quickly enough to also be able to enjoy the flowers and animation. We had felt audiences will grasp our idea fairly quickly, and happily the judges seemed to agree.

More about the design and building of the float