Glendale Rose Float Alex Theatre

Glendale Rose Parade float on display at Alex Theatre
Glendale News Press January 6, 2016
Arin Mikailian Contact Reporter and (Tim Berger / Staff Photographer)

It would certainly get a parking ticket if it were any other vehicle, but since it was Glendale’s Rose Float entry, it was allowed to stay in front of the Alex Theatre on Brand Boulevard for three days.

The arrival of this year’s float, “Getting There Is Half the Fun,” marked the end of a yearlong journey.

In 2015, Glendale missed out on the Tournament of Roses Parade for the first time in a century, due to a lack of funding.

But thanks to a slight bump in revenue, the City Council allocated $200,000 to get an entry in the 2016 parade.

After a frantic push by volunteers to glue on every last pedal, the float made the deadline and cruised down Colorado Boulevard on New Year’s Day.

Resident Rosa Robillart called the chance to see the entry in front of the Alex a unique experience.

“It was very nice, very beautiful,” she said. “It’s the first time I’ve ever seen it that close.”

Passersby whipped out their phones to snap close-ups with the float, which featured a classic car, an airplane and a reproduction of the facade of the historic Larry Zarian Transportation Center.

As a memento, live roses from the float were handed out.

After the city signed off on the check, the newly formed Glendale Rose Float Assn. took the reins. The group is made up of volunteers who wanted to see a Glendale float again in the Rose Parade, but it had to embark on a major fundraising effort to ensure the city won’t miss any more years down the road.

“We don’t just need volunteer hours, we also need to help fund the float,” Cindy Badell-Slaughter, the association’s sergeant at arms, said as she held roses to give away.

She said the group was $10,000 shy of a $50,000 goal in donations.

Why specifically that much? Because it’s the amount Mayor Ara Najarian said last year the association should raise at the minimum before the city engages in float talks again.

And that’s pretty much how he still feels. He said he needs to hear from the association and city staffers.

“It was a nice looking float … but was it worth $200,000?” Najarian said in a phone interview. ” I still have to get as much information as I can and see how our finances are doing to see if want to go down that road again.”

Early Wednesday morning, the float was expected to be towed back to where it was built, Phoenix Decorating in Pasadena, and then disassembled.

The first step toward a possible entry in the 2017 parade will entail a financial report by the association detailing how the fundraising effort went. The report will be filed with the city by the end of the month.

“It’s a tradition,” Robillart said. “We need to continue doing this.”

Arin Mikailian, arin.mikailian@latimes.com
Twitter: @ArinMikailian
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