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Float needs mix of old and new

November 23, 2011

It's unfortunate that those who were involved in the selection of the 2011 Rose Parade float feel unappreciated (“Float volunteers' work is unappreciated,” Nov. 17).

Although I believe they had the best of intentions, I continue to think a circus elephant is a poor choice to represent Glendale and has no connection to the theme, “Just Imagine.” I'm puzzled they don't see how others find the choice inappropriate.

It isn't about the hours put in; it's the result that matters. The criticism is of the design, not their contribution.

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What's important now, however, is to make sure subsequent designs really reflect our city.

The float was nearly canceled due to lack of funds, so that part of the process needs to change, too. With so many local designers, artists, craftspeople, engineers and builders, I hope it can be done without hiring outside contractors.

Our smaller neighbor, La Cañada Flintridge, builds its own float there. Glendale has a much larger population, plus Glendale Community College with its wealth of educational programs. How about a float design and construction class?

Maybe Clark Magnet High School students could be involved with the technical aspects, under the mentorship of adults who work in the local entertainment industry. Floats aren't that different from sets.

I believe Glendale's float should showcase Glendale talent. Maybe eventually some of the flowers and other vegetation could be grown in local community gardens, parks or school grounds.

I think what's missing is leadership to pull everything together and make the effort a true community project. Ideally, that would mean a mix of the old Glendale Rose Float Assn. augmented with new energy from our widely diverse community.

I hope the former can shake off their anger and embrace some new ideas.

Sharon Weisman

Glendale

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