For now, despite growing concerns about increasing coronavirus cases – especially in LA County – the 2021 Rose Parade is still targeted for New Year’s Day.
But some of those responsible for building floats, like South Pasadena Tournament of Roses (SPTOR) President Brant Dunlap are starting to feel the pinch as days and months go by.
Fundraising for South Pasadena’s entry is drastically behind schedule and float construction, which would normally be well on its way at this stage, has not begun.
Until it hears differently, the SPTOR Committee, which has not met since March, is prepared to move forward with putting a float on the parade route until it hears differently.
While some fundraising efforts are in the past due to COVID-19, SPTOR’s Dunlap expects the 16th annual Cruz’n for Roses Hot Rod and Classic Car Show, an event that traditionally brings in roughly $15,000, to take place in September.
“However,” he warned, “it will be a little different than what you have been seeing (in the past).”
What car-show goers have witnessed over the years are about 200-300 cars of all makes and models parked between Meridian and Fair Oaks Ave as thousands walk along Mission Street appreciating their beauty. Funds from the show are raised through entry fees and sponsorships, raising important funds for steel and flowers used on the float, which often comes with a price tag of approximately $100,000.
In the past, the show has featured independent judges’ awarding of trophies in a variety of car categories, and vendors selling a variety of items from car supplies to hats and food.
And just how different will this year’s car show be? What exactly will it look like? “Stay tuned,” answered Dunlap, saying all the details have not been worked out but more information will come at a later date.
“COVID-19, social distancing, large assembly and budget restraints are still major concerns,” said the SPTOR president, anxious to see construction and, eventually, decoration crews performing work on the city’s entry. For now, however, there has been no movement. “The coronavirus has put a freeze on everything we do,” explained Dunlap. “No meetings, no working, lost fundraisers, etc. We are literally frozen in time at the moment.”
With a lack of fundraising dollars, Dunlap was asked if the city is in a position to pay for its float in the upcoming Rose Parade. “In theory no,” he said. “However we have a few ideas and some opportunities that if the timing works out we can generate some much needed funding. Our biggest support base has always been our local community, which we will continue to reach out to and rely on. Obviously things are different at the present time so we are going to think outside of the box a little more than we usually do.”
If work begins, Dunlap’s construction team will be creating “Sky’s the Limit,” a city float matching the overall Tournament of Roses parade theme of “Dream, Believe, Achieve.”
Looking at a rendering, he calls the city’s float “another gem,” noting, “it represents the City of South Pasadena with a couple of crazy Ostriches, a few other critters lending a hand while supporting the theme beautifully. Viewers of all ages will smile when they see this float. It’s whimsical, it’s playful, it’s funny, it’s an award-worthy float.”
Dunlap says the “phenomenal design was dreamed up by a very special person whom we recently lost, Paul Abbey,” he said, talking about the longtime volunteer who dedicated long hours to South Pasadena’s float before his death last year.
He added that “Paul’s design was first entered about seven years or so,” saying it frequently made it to the final selection round when it came before the SPTOR committee for recommendation to Tournament officials. “People are going to love it.”