And the beat goes on for the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Committee (SPTOR), which continues to reap recognition in wake of its award-winning entry in the 2024 Rose Parade to kick off the new year.
On a roll, for the third consecutive year the city has received a high honor, this time for its “Boogie Fever” named float, which depicts a group of character animals playing musical instruments after placing the lively sounds of the Sylvers’ 1970s hit, on a turntable that has fallen into the rain forest from a cargo plane. The city was presented the Founder Award by the Tournament of Roses for “most outstanding float built and decorated by volunteers from a community or organization.”
The recognition is even more impressive when considering since 2019, the city has won an award every year, with the exception of 2021 when the parade was cancelled on account of COVID.
As part of its regularly scheduled January 17 meeting, the South Pasadena City Council, including Mayor Evelyn Zneimer, who worked long hours on the float leading up to the parade under a giant tent in a parking long behind the War Memorial Building, congratulated the committee’s all-volunteer effort by presenting the organization’s president Ed Donnelly with a certificate of recognition reading, in part: “Thank you for your tireless efforts and unwavering commitment that have contributed significantly to the success of our float, bringing joy and inspiration for all. We are grateful for all your efforts in continuing to represent our City with these achievements.”
Zneimer and the council also paid tribute to the Sylvers family, also recognizing the group at the meeting, for giving SPTOR permission to use their “Boogie Fever” song on board the float as it rolled down the 5 ½ -mile parade route.
“Your artistic contributions added a harmonious and captivating element to our float, enriching the experience for everyone,” read the certificate of recognition presented by Sheila Pautsch, South Pasadena’s community services director and city staff liaison to the float committee, to the musical group members Leon Sylvers III, Foster Sylvers, Angelia Sylvers, Charmaine Sylvers, and Cy Sylvers.
“We are extremely appreciative to the family for allowing the use of the iconic song “Boogie Fever” which brought excitement and joy to the float and parade,” Pautsch said, “Their contribution was huge.”
The Sylvers provided their music available to the city at no charge “and we are extremely grateful and proud that we could use your song,” Pautsch added during the celebration inside the City Council chambers at City Hall. “The song is going to live after us. It’s an amazing song.”
Pautsch further proudly noted that “South Pasadena has the oldest self-built float in the parade,” meaning every minute of work on the float is the result of volunteers giving up their time as opposed to larger entries that are commercially constructed with big dollar backing.
“The committee is a group of volunteers who fundraise, plan, design, build, decorate, and drive the float down Colorado Boulevard every year during the Rose Parade,” she said. “The committee represents South Pasadena with these accomplishments.”
Steel, flowers and other material costs can be exorbitant, increasing the amount of South Pasadena float costs well over $100,000 – some years close to $150,000 – that must be raised by the dedicated team of local volunteers, many of the same individuals who have freely contributed a tremendous amount of hours to the task.
The hard work and strong commitment has paid off handsomely. In recent years, pointed out Pautsch to the council, South Pasadena has earned:
- 2024 Founder Award for “Boogie Fever” in parade themed: “Celebrating a World of Music: The Universal Language.”
- 2023 Bob Hope Humor Award for “Spark of Imagination” in parade themed: ”Turning the Corner.”
- 2022 Founder Award for “Sky’s the Limit” in parade themed: “Dream. Believe. Achieve.”
- 2021 canceled due to COVID
- 2020 Mayor Award for “Victory at Last” in parade themed: “The Power of Hope.”
- 2019 Mayor Award for “Three Little Birds” in parade themed: “Melody of Life.”
“Thank you for your dedication and tireless work in creating award-winning floats year after year,” said Pautsch, who asked a large group of float workers at the meeting to come forward and receive the city’s praise for a job well done.
She then handed the certificate of recognition to a smiling Donnelly, accepting the honor. “The only thing I need to say is thank you,” he said, passing along his gratitude to those who collectively contributed so much of their personal time over the past year in making another winning float possible.
And acknowledging, with big help from the Sylvers this year, that yes the beat goes on – a good one at that – as South Pasadena has won an award for its fifth straight entry in the highly watched and anticipated parade, garnering worldwide attention.
Reminder: SPTOR is now accepting entries for the 2025 float. The theme of the 2025 Rose Parade is “Best Day Ever!”