Posted 1/1/2014 – Congratulations to the Sierra Madre Rose Float Association for winning their eighth award in nine years! SMRFA’s “Catching the Big One” won the Mayor’s Trophy for Most Outstanding City Entry – National or International. Here’s a link to take a look back at the previous winners, 2006 to 2013: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbrpvIwqHwo
In 2006, the Wonder of Reading, designed by Charles Meier, took the Founder’s Banner Trophy, for the most spectacular float built and decorated by volunteers from a community or organization. In 2007, Our Wonderful Wistaria designed by Charles Meier was the winner of the Lathrop K. Leishman Award, for most beautiful non-commercial float. 2008’s Valentine’s Day, again designed by Charles Meier, won the Princesses’ Award, for most beautiful float 35′ and under. In 2009, SMRFA and Meier’s streak continued with Bollywood Dreams, which again brought home the Lathrop K. Leishman Award, for most beautiful non-commercial float. In 2010, California Girls, designed by Dick Sappington, won the Governor’s Award in 2010 for best depiction of life in California. Sierra Madre also got the Governor’s Award in 2011 for Suenos de California, again designed by Meier.
Gorgeous as it was, 2012’s Colorful Imagination did not garner any awards, but 2013’s The Sky’s the Limit put SMRFA back in the winner’s circle. The Sky’s the Limit was designed by Charles Meier from a concept drawing by Sierra Madre resident Maria Murray.
For 2014, Catching the Big One is again a winner. The theme of this year’s parade is Dreams Come True. According to the Float Notes newsletter of the SMRFA, Sierra Madre’s float is a reminder to be careful what you wish for, as the 26-foot tall fish seems a little large for the tiny boat of the fisherman who caught it. Charles Meier was once again the designer, this time from a sketch by….wait for it…Charles Meier!! Charles’ new float company, Paradiso Parade Floats, won the Extraordinaire Award for the float they made for Singpoli Group, and the Grand Marshal’s Award for the float they built for Public Storage. Quite a year for Charlie! In 2011, I interviewed Charlie, and asked him “What is your motivation? Are you doing this because you want to be the guy that’s won the most float awards, or is it just because you enjoy doing it, or what is the motivating factor for you?” And his response was “Well…something that I’ve said before to people is that one of the things I find so delightful about the Rose Parade is that it’s a display of extravagant beauty, for no good reason, at all. And I think that’s something that people need, it’s something that I need. Just to be reminded that there is beauty in the world. For me, it just comes naturally, it’s not even the sort of thing that you plan or strategise about…it’s, you know, fish swim because that’s how they’re made, and I seem to design floats because that’s how I’m made”. Congratulations Charlie!
Also, according to the Float Notes, the fish’s “name is Wanda, “Wanda is 100% pure –bred “fantasy fish.” She will be decorated in hot pink, orange and yellow carnations and chrysanthemums with accents of pink grapefruit, oranges and lemons. Each one of her eyeballs is nearly 5 feet in diameter and we estimate her eyelashes are approximately 12” long. She’s one-of-a-kind.”
As is SMRFA, and as are all the volunteers who made this happen. Congratulations on another well deserved win!
There are some pictures from the Float’s stopover in Kersting Court on New Year’s Eve as it headed down to the parade route below the video. The video shows the Float’s arrival and departure in Kersting Court, the raising of the fish (which is lowered to go under freeway overpasses), and a demonstration of the animation.