Rose Parade Floats South Pasadena Some Payback for Fire Fiasco

Published : Friday, June 28, 2019 | 5:42 AM

Sometimes fire is the spark of inspiration for something new. In South Pasadena’s case, that would be a financial head start on its next parade float and a free ride down Colorado Boulevard on New Year’s Day.

Denied a properly televised and dignified path along the 2019 Rose Bowl Parade route, thanks to an unfortunate occurrence for which it shared no part, South Pasadena’s going to get some compensation.

Although South Pasadena Tournament of Roses, the committee that builds the city’s floats, did not ask for recompense it will, nonetheless, receive $5,000 over the mishap, according to chairwoman Courtney Dunlap.

The larger part, $4,000, is to defray the cost of building the float. The remaining $1,000 is for the music rights to Bob Marley’s reggae classic, “Three Little Birds,” around which South Pasadena’s 2019 entry was themed.

The Tournament of Roses will also waive the neighboring city’s 2020 parade entry fee of $2,500.

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock for six months, you know that the last Rose Bowl Parade suffered a flaming float. Maybe, if it had happened at the beginning of the proceedings, all the loveliness would have erased the momentarily bad memory.

Alas, it was near the end of the parade when the Chinese American Heritage Foundation’s float, “Harmony Through Union,” stalled and started belching smoke at the convergence of Orange Grove Avenue and Colorado Boulevard.

The parade wasn’t over, but its stalled progress gave waiting spectators the idea it was, and they began to disperse in various directions, including across the parade route as floats from Underground Service Alert of Southern California and South Pasadena picked their way through the pedestrians.

For its part, Pasadena Tournament of Roses said in a statement this week that it was, “unable to release a statement regarding the January 1, 2019, Rose Parade delay until the incident report is available to the public. We appreciate your patience and will provide a statement about the parade delay and incident report after July 1, 2019.”

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