American Armenian Float Takes Home Judges’ Award at Rose Parade


By Anthony Clark Carpio

PASADENA, Calif. — Three local entrants in the 2018 Rose Parade walked away with awards for their floats during the chilly annual New Year’s Day parade.

The Burbank Tournament of Roses, the La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses and the American Armenian Rose Float received awards for their floats, which impressed the thousands of parade-goers on Monday.

The American Armenian Rose Float’s entry, titled “Armenia Roots,” received the Judges Award.

The entry is a tribute to Armenian women, whether they be mothers, daughters, grandmothers or aunts, who work tirelessly to be the foundation of their family, said Noubar Derbedrosian, a board member of the association.

“There is no one like the women in our lives — our moms, our sisters, our wives — that will give of themselves without asking for anything in return,” he said.

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Derbedrosian added that this is the third award the association has received out of the four float entries the organization has submitted. Last year, the group was given the Past President Award for its float titled “Field of Dreams!” in which the entry represented the American Armenian experience in literature, music and science.

“This is an honor for us,” he said. “We’re a small group of people that do this, and we’re trying to represent all of the Armenian people, not just in Glendale, Pasadena or the L.A. area.”

After not receiving an award for its float “Home Tweet Home” last year, the Burbank association bounced back and was given the Founder Award for its nautical-themed float “Sand-Sational Helpers,” in which sea animals team up to clean a beach, coinciding with this year’s Rose Parade theme, “Making a Difference.”

Steve Edward, the Burbank association’s vice president, said most of the pieces fell in the right place this year. The jump start on construction and decoration week going off without a hitch, he said, resulted in a solid float this year.

“Everyone pulled together and got this thing finished,” Edward said before the start of the parade. “We got it decorated very well, and it looks great. And it’s always a big break to have [an award] banner in front of our float.”

Though the float came together smoothly, there were some mechanical issues with its animation components.

Jon Reeves, a longtime volunteer with the Burbank association and former construction chair, said the wave mechanism that was created on the side of the float ended up not functioning the way it was designed.

Additionally, an arm of the octopus that was supposed to move up and down stopped working during the judging period over the weekend and was not functional for the parade.

“It’s unfortunate that our two big camera-side animations are not working, but the float turned out great and looks fantastic,” Reeves said.

Edward added that he is particularly proud of 14-year-old Catherine Glandon, the eight-year volunteer whose design was chosen to be this year’s float.

“Now we have to add a new title to her name — she’s now an award-winning float designer,” Edward said.

The La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses’s float, titled “Panda-Monium,” was given the Bob Hope Humor Award.

It is the second year in a row the association has received that particular award, which is no surprise to longtime volunteer Dwight Crumb, who said that the group’s bylaws state that the float must be humorous.

Crumb added that Monday’s award (January 1) marks the 30th time out of 40 entries that the association has been recognized by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses

“So we have a 75 percent [award] banner record,” he said. “I think that’s a darn-good record.”

Of the six self-built floats in the Rose Parade, five of them, which includes the entries from Burbank and La Cañada, walked away with an award this year.

Crumb said seeing the self-built floats being recognized each year is a testament to the hard work and dedication that the thousands of volunteers put into their floats.

“Self-built [floats] are the heart of the parade,” he said.