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    High Visibility: Mayor O'Neill + Grandson + Other Youngsters Will Be On LB's Rose Parade Float -- "A Day At The Beach" -- On New Year's Day

    (Dec. 31, 2004) -- On New Year's Day, LB Mayor Beverly O'Neill, accompanied by her grandson Nolan and five student members of LB's Commission on Youth & Children, will be riding on a $115,000 City of Long Beach float in the 2005 Rose event viewed by millions nationally and worldwide.

    Image source: LB CVB & Phoenix Construction Co.

    "A Day At The Beach," depicted in an artist rendering above, is described as follows in the Rose Parade program [read to us by the Parade's media office]:

    "A group of youngsters enjoys a day at the beach" as a huge pail in the center of the float depicts some of Long Beach's many attractions. Overseeing all the fun is an observant crab perched atop the pail. The giant crab is created with a combination of yellow strawflower and fresh flowers. An oversized pelican, fashioned from white everlasting, strawflower, a mixture of seeds and accent of black seaweed provides an animated smile for parade viewers. The pictures on the pail are painted with strawflower, crushed wheat rice and black seaweed. A base made up of roses, daisies, orchids, lilacs and chrysanthemums rounds out the outdoor scene.

    As in past years, LB's Convention & Visitors Bureau is handling arrangements for the city's float. In a written release, the CVB described the float as follows:

    A group of youngsters enjoys a gigantic good time when they spend "A Day at the Beach." A huge pail in the center of the float depicts some of Long Beach’s appealing attractions -- the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, ocean sailing and a vibrant downtown waterfront. A bigger-than-life sand castle features the Long Beach skyline from past and present. Overseeing all the fun is an observant crab perched atop the pail -- happily swinging its eyes to and fro and taking in all the sights. An over-sized pelican at the rear of the float provides a big, animated smile for parade viewers.

    The giant crab is created with a combination of yellow strawflower and fresh flowers, the shovel and pail handle are red strawflower; the pictures on the pail are painted with strawflower, crushed sweet rice and black seaweed. The sand castle at the front of the float is created with a mixture of sesame seed, onion seed and crushed walnut shells. The pelican is created with white everlasting, strawflower, a mixture of seeds and accents of black seaweed. The base is made up of roses, daisies, orchids, lilacs and chrysanthemums.

    The crab perched atop the sand pail swings its eyes to and fro observing all the shoreline fun below; the pelican at the rear of the float opens and closes its mouth, giving parade viewers an animated smile.

    CVB Public Relations Manager Bob Maguglin told that this is LB's 88th consecutive year in the Rose Parade...and since this year's Parade theme is "Celebrate Family," LB's float depicts what families might like to do in LB.

    Mr. Maguglin said that since the theme was "Celebrate Family," a CVB committee invited Mayor O'Neill, her grandson and five Youth Commissioners to represent city youth and families citywide.

    This year's LB float will feature a customized soundtrack, playing LB-themed music from LB's own Gregg Young & the 2nd Street Band. The song is an adaptation of "I Like Summertime" (which appeared on the group's 2000 CD)...and is titled "Long Beach Summertime," Mr. Gregg told us. "Long Beach Summertime" features second and third graders recorded at Edison Elementary School (coordinated with LBUSD) and a "chorus" of lorikeets and sea lions recorded at the LB Aquarium of the Pacific.

    Mr. Maguglin said the Mayor and the children with her will also be wearing custom sweatshirts from Seize the Moment, a shop at the Pike @ Rainbow Harbor.

    LB's float is being built by the Phoenix Decorating Co.

    Rose Parade officials were judging this year's float entries earlier today...and will announce award winners on New Year's Day. The City of LB's entries won awards in 2002 and 2004.

    As in past years, the City of LB float is paid for with public money, publicly budgeted in voted action of the City Council (when it adopts the city's annual budget in Sept.) The $115,000 sum comes from LB hotel "bed tax revenue" (transient occupancy tax).

    In its release, LB's CVB includes the following FAQ:

    Why was this theme chosen?

    The City of Long Beach is one of the premiere seashore destinations for local residents and visitors from around the world -- attracted to the beaches, Aquarium of the Pacific, The Queen Mary, and Rainbow Harbor with Shoreline Village and The Pike. Whatever the attraction that draws visitors to Long Beach, the city guarantees that they will have a great day at -- the beach.

    How does the theme relate to the parade theme?

    A day spent at any of Long Beach’s attractions is a fun family outing -- for any family!...

    Length: 45 ft. Height: 25 ft. Width: 18 ft.

    The 116th annual 2005 Rose Parade begins at 8:00 a.m. Jan. 1...and will include 50 floats (plus equestrian units, marching bands and officialdom).

    Tournament officials and Pasadena PD expect about 1,000,000 people to attend. The parade will be broadcast live nationwide by ABC, CBS, and NBC. Tribune (KTLA-5 in L.A.), Telemundo, and Univision (KMEX-34 in L.A.).

    LB's float is being built by Phoenix Decorating Co...whose founded/CEO Bill Lofthouse has been involved in Rose Parade float building since 1956.

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