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    LB Float & LB Mounted Police Scheduled For Rose Parade; Here's Preview

    (Dec. 30, 2005) -- The City of LB's Rose Parade float is scheduled to be 54th in parade order, and the Long Beach Mounted Police are scheduled to be 74th, in the 2006 Tournament of Rose Parade on Monday January 2 [never on Sunday].

    This year's City of LB float's theme -- "Pacific Fantasy" -- is explained as follows on the Tournament of Roses media webpage:

    "The City of Long Beach itself is a Pacific Fantasy, offering visitors a wide range of attractions and pleasures to enjoy. The gigantic mermaid is taking parade viewers on a magical Pacific Fantasy ride."

    Image source courtesy: Phoenix Decorating Co.

    The description continues:

    A blonde and beautiful Southern California mermaid will surf along the parade route, depicting the City of Long Beach's vision of a "Pacific Fantasy." Mounted atop a sea shell "chariot" she is drawn along by a pair of huge Garibaldi fish, an endangered species native to the ocean waters in the Long Beach area. The fish and the mermaid are sporting strings of pearls, and her shell is adorned with some of the jewels of her home town: the Queen Mary, the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Grand Prix auto race, an impressive skyline, and inviting harbor.

    The float is 25 feet high, 18 feet wide and 50 feet long. The mermaid is "over height," meaning she'll have to dive down from her 22 foot tall stature to just 17 feet to swim beneath a freeway bridge near the end of the parade route. [Comment: should be interesting.] As in previous years, LB's float is being built by Pasadena-based Phoenix Decorating Co., which says on its website that it's the largest builder of Rose Parade floats and builds more floats than all other builders combined.

    The City of LB float, an item approved annually by the LB City Council within the city's budget, is overseen by the LB Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and costs roughly $115,000 paid from LB's hotel room taxes (transient occupancy tax).

    Long Beach won't be the only city in the 2006 Rose Parade. The others include Alhambra, Cerritos, Duarte (City of Hope), Glendale, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Ontario, Palmdale, Pasadena, South Pasadena, St. Louis (MO), Torrance and West Covina.

    LB Mounted Police, HB July 4/05
    Huntington Beach July 4th, 2005; Photo courtesy Liz Jacobowitz
    The Long Beach Mounted Police, scheduled as 74th in parade order, is a non-profit civilian equestrian organization...and its Rose Parade appearances (since 1949) and at other events across the country are basically a gift to the people of the Long Beach by civic minded equestrians.

    The Tournament of Roses describes the LB Mounted Police as follows:

    The Long Beach Mounted Police are noted for their beautiful golden palominos, with snow-white manes and tails, and their sterling silver saddles. The unique, handmade saddles are a work of art reflecting the traditions of early California history and the romance of the Western movies of the 1930s and 1940s. The group is also noted for its colorful Western outfits, which have become the trademark of this organization.

    The group was founded in 1935 by 16 men who combined their affection for riding with their pride in their city and the Long Beach Police Department by representing them in major events throughout the nation. One rider is a fourth-generation Long Beach Mounted Police member. Riders come from as far away as Sacramento to be a part of this world-famous organization.

    LB Mounted Police, HB July 4/05
    Huntington Beach July 4th, 2005; Photo courtesy Liz Jacobowitz
    LB's Mounted Police have ridden in every Tournament of Roses Parade since 1949 and served as its 2005 Color Guard. Mounted Police members are men and women who've qualified as Reserve Specialist Officers with LBPD; they serve as good will ambassadors throughout the world.

    Rose Parade organizers estimate their event draws roughly a million people to the Pasadena parade route with millions more watching on television nationally and worldwide.

    The 2006 Rose Parade, the 117th in its history, will include 48 Floats, 25 Marching Bands, 23 Equestrian Units, and 3 Official Vehicles...including retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor as Grand Marshal.

    The parade route is north on Orange Grove from Ellis Street, east on Colorado Blvd. to Sierra Madre Blvd., then north to Paloma Street. [Saner locals see the floats AFTER the parade madness is over; viewing locations are on Sierra Madre Blvd. between Washington Blvd. and Sierra Madre Villa Ave., and on Washington Blvd., between Sierra Madre Blvd. and Woodlyn Rd. Allow plenty of time to park and walk; there are still big crowds, and it can be cold and windy in the foothill area.]

    The parade will be telecast by KTLA-5 [comment: in our opinion superlative coverage], ABC, NBC, Univision, Tribune, KWHY-22, HGTV (Home & Garden Television), Sky Link TV, the Discovery HD Theater Channel and the Travel Channel. KTLA-5 also repeats the parade later in the day.

    [Local trivia: If you watch Rose Parade coverage on KTLA-5, don't be surprised if co-host Bob Eubanks makes laudatory remarks about Long Beach. Locals of a certain age will recall the now-vanished "Cinnamon Cinder" dance club on the LB Traffic Circle where then 1110/KRLA DJ Eubanks hosted rock bands in the 60s. Even those too young/too far away to attend heard frequent promos for its shows, plus a locally produced record touting a dance called the Cinnamon Cinder ("C.C., Cinnamon's a very nice dance") in late '62-early '63; group was the "Pastel Six"; yes, another year coming and going...]

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