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City ties up Rose Parade loose ends

By: Susan Belknap Press-Tribune Editor
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It’s been a few weeks since Roseville made its debut in the 2009 Rose Parade and the question now is what to do with 15,000 flowers and a few tons of steel? According to Roseville Deputy City Manager Julia Burrows, the city has asked Phoenix Decorating Company, the organization responsible for the design of 55-foot, train-themed float, to ship several items, such as the many animals, to the city for display at City Hall, the Maidu Interpre-tive Center and the Blue Line Art Gallery on Vernon Street. “The live flowers and plastic foam are sent to the local landfill as they decompose quickly,” Burrows said. “The chassis and much of the steel is reused for future floats.” Burrows also said once the Rose Parade was finished on Jan. 1, the floats were towed back to the float barns where post-parade viewing took place for a few days. Being entry No. 61 in the 120th Tournament of Roses Parade was part of Roseville’s centennial celebration, which will culminate this April when Roseville officially celebrates its 100th birthday. But while the actual construction of the float took several months the process for gaining that coveted position took much longer. “I’ve been sending for Rose Parade applications since 1995,” Burrows said. “For the 2009 parade there were 39 applications for nine openings and we were one of those nine.” For Burrows, being in the 2009 Parade was a natural for Roseville on its 100th birthday. “Our name is Roseville and to my knowledge, no other city with the name of Roseville in the United States has ever been in the parade,” Burrows said. In addition to the kick-off of the city’s centennial, Burrows said being in the parade helped to market Roseville to a local, national and international audience, which also could attract businesses to the area in the future as well. “If you measure success by the community spirit we exhibited, then we were far and away the best,” she said. Kelly Wickline, volunteer coordinator for the float, said she was overwhelmed at the number of people from Roseville who signed up to participate. “We had 319 float volunteers and several people made it a family affair as well,” Wickline said. Families like the Silvas of Roseville who spent a few days at the float barn site. “We all had lots of energy,” Peggy Silva said. “We took the whole family down to Pasadena plus one of our neighbors. It was a blast. This really brought the community together and I think it helped to bring awareness of people to know our city.” In addition to the parade being broadcasted internationally Burrows said the USA Today Web site featured the Roseville float photo as one of the top 10 photographs from around the world on its site Jan. 1. Go to www.usatoday.com/-news/gallery/day/flash.htm?-gid=165 and check it out. “We’re also on all the train blogs,” Burrows said. “And we’re permanently archived on the Tournament of Roses Web site having won the Governor’s Trophy for the float.” Although no city funds were used to build Roseville’s entry, not all of the $200,000 that was required to build the city’s float, have been accounted for. “We’re still in fundraising mode,” Burrows said. “And we still have pledges coming in.” That’s why Roseville residents will continue to see penny jars set up in several locations throughout the city and some centennial and parade merchandise is also still available. For those in the know about memorabilia, Burrows said the city’s collector pin was in high demand during float construction. “There were pin trades going on all week in Pasadena and ours was one of the most popular as a trade for one Roseville pin took six older Rose Parade pins,” Burrows said. Although orders for the Roseville pin are sold out on the Web site, Burrows said a limited number are still available for $6 at the city clerk’s office, the Roseville Sports Center and the Maidu Communty Center. Even though the parade is now just a memory, the centennial celebration is just beginning. During the week of April 13 several days of activities will be offered including the unveiling of a video documentary that chronicles the building of the float and a book, “Milestones & Memories, The Story of Roseville, California: The Centennial Edition” by Leonard M. Davis. For more information about Roseville’s centennial celebration visit www.roseville.ca.us/100.