First published in the Dec. 23 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.
At long last, the La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association is gearing up to host more than 1,000 local volunteers to decorate its “Who Says We Can’t” float for the Jan. 1, 133rd Rose Parade.
After the iconic parade was canceled last year due to concerns surrounding COVID-19, the LCFTRA rolled over their design concept to match that of the Tournament’s theme “Dream. Believe. Achieve.” Having now completed construction of the float’s structure, the local team of volunteers moved it earlier this week under the bridge at the Flintridge Preparatory School’s parking lot.
Although the pandemic is still inciting caution regarding the new variant, faith that the vaccines and boosters are working, as well as prevalent testing and masking protocol, has Tournament officials advising participants to proceed as normal.
“We’re super excited about this year after being canceled last time; hopefully it will go off without a concern,” said LCFTRA President Mike Davitt, whose leadership role was also rolled over from 2020. “They’ve been very good about updating us all, and right now it’s ‘proceed as normal, but things can change.’
“We’re anticipating it will go off as normal,” he added, noting that La Cañada Flintridge also has the advantage of being the only participating city to fully construct and decorate its float outside, making it easier to comply with COVID-19 safety measures.
As far as concerns regarding the much discussed delay in delivery of construction materials and flowers, Davitt said the team made sure to put their orders in ahead of time “to make sure everything is ready and in the hopper.”
This year’s entry — marking LCFTRA’s 43rd float in the parade — is a nod to symbolize the power of “yes we can” by portraying old dogs that dream and believe in achievement. It will feature skating dogs constructed from a variety of materials and is designed to be “fun and whimsical.” Since its formation in 1978, the LCFTRA has won 31 awards; 10 of them for humor, six for animation and eight Founder’s Trophies.