Huntington Library Books a Float in the Rose Parade

Huntington Library float
Photo courtesy Huntington Library
The 1969 Rose Parade was the last time the Huntington Library was represented in the annual event, when the city of San Marino produced a float based on the institution.

The Huntington Library will end its half-century absence from the Pasadena Rose Parade, planning to run a float in the 2020 parade as part of the institution’s centennial celebration being kicked off later this year.
Officials with the Huntington Library tout the development as a way of presenting a piece of the institution’s many trademarks to the worldwide audience that tunes in for the Rose Parade. Those trademarks include the range of historical and literary artifacts, vast botanical gardens and the ever-growing collection of artworks, as stated by Huntington President Karen Lawrence.
“The broad exposure of the Tournament of Roses Parade will be a wonderful way to share the Huntington in one crystallized moment, worldwide,” Lawrence said in a prepared statement announcing the float.
Randy Shulman, the Huntington’s vice president for advancement and external relations, is helming the project, which is still in the design phase. He said he plans on incorporating the myriad parts of the Huntington into the final product.
“The thing that Karen keeps telling me is, you only turn 100 once,” Shulman said in a phone interview. “If we’re going to try to fix everyone’s attention on the next hundred years of the Huntington, this is a great way to do it.”
The 1969 float included floral presentations of the famed “Pinkie” and “Blue Boy” paintings, both of which remain Huntington landmarks, as well as a replica of the library building’s historic facade and the Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales.”
The Huntington’s well-manicured rose garden provides appropriate building material to help craft the float for this year, Shulman said. Other departments of the Huntington will be providing input on what to use to construct the set pieces.
“That’s the thing about the Huntington,” he said. “There are just sort of a million possibilities. We want to give people something to smile about and something to think about. Thinking about how to do that is the gist of the challenge and it’s a good challenge to have.”
The Huntington’s centennial celebration kicks off in September and will last through September 2020. Throughout that year, the institution plans on celebrating with special exhibitions, symposiums, talks, art installations in the gardens and performances, in addition to the float. In the announcement, Pasadena Tournament of Roses President Laura Farber welcomed the Huntington into the parade’s fold.
“We are so happy that the Huntington will be participating this year,” Farber said. “It embodies the idea of inspiration and is a perfect fit for this year’s parade theme, ‘The Power
of Hope.’”

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