There are not many towns in the world where one can see, by the dawn’s early light, a trio of dinosaurs trucking down the street. But this is Pasadena.
As the morning sun peeked over the hills last Saturday, three Jurassic giants—somewhat naked without their skin of flowers and vegetables—glistened in the glare of streetlights. They were ready for their first romp, the T2 road test on S. Raymond Ave.
The City of Los Angeles and L.A. County Natural History Museum have teamed with Phoenix Decorating Company to bring these behemoths to 2012 Rose Parade. Your Tournament of Roses Examiner is following the float, “Dinosaurs in L.A.’s Backyard,” from start to finish.
For a list of all the articles on the LA/NHM float, read “Follow that float: Los Angeles/Natural History Museum, from plans to parade”
The float, which was just chassis and metal framing for the T1 test a month ago, is now covered with layers of screen, fabric, and a special cocooning foam. The replica of the Natural History Museum Beaux Arts building is framed in plywood, with paint to indicate floral coloring.
Three dinosaurs, a Tyrannosaurus Rex, triceratops, and brachiosaurus, are mounted on the front of the float. The poor gals—or guys—are escapees from the newly-opened Dinosaur Hall at the museum. See them in all their photogenic glory in the photo gallery to the left. Be sure to read the captions for all the info.
Driving the float is no easy task. It’s one thing for an experienced truck driver to back a 60-foot tractor-trailer with three rearview mirrors and full visibility into a garage. It’s another to do a three-point turn and back into a float barn while essentially driving blind.
The driver of the float cannot see out at all, and can’t see the rose-colored line that’s painted down the center of the parade route. An observer in front and a float liaison assigned by the Tournament of Roses direct him. The driver of the LA/NHM float is a first-timer, though he does have experience with tractor-trailers.
The video to the left captures the T2 road test for “Dinosaurs in L.A.’s Backyard.” Here are some highlights:
- Test riders are firmly strapped in as the float pulls away from the curb.
- The Tournament of Roses float liaison, in the orange and yellow vest, gives directions with his hands.
- Perfect three-point turn at Raymond and Glenarm.
- Fire drill, about halfway through. All the riders and the observer and driver must evacuate in 45 seconds or less.
- The observer goes back in for the fire extinguisher he forgot—there are several under the float—but the driver, seen at the right of the float, remembered his.
- The brachiosaurus neck and head comes down to fit into the garage and under the 12-foot 210 Freeway overpass near the end of the parade. It was tested twice for the T2.
- The dinosaur-like roar as the float backs into the barn is actually the front left corner scraping a barrel.
The theme of the 123rd Rose Parade and 98th Rose Bowl Game is “Just Imagine…” The events take place on Monday, Jan. 2, 2012 to avoid interfering with worship services on Sunday. The Tournament of Roses is a celebration that lasts several weeks in the fall and winter, with the high points being the Rose Parade presented by Honda and the Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO. Keep following your Tournament of Roses Examiner for the latest news and for upcoming announcements.
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