DOWNEY - Believe it or not, work on the 2011 Downey Rose Float entry has already begun.Titled "A Stroll Down Memory Lane," the float evokes a colonnaded Victorian park complete with a gazebo (with a band playing), fountain, bridge, tall trees and splendidly-attired gentlemen and ladies promenading amidst bursts of flowers. The winning entry was designed by the trio of Jason Redfox, Tom Neighbors and Kelley Roberts, all old hands at this sort of thing, all design contest winners, singly or collaboratively, at one time or another, and year in and year out all deeply involved in the construction of Downey's floats. Redfox teaches architectural and mechanical drafting at Downey High, Neighbors is an artist and designer, while Roberts works as supervisor for ride maintenance at Knott's Berry Farm. Redfox and Neighbors designed last year's Downey Rose float entry, "Jewels of the Pacific," which won for the association, for the umpteenth time, the coveted Founder's Trophy. Roberts has been construction crew chair for the past several years. They based their design on the Tournament of Roses' 2011 theme, "Building Dreams, Friendships & Memories." According to Roberts, he, Redfox, and a couple of others, are spending a couple of hours on Monday and Wednesday in the early evening working on the base outline of the float, preparatory to handshaping a 'bed' to approximate a park setting. Bending ¬º-inch wires to build the trees, the wooden gazebo, etc., is next, as well as the third major stage of construction, which is setting up any type of animation and/or the mechanics of hydraulically lowering float elements where applicable. The grand finale, of course, comes in December, when they seal the float with foam, paint it, cover it with dry materials, and, finally, just before judging by tournament officials, smothering it with fresh flowers. But this is still far off. In the meantime, a total of $55,000-$60,000 has to be raised to cover costs. Current Downey Rose Float Association president is Susan Domen.
********** Published: May 7, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 3