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Rose Parade floats may be a luxury some cities can’t afford amid budget woes

June 22, 2011 |  8:37 am

Photo: Glendale's peacock float for the 1923 Rose Parade. The city may lose its status as the second-longest-running entrant if it goes through with a major funding cut this year and doesn't build a float. Credit: Special Collections / Glendale Public Library An entry in the Rose Parade has long been a source of civic pride, but some cities are saying the floral floats are a luxury they may no longer be able to afford.

Several Southern California cities said they have either abandoned plans for a float or are seriously considering whether they can –- and should -– be city financed.

In Glendale, the City Council is considering whether to cease its $130,000 commitment to build the annual float -- ending the city's status as the second-longest-running entrant. The potential funding cut comes amid an $18-million budget gap at City Hall.

PHOTOS: Early years of the Rose Parade

West Covina says it won't have a float because it cannot raise enough money. And officials in Alhambra are proposing eliminating the $100,000 it typically gives the city's Chamber of Commerce for the float –- although the Chamber said it still plans to build the city's 87th float.

"It's a great thing, and the community does take pride in it," Glendale Mayor Laura Friedman said of the city's floats at a recent budget meeting. "But at this time, we are talking about cutting programs for children in the parks. I think it's a luxury."

Read the full story on Rose Parade float cutbacks here.

-- Melanie Hicken and Kate Mather

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Photo: Glendale's peacock float for the 1923 Rose Parade. The city may lose its status as the second-longest-running entrant if it goes through with a major funding cut this year and doesn't build a float. Credit: Special Collections / Glendale Public Library

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