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

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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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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