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Glendale’s efforts to keep float in Rose Parade coming up short

July 19, 2011 |  8:20 am

Glendalefloat

The public appears unwilling to maintain Glendale's float as the second-longest running entrant in the annual Tournament of Roses parade, having donated just $596 toward a $50,000 fundraising goal set by city officials.

If the goal isn't reached by the end of this month -- the deadline for signing a $99,000-float construction contract -- Glendale likely will be forced to withdrawal after 97 years of participation in a parade watched by millions around the world, the Glendale News-Press reported.

Facing a projected budget deficit of $18 million, the City Council voted to scrap its subsidy of at least $80,000 for the float unless the community pitched in $50,000. Glendale's annual Rose Parade float costs about $130,000.

"I wish people in the city would consider real quickly if they would like to help preserve the history of the float -- 97 years," said Councilman Dave Weaver, a longtime float advocate and chairman of last year's decorating committee. "I hope that they will send in a contribution very soon. Time is running out."

Glendale is among several cities across the region, from West Covina to Alhambra, that have struggled to fund their Rose Parade floats amid deep budget cuts.

Other Southland cities with stronger fundraising operations, such as Burbank and La Cañada Flintridge, remain on track to enter their floats, with construction already underway.

As of this week, Glendale officials reported just eight donations totaling $596, and most City Council members have indicated they are unwilling to fill the gap with city money.

"I think it's a luxury that the city was able to afford for so many years," Councilman Ara Narjarian said. "At a time when we're cutting libraries, where we're cutting recreational programs for children, meals for seniors, road repair, police, fire -- we just can't afford to subsidize it the way we had in the past."

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 -- Melanie Hicken, Times Community News

Photo: The 2011 Glendale float participates in the 122nd Tournament of Roses Rose Parade on Jan. 1. Credit: Raul Roa / Times Community News

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