Flash forward to 2004, and the Cotters, of Granada Hills and
association members, submitted the bear family design again. This
time, it not only was among the seven finalists, but was chosen in
February by the association as its float for the 2005 parade.
"What was exciting for us is they picked it because they wanted to
win an award for the association," Carol Cotter said.
On Tuesday, the Burbank City Council gave its approval for the
float design, one of only six still made by volunteers for the Rose
Parade. The drawing presented to the council was done by Stacia
Martin, a friend of the Cotters.
More than 80 designs were submitted this year, so the association
did not have a shortage of ideas to choose from, said Bob Hutt, an
association vice president.
"The drawings run the gamut," Hutt said. "We'll get them from 8-
and 9-year-olds with stick figures to professional artists with
really good drawing skills."
The theme of the 2005 parade is "Celebrate Family" and the
Cotters' design, titled "Dinner's on ... Fire!" depicts a family of
bears having a backyard barbecue gone awry as the father bear lost
focus on cooking because he's swatting at a pesky bee instead.
"It was meant to be humorous as well as family-oriented," Cotter
said. "Burbank likes to use as much humor as possible."
Between now and the parade on New Year's Day, association members
will spend time at a Burbank Water & Power facility on Lake Street
working on the float. Chicken wire and bedsheets are the main
material used to construct the characters. The flowers used on the
float are ordered in the spring to be available in December.
"It's amazing that a core group of volunteers can produce one of
these every year," Cotter said.
With the design in place, the next step is to have working
drawings done to show the actual dimensions of the characters and
structural points that will hold up the rest of the float, Hutt said.
The busiest time on the float is the week between Christmas and
New Year's Day, when the most volunteers are involved with attaching
"You go in the day after Christmas and it's not much," Cotter
said. "By the end of the week, it's a beautiful gorgeous thing."