stream of volunteers, Hames remains optimistic for a dry Saturday,
when the float joins dozens of others for the annual parade in
"In 1982, there was a terrible rainstorm on New Year's Eve," Hames
recalled. "For the parade, we had a sunny day, but all the floats
were just saturated."
Just one of six floats built entirely by volunteers, the city's
entry -- entitled "Dinner's on ... Fire!" -- depicts a family of
bears having a backyard barbecue gone awry as the father bear loses
focus on cooking, because he's swatting at a pesky bee instead.
At a table in the garage, Burbank residents Lynn Turner and Nancy
Royer-Green decorated the "Dinner's on...Fire" sign with corn
kernels, dried red berries and dried mango.
"When we are through, we can eat whatever's left," joked Turner,
who is working on her sixth float.
Royer-Green, who is participating for a second year, said she got
involved when a neighbor "drafted" her.
"He said why not come down and help cut flowers," Royer-Green
said. "Since then, I've met a lot of great friends."
Hames, a former president of the Burbank Rose Parade Assn., said
the volunteers might be amateurs, but they do a professional job in
putting together the float.
While a bulk of work on the float is done in the weeks leading to
the parade, construction actually begins in April with the welding of
the chassis used to transport the characters built atop it that will
be decorated with roses, tulips and gladiolas. The interior includes
space for a driver and three crew members, including an observer at
the front, who has a brake to stop the float.
The observer's position is disguised this year by a picnic basket,
Carol Cotter, who along with her husband Bill, designed the float
as part of an annual contest sponsored by the association, said
changes were made as the float began to be built, such as changing a
kettle barbecue to a brick one.
The float features animated motions by the father and mother bears
and smoke coming from the barbecue.