“When I was a kid, I slept out on Colorado Boulevard with my parents and my little brother to see the parade,” he said. “I remember thinking how cool it would be to actually design a float.”
Behind Ostegard, Sharyn Gunter was painting a giant vat of popcorn. Next to him Suzee Cohen and her son, Jordon, were cutting dried flowers. And below him Kellie Graham, Alina Aghakhani and Deborah and Wesley Wright were joined by hundreds of community volunteers who were each playing their assigned part in the creation process.
Along with those who were physically building the float, Cathy Hutt and Dellon Soderstrom were busy in the kitchen creating substance for the workers. Through the steam rising up from a giant vat of pasta she was stirring, Hutt looked out at the progression.
“I love watching this,” she said. “From concept to Colorado Boulevard, it’s really amazing to see the creativity, hard work and long hours that go into the float every year.”
Just past the kitchen, Beth and Bryan Weinstein of Miami were trimming dried flowers that will be used as the T-Rex’s scaly skin.
“This is a lifelong dream come true to be here,” said Beth Weinstein, who flew in for the week just to work on the float. “I fell in love with this parade when I was knee high to a grasshopper and always wanted to be a part of it.”
Among those who were clipping, painting, gluing and doing various other jobs were the organization’s president, John Hames; Karl Preusser who composed the music that will accompany the float’s appearance; Isabel Adams; Clark Jellison; Kate Preusser; Teri Bastian; Ryan Babroff; Kelly Burke; Bob Hutt; Ricky Batt; Jon Reeves; Ernie LeBleu; Don Hames; Pat Johnson; Robin Hanna; Ginny Barnett; Burt Ballard; Steve and Jennifer Edward; Joey Diel; Roberta Luster; Philippe Eskandar; Rick and Joyce Penunuri; Leslie and Mike Monzon; Carman Scozzari; and Linda Cozakos, who has been a float volunteer for more than three decades.
“I always say there are two types of floats,” Cozakos said. “Those that are built with a whole lot of money and those that are built with a whole lot of love. There’s a lot of love involved with the building of this float.”
DAVID LAURELL can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or (818) 563-1007.