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Burbank's movie-themed float is ready for action

Burbank's 82nd entry into the Tournament of Roses Parade features director Garry Marshall.

December 28, 2013|By Tim Traeger,
  • Ruth Kaloufdian, of Pasadena, gets a new helping of yellow strawflower on the Burbank float on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. The float, called Lights Camera Action!, will feature director Gary Marshall.
Ruth Kaloufdian, of Pasadena, gets a new helping of yellow… (Tim Berger / Staff…)

It's crunch time for the hundreds of volunteers working on Burbank's 82nd entry into the 125th Tournament of Roses Parade that will roll down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena on New Year's Day.

About 180 volunteers were in the Burbank Water & Power auxiliary warehouse on Thursday, according to officials with the Burbank Tournament of Roses Assn., and hundreds more showed up on Friday as the clock ticked toward the big unveiling.

PHOTOS: Burbank Tournament of Roses builds movie-themed float

That number is expected to swell each day until the parade, officials said.

The float, titled "Lights… Camera… Action!," features of a 22-foot-tall villain conducting a train with a real whistle. The locomotive is headed toward a damsel who is tied to the tracks and a hero, riding a stallion, is coming to the maiden's rescue.

Steven Edward, a computer systems manager for Warner Bros. in Burbank, was in the belly of the float Friday testing out the real brass whistle system designed to add real effect to the float's large locomotive.


"This whistle will be a blast, literally," he said.

The whole animated scene will be captured by a live director and cameraman, played by legendary writer, director, actor and producer Garry Marshall and his son, Scott, who will be behind the floral-decorated camera.

The float — which is 46.5 feet long, 18 feet wide and 22 feet tall — is powered by two Chevy V-8 engines. It will be accompanied by a musical score written exclusively for the famous two-hour, 5-mile parade, and it was designed by Bill and Carol Cotter of Granada Hills and Stacia Martin of Brea.

Edward said that, although a lion's share of the physical work occurs in the days leading up to New Year's Day, the project is a yearlong process.

The 49-year-old vice president of floats for the local organization will get to ride with three others inside the creation and will be in charge of animation, music and sound effects. .

For volunteer Robin Hanna, a lifelong Burbank resident, this will be the 28th Burbank float she's helped build. Not only does it give her a great sense of accomplishment, it bolsters pride in the entire city, she said.

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