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Community: Parade's future theme inspired by the past

April 22, 2014|By Joyce Rudolph
  • Brian Cozakos, left, and Robert Symons work on the Burbank Tournament of Roses Back to the Future float, which will chug down Olive Avenue on Saturday during Burbank On Parade.
Brian Cozakos, left, and Robert Symons work on the Burbank… (Photo by Joyce Rudolph )

Some participants in this Saturday's Burbank On Parade pay homage to films and TV shows of the past in their depictions of the theme “Burbank — City of the Future.”

The parade will kick off at 11 a.m. and travel east along Olive Avenue from Keystone to Lomita streets.

Volunteers with the Burbank Tournament of Roses Assn. have taken the locomotive from this year's Rose Float and created a smaller design and mounted it onto an all-terrain vehicle, said Robert Symons, chairman of the association's entry titled “Back to the Future.”

The locomotive is being driven by the conductor character who was on the off-camera side of the Rose Float. He's a cute older fella clad in blue overalls. His animated face features wide eyes and a white beard and mustache. His hat is stamped with a big red “B.” The engine is pulling a coal car and plopped inside is the SpongeBob SquarePants character plucked from the “Centennial Celebration” float that appeared in the 2011 Rose Parade.


Volunteers have tried to mimic the train engine that was used in the movie “Back to the Future, Part III”, Symons said. At the end of the film, the Doc and Marty McFly rev up a locomotive to it top speed to hurl themselves back to the present.

“In our version, they have a hitchhiker — SpongeBob SquarePants,” he added.

Robert Symons’ favorite part of building the floats is working alongside his dad, Bob Symons, and his friends, he said.

“We take pride in showing our friends who we went to high school with what we've done,” he said. “We tell them, ‘go check out what we did for the Rose Parade float.’”

Nowadays, he does the welding on the floats.

Robert Symons is 21, but his grandmother used to bring him down to see the float when he was 5 or 6. He started building floats in 2002.

Helping Robert on the Burbank On Parade float was longtime friend Brian Cozakos, 22, who has been coming to work on the floats since he was 4.

“The first thing they let me do was fill the vials with water,” Cozakos said. Individual flowers are placed in the vials to keep them fresher longer.

The float will be on display for a couple hours after the parade in the Izay Park parking lot on Clark Avenue.

Members of BCR “a place to grow,” a center for developmentally disabled children and adults, also looked to the past for inspiration for their entry.

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