LOS ANGELES – Top Olympians and Parlaympians will ride the City of Los Angeles’ flower-studded float celebrating its 2024 Olympic and Paralympic bid at the 128th Rose Parade on January 2, 2017. Created in partnership with LA 2024 and the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (L.A. Tourism), L.A.’s “Follow the Sun” float will bring to life the city’s iconic venues and will feature Olympic and Paralympic legends including Nadia Comaneci, Bart Conner, Lex Gillette and April Ross. L.A.’s commitment to sport and healthy living will be further represented on the float by several young Angeleno athletes with the LA84 Foundation, the youth sports non-profit funded by the success of the 1984 Games.
The float marks the City of L.A.’s 119th consecutive year collaborating with Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, making it one of the longest running float entries in Rose Parade history. Designed by the renowned Fiesta Parade Floats, the float will be comprised of more than 20,000 total roses, mums and carnations as well as natural materials such as seeds, rice and moss. No local taxpayer dollars were used in the creation or production of the City of L.A.’s float.
In addition to Comaneci, Conner, Gillette and Ross, the current lineup of athlete participants includes Haley Anderson, Candace Cable, Dawn Harper-Nelson, Holly McPeak, Howard Shu, Sinjin Smith and Rudy Garcia Tolson.
The landmark Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum will stand tall at the front of the float, with a flame burning atop its cauldron, as L.A.’s new Olympic logo – LA 2024’s Angel – flies high above the Coliseum’s famed peristyle. Framed by stylized sculptures of Los Angeles’ signature palm trees, the Coliseum is flanked by stunning floral arrangements made up of Bird of Paradise flowers, the official flower of Los Angeles. And in celebration of L.A.’s diverse recreational activities, breathtaking landscapes and scenic coastline, live beach volleyball will take place at the float’s center, surrounded by floral illustrations of crystalline crashing waves. At the rear of the float will be L.A.’s biggest star, a larger-than-life sculpture of the setting sun.
LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman said: “On behalf of LA 2024, we are honored to participate in the City of Los Angeles’ float for the 128th Rose Parade. The Rose Parade is the perfect stage to show the world our city’s enthusiasm and passion for the Olympic Movement. Our ‘Follow the Sun’ float reflects the City of Angels’ optimism, innovation and creativity that LA 2024 intends to harness to deliver a New Games for a new era.”
Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board chief marketing officer Don Skeoch said: “From our world-class venues, natural beauty and endless sunshine, the City of L.A. float in the 128th Rose Parade brings to life the myriad treasures that make Los Angeles a premier vacation destination and the ideal city to host the greatest global sports event in 2024.The destination continues to mesmerize more than 45 million annual visitors with only-in-L.A experiences.”
The float draws its inspiration from the 128th Rose Parade theme, “Echoes of Success,” celebrating achievements that are made possible by the example and guidance of others. In keeping with this theme, LA 2024 Athletes’ Commission Members and Olympic Champions Janet Evans, Greg Louganis and Allyson Felix were recently named Grand Marshals of the Tournament of Roses.