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Construction on Tournament of Roses Float Underway (Photos)

Friends of the South Pasadena Rose Parade Float will host a monthly meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall (yes, that's tonight!).

Construction on South Pasadena's 2012 entry in the Tournament of Roses Parade is underway and the group is predicting it will be 75 percent complete by mid-September. 

Patch stopped by the worksite at the parking lot of  late last month to check out the progress. 

"We are off to a good start," said South Pasadena resident Chris Colburn, whose done everything from design to construct to drive the float since he was about 9-years-old. 

This year's float design "When Life Gives you Lemons" was created by Head Decorator Julie Smith with input from other members. It includes a space craft adjacent to two aliens making lemonade. 

The float is partially funded through a $12,000 donation from the Chamber of Commerce. The rest of the estimated $80,000 comes from various fundraisers throughout the year. Next up: Cruz'n for Roses Classic Car Show Sept. 18. 

Each year, South Pas uses the same propane-powered base for the float while any leftover steel is recycled, according to Colburn. 

A core group of residents come out about two days a week to War Memorial Park to work on the float: Wednesdays from 5 to 10 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

But many many other families will come to help leading up to the parade. 

"Especially between Christmas and New Years, it's like a high school reunion here," said Chris Colburn of the construction site. "We have a good time talking and catching up, checking out this year's design and all that good stuff." 

South Pasadena is the oldest of all six self-built floats in the Rose Bowl. The city entered the Tournament of Roses Parade (then spearheaded by Valley Hunt Club) for the first time in 1890.

To read more about the history of South Pasadena's floats, click here. 

To get involved with this year's parade float, Friends of the South Pasadena Rose Parade Float will host its monthly meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in (yes, that's tonight!).

For float updates, follow the group on Facebook here. 

To watch video interviews from last year's parade, click here. 

To watch video on last year's construction, click here. 

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