Fiesta Floats of the 126th Tournament of Roses Parade

It is New Year’s Eve, and the time is up for the preparation of the floats for the 126th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade with will begin at 8:00 AM on January 1, 2015. I began my day by heading back out to Irwindale and Fiesta Parade Floats, the leading award winning float-builder in the Tournament of Roses Parade.

I lucked out today as I happened to arrive at Fiesta Floats after they had begun removing some floats from the building they were built in, giving me the ability to take some photos without dozens (or hundreds) of people vying for position to take their photos. If you have been following the progression of the float construction you can see that the Torrance entry dedicated to hometown hero, Louis Zamperini, came out very nice. It will be one of the first floats in tomorrow’s parade. Continue reading

Torrance comes to Fiesta Floats

On Sunday evening several bus loads of Torrance residents, along with their mayor, the city council, commissioners and other various dignitaries headed out to Irwindale and Fiesta Parade Floats to check out the progress of the float that the City of Torrance is sponsoring for the 126th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade.

The theme of this year’s Rose Parade is “Inspiring Stories” with the Grand Marshal being Torrance hometown hero, Louis Zamperini, who passed away earlier this year. The Torrance entry is called “A Race Well Run” and will feature black-and-white photos of Zamperini’s life, the Olympic torch and other imagery that reflects Zamperini’s life including a replica of the B-24 plane he was shot down in during World War II. Since the movie Unbroken was released on Christmas Day the City of Torrance hopes that this float, dedicated to the memory of Louis Zamperini, can once again bring international recognition to the city.

Sunday’s visit required a little imagination as all the floats essentially had most of their big items removed so flowers and seeds could be added prior to the reassembly which must be completed by Tuesday night. If you would like to see the progress that has been made over the last two weeks, you can see a few of my photos on CNN’s iReport. I will return one more time, on New Year’s Eve, so I can get some up close and personal shots of the finished product. Continue reading

Candy Cane Lane returns to Sleepy Hollow

It is that time of year again, when the residents of the Seaside area of South Torrance, also known as Sleepy Hollow, show true community cooperation by decorating entire blocks in an extravaganza of Christmas lights, transforming the neighborhood into Candy Cane Lane.

A tradition that, by all verifiable accounts, began in 1985 has become seemingly more popular with each successive year; if not with the residents most definitely with the visitors that come to view the lights. In prior years it seemed that you had to know where you were going in order to find the decorated neighborhood. This year I have spotted several signs directing drivers to the Christmas lights and some streets seem to have been modified to keep the traffic flowing and to keep people from becoming lost in the maze of streets that all seem to look alike when the sun goes down and the lights come on.

These photos were taken on Tuesday and Wednesday nights because I wanted to get some photos in before the crowds got too big. Even though it is still two weeks before Christmas several long lines of cars can be found driving up and down the decorated streets. It is a safe bet that the weekends will be even more crowded with both car and pedestrian traffic. The lights at Candy Cane Lane are on from 6:00 until 10:00 PM and will be on every night until at least New Years. If you decide you want to visit the decorated area, I highly recommend parking and walking the streets. It may be chilly but there are plenty of people selling hot chocolate, home-baked cookies and popcorn. There are carolers, musicians and an occasional Santa Claus sighting has been reported. It is a good time for young and old, you will enjoy yourself. Continue reading

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