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The 55th Annual Armed Forces Day Celebration in Torrance

It is that time of year again, the Torrance Armed Forces Day celebration is this weekend with the highlight being the 2014 Armed Forces Day Parade, the nation’s longest running military parade sponsored by any city which will be held Saturday from 1:30-3:30 PM. Every year a different branch of the military is honored and this year it is the US Navy. The parade runs down Torrance Boulevard from Crenshaw to Madronna. If we are lucky and the weather forecast is correct, it should be a lot cooler than it has been.

These photos are of the military exhibits which can be found at the Del Amo Fashion Square, by the Macy’s entrance and will be viewable from Friday through Sunday. You can visit the City of Torrance website for all the pertinent Armed Forces Day celebration information. Continue reading

Easyriders Bike Show 2014 Anaheim

It is January and for custom bike builders and those that enjoy looking at custom bikes that means that the 2014 Easyriders Bike Show Tour is now underway. The first stop for the tour was Saturday, January 4 at the Anaheim Convention Center. I have been attending various Easyriders events as a participant or spectator since the mid-80’s and while there are definitely bikes that show up in the show year after year, it is interesting to watch the evolution of motorcycle building. Huge front wheels, etched chrome and amazing paint jobs seemed to be the theme in recent years with front wheels seemingly getting taller and fatter every year.

In addition to the motorcycle viewing and vendors providing everything from beef jerky to eternal salvation (yeah, you may have to look at the photos to get that one). For entertainment there was a dance routine performed by the Purrfect Angelz, a fashion show and live music. For the bike show, there were two classes for the judging of bikes with the People’s Choice being voted on by attendees and the Judged Class being chosen by Easyriders Magazine editors.

Next week the tour moves up north to Sacramento which will be a two day event and is usually huge in comparison to Anaheim. From Sacramento the tour moves to Charlotte, NC; followed by Nashville, TN and Columbus, OH in February. You can get full details on the Easyriders Events page. Continue reading

Floats readied for the 125th Tournament of Roses Parade

If you will recall, last week I headed out to Fiesta Parade Floats to take photos of the floats they were building for the upcoming 125th Tournament of Roses Parade. It was December 23 and at that point the floats were virtual skeletons; waiting for December 26 when the actual decorating could begin. The parade rules state that all surfaces of the float framework must be covered in natural materials; usually flowers and seeds. Since these natural materials have a tendency to decay after they are plucked from the ground, the decorating does not begin until December 26. The decorating must be completed by the evening of December 30 so that the floats can be judged on December 31.

Yesterday, December 30 I headed back out to Fiesta Parade Floats in Irwindale to see how progress was coming along. The first thing I noticed was how great it smelled in there with thousands upon thousands of flowers; most already on the floats, but some still waiting to be applied. One of the volunteers told me that they got a slow start because of the extremely warm weather we have been experiencing, but it was obvious that most of the floats were very close to completion.

After I left Irwindale I headed out to the Rose Bowl Stadium parking lot, having been invited by the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) to come photograph the float by entered by California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly). Last year the CCFC reached out to me because approximately 80% of all cut flowers sold in the United States are imported from other countries. The CCFC and California flower farmers were working with the Cal Poly Universities and the City of South Pasadena to ensure that more than 85% of the flowers used on their floats were American grown, specifically from California’s flower farms. This year, Cal Poly is the only certified “California Grown” float in the parade with more than 85% of the flowers used to decorate the float being sourced from California flower farmers. Continue reading

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