Irwindale

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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

Mooneyes Mother’s Day Show & Drags

Regular readers of GotBaddog may recall that since 2010 I have been attending and photographing the Mooneyes Christmas Party, Car Show & Drag Races at Irwindale Speedway. This past December the weather did the unthinkable by raining out the event; if you can imagine rain in December. As a result, Mooneyes rescheduled the event for Saturday, May 10 and renamed it the Mooneyes Mother’s Day Show & Drags. Even though I had other plans, I decided to stop by Irwindale to check out the morning action.

The first thing I noticed was that there was a much smaller crowd that I have ever seen at the Christmas Show; so much smaller that the parking situation which usually causes the most complaints was not an issue at all. As I made my way through the car show to the drag strip it suddenly dawned on me that I had forgotten to bring my ear protection. As I usually like to get situated a little ways down from the staging lights I decided my ears would survive without them. After I signed my waiver and prepared to get situated I was informed that things were different this year and photographers had to stay in one small area right by the staging lanes. To those unfamiliar, this is where the cars typically do their burnouts to make the tires sticky; it is also about the loudest place one can stand. After one of the first cars hit a wall it caused a fairly significant delay while debris was removed from the track; the next set of cars that staged were far too loud for my unprotected ears and I decided that I was not going to be able to get the shots I wanted so I called it a day. Continue reading

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