January 1, 2009

Rose Parade hit hard by economic woes

Organizers of this year's Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., say the economic crisis forced new cost-trimming and fund-raising efforts.

Fiesta Parade Floats official Tim Estes, whose company created 12 floats for Thursday's event, said smaller companies and organizations attached to the annual event were particularly hard hit in regard to budgetary concerns, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Meanwhile, the Rose Float Foundation in West Covina, Calif., saw a drastic decline in donations from area businesses apparently due to the ongoing economic crisis nationwide.

We're grasping at whatever, Foundation Executive Vice President Chris Freeland said.

Float designers and operators were also increasingly concerned with seed costs such as onion seed, which increased in 2008 from $5 a pound to nearly $28 a pound.

I did more price shopping than we have ever done before, La Canada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association official Danelle Jacobs said.

But Tournament of Roses Chief of Operations Bill Flinn told the Times the Rose Parade will survive such woes.

The Tournament of Roses has lived through almost every type of up and down: world wars, depressions, he told the newspaper.