Tournament of Roses parade float maker shuts doors
Friday, October 7, 2011
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — A company that creates flower-encrusted floats for the annual Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena is going out of business after 25 years.
Charisma Floats co-owner Katie Rodriguez said Friday her organization is laying off its three full-time workers and 15 part-timers because it did not get any orders for the upcoming New Year's parade.
Two of the float maker's mainstays, the City of West Covina and a nonprofit group, pulled out after failing to raise enough money to enter the annual event, in which elaborate floats costing upward of $300,000 roll down Pasadena's main street in an often sun-splashed parade watched by television viewers across the country.
"We could not afford to continue," said Rodriguez, who owned the business with her husband. "We didn't pick up any clients."
Rodriguez said they bought the business three years ago, though the company had been around much longer.
In years past, the Irwindale company built an animatronic dinosaur float for Burger King, a float honoring the Tuskegee Airmen and another paying tribute to 9/11 heroes.
Bill Flinn, interim executive director for the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, said there will be about 44 floats in the upcoming parade, which is a fairly typical number.
Charisma Floats announced the decision on its website, saying it was grateful to its floral designers, artists, welders, animators, float drivers, float supervisors and volunteers.
The Pasadena Star-News (http://bit.ly/op4cyG) first reported the company's closure Friday.
Information from: Pasadena Star-News, http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/