By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Kaiser Permanente’s 2020 Rose Parade float, “Courage to Reimagine,” was awarded the Wrigley Legacy Award for most outstanding display of floral presentation, float design and entertainment. The 131st Rose Parade marks the 15th year Kaiser Permanente has participated in the parade.
This year, Kaiser Permanente’s float theme drew inspiration from the book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” written by author L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W.W. Denslow. This classic tale, first published in 1900, was written with an innovative lens to transcend stereotypes and depict what the world could be if imagined differently. The float also honors Kaiser Permanente’s 75th anniversary, highlighting the founders’ vision to reimagine a world with endless possibilities.
“We are honored to receive the Wrigley Legacy Award and are delighted to use this international platform to illustrate the power of reimagining what is possible,” said Julie Miller-Phipps, regional president for Kaiser Permanente of Southern California. “At Kaiser Permanente, we have long imagined a world with total health for all and are thrilled to demonstrate how possibilities are endless with the power of hope.”
This year, 12 float riders represented the medical innovation and excellence Kaiser Permanente provides across the nation. Additionally, 24 “out-walkers” alongside the float included Kaiser Permanente employees, physicians and members who embodied the float’s theme. These riders played memorable characters such as Dorothy, Tin Woodman, Lion, Scarecrow and the Great Wizard of Oz. These reimagined characters symbolized a vision of health, expert medical care and the power of imagination, and demonstrated how partnering with each other leads to a road of bright futures.
More than 400 Kaiser Permanente employees and their families helped decorate the 75-foot-long float, designed and built by Fiesta Parade Floats. The float brought the Emerald City to life with colorful blossoms amid quaint shops and buildings that included a library, a vegetable stand for heart-healthy foods and a school. Beyond the village was the entrance to the Emerald City. The Wizard of Oz waved from the balcony as Toto floated high above in a hot air balloon.
The float’s floral arrangements comprised more than 38,000 roses, including more than 12,000 Green Tea Roses that filled the deck gardens around the Emerald City. More than 12,000 coral Movie Star Roses completed the rose gardens and monarch butterflies were designed with yellow marigold petals, black chive seeds and white sweet rice as they took flight over floral hollyhocks designed in more than 5,000 gold, coral and orange roses.
Float participants also were joined by the award-winning Lula Washington Dance Theater, a Los Angeles-based repertoire dance ensemble that performs innovative and provocative choreography by Lula Washington. The troupe is known for its national and international uses of dance to explore social and humanitarian issues, including aspects of African American history and culture. LWDT is also a longtime grantee and community partner of Kaiser Permanente.
Kaiser Permanente’s previous float entries have received several awards over the past 15 years, including the Grand Marshal’s Trophy for excellence in creative concept and design (2016), Judge’s Special Trophy for the most spectacular in showmanship and dramatic impact (2015), Theme Trophy for excellence in presenting the parade theme (2013), Lathrop K. Leishman Trophy for the most beautiful float entry from a noncommercial sponsor (2014, 2012), Director’s Trophy for most artistic merit in design and floral presentation (2011, 2008, 2006), Extraordinaire Trophy for the “most spectacular” float longer than 55 feet (2010), Tournament Special Trophy for exceptional merit in multiple classifications (2009), and President’s Trophy for most effective floral use and presentation (2007).