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Newport Beach takes home “Extraordinaire Award” for float entry in Rose Parade

Newport Beach announced its triumphant return to the world-renowned 135th Rose Parade®, as its float entry dazzled thousands of spectators on January 1 in Pasadena, Calif., after an 18-year hiatus.

Our city made quite a splash on the global stage, showcasing its rich history and vibrant community spirit through its record-breaking float entry that paid homage to the city’s iconic Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. Visit Newport Beach (VNB) brought home the “Extraordinaire Award,” for most extraordinary float with a length of 165 feet, recognized under the category of “Entertainment Value.”

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Photos courtesy of Visit Newport Beach

(L-R) Judi McLaughlin, Visit Newport Beach Senior Vice President & CMO Ashley Johnson, former Rose Queen® Anne Wortmann, Visit Newport Beach President & CEO Gary Sherwin, former Rose Queen® Robin Carr Sanders, former Rose Queen® Nancy Thorne Skinner, former Rose Queen® Ann Mossberg Hall, Alexis Aldridge and Mandy Archer with the “Extraordinaire Award” banner and the winning float behind

Visit Newport Beach’s float, titled “Jingle on the Waves,” drew attention as the longest float entry in parade history. But what truly set this float apart was its concept – a heartfelt tribute to the beloved Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, essentially creating a parade within a parade. The design showcased iconic Newport Beach landmarks like the Fun Zone Ferris Wheel and the Balboa Pavilion, all crowned by a magnificent 20-foot Christmas tree.

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Photos courtesy of Visit Newport Beach

(L-R) Former Rose Queens® Anne Martin Wortmann, Robin Carr Sanders, Ann Mossberg Hall and Nancy Thorne Skinner pose with our winning float in the background

Adding to the historic ties between Pasadena and Newport Beach, four former Rose Queens® who call Newport Beach home, graced the float with their regal presence. They included Nancy Thorne Skinner (1952), Ann Mossberg Hall (1957) Robin Carr Sanders (1975) and Anne Martin Wortmann (1976).

Joining the former Rose Queens® aboard the float were Visit Newport Beach President & CEO Gary Sherwin, Visit Newport Beach Senior Vice President & CMO Ashley Johnson and three meeting planners, who were selected by a random drawing. The drawing occurred at IMEX and planners were able to enter after conducting a meeting with the Visit Newport Beach sales team. The lucky winners were Alexis Aldridge (NHS Global Event), Mandy Archer (Infiniz Global) and Judi McLaughlin (HelmsBriscoe).

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The Newport Beach Rose Parade® float, “Jingle on the Waves,” rounding the corner onto Colorado Boulevard

The VNB float was constructed by the Phoenix Decorating Company at their warehouse in Irwindale, Calif. It took more than 10,000-man hours to decorate the float! This year’s Rose Parade, presented by Honda, was themed “Celebrating a World of Music: The Universal Language.” The parade measured 5 1/2 miles, with the majority of this being down famed Colorado Boulevard.

Among the featured florals on the VNB float: Christmas red, white button and purple mums; white fine ground rice; green fine ground parsley; hot pink, blue and purple fine cut statice; tops of green Komondor fern; white carnations; fine cut strawflower; black onion powder; grey clover seeds; shiny grey silverleaf; white and lavender roses; white, light blue and dark blue irises; gold flax seed; black seaweed; green garlands of green springeri and light-yellow carnations; yellow and light green whole split peas; white navy beans; dark green mung bean; whole lentils; dried cranberry and water sprays of white denrobs and coco stix with powdered rice.

“Jingle On the Waves” along with the other Rose Parade® floats will be on view today as part of “Floatfest: A Rose Parade® Showcase” spanning two miles. For tickets which are only available online ($20 and free for children under 5) and times, go here. Viewing takes place at Sierra Madre Boulevard and Washington Boulevard in Pasadena.

For a list of Rose Parade float awards presented by FTD, go here.

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