Corporate / North American Operations / Value to America
Honda 'Follow Your Dreams' Float to Lead 2013 Rose Parade
The Honda 2013 Rose Parade float entry, "Follow Your Dreams," will be the first float in the 124th Rose Parade, themed "Oh, the Places You'll Go!™," on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. The float's design captures the theme through its imaginative depiction of innovative Honda technologies and Dr. Seuss-inspired features. This marks the 52nd year Honda has collaborated with the Tournament of Roses and its third year as presenting sponsor. The all-new 2013 Honda Accord Sedan will be the parade's official pace car and the all-new 2013 Honda Accord Coupe will serve as the sound car.
"The world of endless possibilities that awaits us all is creatively displayed on the Honda float, and it truly captures the spirit of the 124th Rose Parade theme, 'Oh, the Places You'll Go!,'" said Tournament of Roses president Sally M. Bixby. "'Follow Your Dreams' is a wonderful first float for the Parade on Jan. 1."
Parade-watchers will witness a 100-foot-long whimsical festival of dreams, imagination and youth that will include three world-champion athletes riding on the float: U.S. sprinter Carmelita Jeter, and from the summer's "Fierce Five" gymnastics team, McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross.
The float has three islands featuring fantastical elements that could intersect in the inventiveness of a dream. On the middle island, a creative structure that emulates a castle, complete with an eclectic form of architecture for each roof, wall and staircase, is the centerpiece. A double-propeller helicopter-like apparatus with landing gear already extended is flying over a gateway that leads to a 16-foot-high working slide – the first working slide to be featured in the Tournament of Roses Parade. The slide is symbolic of the journey where dreams take you. Each rider of the slide will find this gateway as their starting point.
The slide connects the middle island to the front island of the float that features a mobile with a periscope that has moving legs. The HondaJet also is seen flying above colorful island trees.
A bridge extends from the center to the rear portion of the float with a sailboat traveling underneath and an American flag serving as a banner. The third island is topped with an airship complete with circular nose, exposed engine and an intertwined exhaust system. To the rear of a second smaller castle on the last island, ASIMO, the world's most advanced humanoid robot, is being lifted by colorful balloons. On the other side, a hot air balloon also can be seen floating toward the stars.
For the third straight year, Honda's float will be propelled by a specially configured hybrid, low-emission engine to help the float function more efficiently and reduce its carbon footprint.
"Honda believes in The Power of Dreams, and their ability to empower us to help make society a better place," said Stephan Morikawa, assistant vice president of American Honda Corporate Community Relations. "The Rose Parade is an opportunity to showcase innovative Honda technologies and to wish a happy New Year to everyone watching along the Parade route and on television."
The Honda float features more than 5,000 roses, 11,000 carnations and 2,500 gerberas. A variety of flowers, plants and seeds will be used, including lavender dendrobs, pink pincushion protea, white queen Anne's lace, dark blue iris, light pink carnations, orange roses, yellow button mums, bronze fine cut strawflower, purple fine cut statice, red hanging amaranth, Kermit green mums, brown flax seed, green ground parsley flakes, black onion seed, green ground split pea, shiny grey silverleaf, red large kidney beans and cream corn husk, among many others. All of these natural materials will later be ground up for mulch after the conclusion of the parade activities.
Honda first collaborated with the Tournament of Roses in 1961 to provide two-wheeled vehicles for 1962 Parade operations. Honda has been a float participant in the Rose Parade since 1977 and has provided the official Tournament of Roses vehicle since 1994. Honda continues to supply two-wheeled vehicles and also provides side-by-side (multi-utility) vehicles for Parade operations.
As presenting sponsor, the Honda float is annually the first in the Parade and showcases the theme. As a result, it will not be considered a commercial entry and will not compete during the judging process. Prior to becoming presenting sponsor in 2011, Honda floats won awards in 15 of the previous 16 years.
Honda began operations in the U.S. in 1959 with the establishment of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Honda's first overseas subsidiary. Honda began U.S. production of motorcycles in 1979 and automobiles in 1982. With nine U.S. plants, Honda has invested more than $12.5 billion in its U.S. operations. The company employs more than 26,000 associates and annually purchases $14 billion in parts and materials from more than 530 U.S. suppliers. Honda vehicles are manufactured using domestic and globally sourced parts.
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