Education first is the theme of the Odd Fellows & Rebekahs float in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses parade with the parade theme of Sports... Quest for excellence. This colorful float is the forty first (41st) consecutive float for the IOOF, a source of great pride.
The float consist of a wise old owl wearing a graduate student mortar board, poses as a teaching professor & coach. Expounding the idea, that "excellence in sports, is great, but don't forget the importance of education!" The figure of the owl is an exemplification of the detail to which the odd fellows and rebekahs go in the decoration of their float. The meticulous detail has become a trademark of the odd fellows & rebekahs.
The face of the owl required many hour of very tedious work, using rather exotic materials, such as individual pieces of pine cones of varying shadings. Dead and dry magnolia leaves of varying shades. All these to simulate the effect of small, delicate feathers around the eyes of the owl. There were also bits of cardonne puffs, a form of thistle to accentuate the area surrounding the eye. The feathers of the wings, were effected by the use of many differing kinds of materials. Such as pampas grass, another darker grass similiar to pampas. Cornhusk cut in the shape of feathers. Magnolias leaves of varying shades. Many seeds, spices and flowers of many species, combined to make this a float of exceptional detail and beauty!
The rider on this float was Jamie Escalante, selected because he represents the epitome of a teacher & coach who led an impossible "team" of students on a successful "quest for excellence!" Jaimie Escalante was the subject of a movie, "Stand and Deliver". Watch the 1995 video.