Parade First: Replicas of Past Award-Winning Honda Floats Will Join Lead Float
Fit EV to be Official Parade Pace Car
TORRANCE, CA – November 2, 2011 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Honda‘s 2012 Rose Parade float entry, “Sweet Dreams,” will lead the 123rd Rose Parade, Monday, Jan. 2, 2012, and introduce “Just Imagine…” as this year’s Parade theme. Honda’s float celebrates childlike imagination and Honda’s belief in The Power of Dreams. This year marks Honda’s 51st year of collaboration with the Tournament of Roses® and second year as presenting sponsor. Honda’s new electric vehicle, the Honda Fit EV, will be the parade’s official pace car.
“The creativity and imagination represented in the Honda float will truly capture the spirit of the 123rd Rose Parade theme, ‘Just Imagine…,'” said Tournament of Roses president Richard W. Jackson. “I’m looking forward to ‘Sweet Dreams’ leading the Parade on January 2.”
Parade-watchers will witness a 55-foot-long vision of a child’s dreamlike imagination in which anything is possible. Sheep jump over a smiling crescent moon under a fanciful starry sky, leading to dreams of candy and gingerbread castles, hot air balloons, unicorns and a favorite teddy bear. In a rare encore performance, replicas of three past award-winning Honda floats are represented: a dreamy race car (“The Power of Dreams,” 2003), the longest float in Rose Parade history (“Families across America,” 2005) and a fanciful sailing ship that pays tribute to Honda’s philanthropic activity (“Ship of Dreams,” 2010). Representing more than just dreams of the past, the float also looks to the future with replicas of Honda’s innovative products and technologies – the HondaJet – and ASIMO, the world’s most advanced humanoid robot.
“The Rose Parade is Honda’s opportunity to wish a happy New Year to everyone watching the Parade whether along the route or on television,” said Stephan Morikawa, assistant vice president of American Honda Corporate Community Relations. “It’s also a chance to work with the Tournament to showcase Honda’s imaginative, innovative technologies.”
In a parade first, the replicas of the HondaJet, “Families across America” and “Ship of Dreams” will be satellite units ranging from 13-feet-long to 26-feet-long propelled by Honda ATVs that will move independently of the main float unit. For the second straight year, Honda’s main float will be propelled by a specially configured hybrid, low-emission engine to help the float function more efficiently and reduce its carbon footprint.
The Honda float and satellite units include a variety of flowers, plants and seeds that will later be ground up for mulch after the parade activities are concluded. Some of the flowers that will be used include white mums, white orchids, white roses, white everlasting, strawflower, lavender mums and roses, and blue irises combined with cotton, pampas grass, blue statice and orange lentil seeds.
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 also served as the official Tournament of Roses vehicle since 1994. As presenting sponsor, the Honda float will lead the Parade and introduce the theme every year. It will not be a commercial entry and will not be part of the judging process. Prior to becoming presenting sponsor in 2011, Honda floats won awards 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 $11 billion in its U.S. operations. The company employs nearly 25,000 associates and annually purchases $12 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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