Friday, October 17, 2008

Beep. Beep. Coyote and Roadrunner Highlight New Mexico's 2009 Tournament of Roses Parade Float!

The beloved cartoon characters of Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner have entertained millions of young children, and the young at heart, since 1949 when animation legend Chuck Jones first introduced us to his parody of chase cartoons.

On January 1, 2009, the wacky and zany antics of these two stars of the cinema - florally recreated and larger-than-life – will headline the State of New Mexico’s float, “Hats Off To New Mexico – Beep!Beep!,” as it travels Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, California in the 2009 Tournament of Roses® Parade.

Here our report on News Radio 770KKOB:

This is the third time in the past four years that New Mexico will be represented by a float in the Rose Parade, and it follows on the heels of last year’s float, “Passport to Our World & Beyond,” winner of the coveted Grand Marshal’s Trophy “for excellence in creative concept and design.” It is one of the top three awards given each year.

Once again, the New Mexico float will be designed by award-winning float designer Raul Rodriguez and built by Fiesta Parade Floats of Pasadena, Calif. under contract with the New Mexico Tourism Department.

Raul Rodriguez was a featured guest for the unveiling of the 2009 float design Thursday evening (October 16, 2008) at the Chuck Jones Gallery just off the Santa Fe Plaza.

Here our interview with Mr. Rodriquez:

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Michael Cerletti tell us the parade float is another marketing tool to expose the state to tourists from Southern California and around the world:

While New Mexico’s state bird has been entertaining visitors to the Land of Enchantment since its official designation in 1949, so has its cartoon counterpart entertained movie-goers. In fact, both celebrate their 60th anniversary in 2009.

Mike Stauffer with the NM Tourism Department give us this description of the float:

Float Description

Zooming down the roadway of old Route 66, Wile E Coyote, strapped atop an ACME rocket, is making yet another futile attempt to catch the Road Runner, just as he shifts into high gear. Fans know it is only a matter of seconds before this elaborate scheme will invariably fail with catastrophic results for the Coyote.

Their accelerating chase travels through the abstract scenery of New Mexico’s Land of Enchantment. The vast landscapes of the State are comically depicted in animation art form from the snow-capped trees of the majestic mountains, through the teetering rock formations on down to the colorful desert floor bursting alive with blooming yuccas.

“It can be a huge undertaking or something quite simple,” Secretary Cerletti said of the challenge to create a float that can represent New Mexico’s diverse entertainment offering in a colorful, eye-catching design. “New Mexicans, however, robustly celebrate this diversity; and when people around the world turn on their television sets to watch the 2009 Tournament of Roses® Parade broadcast, our ‘Hats Off To New Mexico – Beep” Beep!’ float will turn heads. Fiesta Parade Floats has done a remarkable job in capturing the whimsical side of New Mexico’s entertainment story.”

Wile E. Coyote will be crafted from brown uva and creamy white pampas grass. He rides atop a rocket created in 8,200 brilliant red carnations. The Road Runner will sport a plumage of dark blue sinuata statice and light blue delphinium florets with legs decorated in yellow split pea beans applied one-by-one.

The Road Runner is going full speed with legs moving so fast they are almost a blur as the Coyote hangs on tight to the gyrating rocket to which he is attached. The pinnacles of the rock formations spin and wobble to the vibration of the musical sound track and the Road Runner’s famous Beep! Beep!

New Mexico will come vividly alive in more than 50,000 roses. The unique rock formations will be created in butterscotch and bronze chrysanthemums with striations of roses. The desert floor will feature roses in shades of orange, while the yucca blossoms will be created in over 10,000 white dendrobium orchid florets individually glued onto small welded rods. Black chive seeds and white sweet rice cover the Route 66 roadway.

The national and international exposure offered New Mexico through television coverage of the 2008 Tournament of Roses® Parade was valued at more than $1 million, according to industry experts. Nearly 40 million Americans in 16.5 million households tuned in to watch the parade on nine national and international television networks, including NBC, ABC, HGTV and the Travel Channel. The Parade was also broadcast live in 150 countries and territories.

It is estimated the exposure offered New Mexico following this year’s appearance –especially considering the publicity generated as winner of the Grand Marshal’s Trophy last year– will be even greater. Co-sponsors of this year’s event including Isleta Casino & Resort, New Mexico State Parks, Albuquerque Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, Santa Fe Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, the Town of Taos, the Town of Red River, Santa Fe Brewing Company, ESPN and El Pinto Restaurant in Albuquerque.

“The national and international exposure offered New Mexico through our appearance in the Parade and the media events held in conjunction is immeasurable,” Secretary Cerletti said. “Our purpose in participating in this event – like all our advertising efforts - is to pique the interest of our potential visitors and to create in them a curiosity to find out more about the Land of Enchantment. It is important that the New Mexico tourism industry does everything it can to take advantage of unique marketing opportunities, like the Tournament of Roses® Parade.”

The Tourism Department says they still have sponsorship opportunities available. If you're interested in promoting your town, region or company contact them in Santa Fe for more details.

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