Wednesday, December 31, 2008

NM Rose Parade Float Slideshow.

UPDATE: 70 degrees and beautiful blue skies greeted the Tournament of Roses Parade crowd this morning in Pasadena. A great morning got a little better when New Mexico's float was awarded the Bob Hope Award for Best Use of Humor.

This is a photo slide show featuring the State of New Mexico's entry into the 2008 Tournament of Roses Parade.

I arrived to view it early, before it rolls down the parade route on New Year's day, and just as it was going through its safety inspection.

The inspector wanted to know where the fire extinguisher and gas cap were hidden. I had no idea, but they eventually found it. The inspector told me she's been doing these for years and thought the Roadrunner Coyote was destined for a big parade award.

Irwindale cops started lining the street where the floats were being staged. The floats are being moved to Pasadena from the warehouses now, and are getting a full police escort, similar to the ones we saw during the presidential campaign (just not as fast).

I know you're all probably staying up late to welcome the New Year, but if you're like me an hitting the hay early, the parade starts at 7am (MT). This is a prime marketing opportunity for the state and city sponsors, like TAOS.

I understand some 14 million people watch the parade every year. I've got two tickets to the grand stand and two more for the football game, but my health is in serious decline and I'm going to fly home in the afternoon. I'm bummed. How often do you get to go to the Rose Bowl game with Joe Paterno coaching PENN State and Pete Carroll coaching USC.


For now let me wish each and everyone of you a very Happy New Year. I mean this part: May you find joy in every moment of every day.

For more information on the float I'm going to paste the news release from the State Tourism Department.

Bobbi Baca (the former first lady of ABQ and wife of Jim Baca) has also been blogging about the float here. And of course, Jim Baca has some posts on the state's marketing effort too.

New Mexico’s ‘Hats Off To New Mexico – Beep Beep’ Float

The beloved cartoon characters of Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, who have entertained millions of young children, and the young at heart for the past 60 years since their creation by the late chuck Jones, will entertain a few million more Thursday (January 1, 2009) when it travels Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, California in the 2009 Tournament of Roses® Parade. The parade begins at 9 a.m. Daylight Savings Time in the Mountain time zone.

Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner are the stars of the State of New Mexico float, “Hats Off To New Mexico – Beep Beep.” 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 was 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.

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,” Tourism Secretary Michael 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 include 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, Vivac Winery and El Pinto Restaurant.

“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.”

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Another Astorga Brother Jailed on New Murder Charges.

Matthew Astorga, 31, is accused of killing a man in Kansas. Astorga, who is the older brother of accused deputy killer Michael Paul Astorga, is charged with first degree murder in Leavenworth, Kansas. He was arrested there last Friday after witnesses told police they say saw him shoot 50-year-old Ruben Rodriquez in the stomach during a disturbance in the front yard of the victim's home.

This is not Matthew Astorga’s first murder charge. He pleaded guilty to killing a New Mexico man in 1996. (HatTip) to MG Bralley with background on Matthew Astorga's first conviction here.

He’s also charged with being a criminal in possession of a firearm and attempting to flee or elude police. His bond is set at 1 million dollars.

For more details check the local Kansas newspaper report here.