08 November 2007
The 2008 New Mexico Rose Bowl Parade float was unveiled today. I like it. It's fun, whimsical and sure to be an eye-catcher. Last year the float was simply a southwestern Mission.
SANTA FE — Those world-famous space tourists who supposedly stopped in Roswell will represent New Mexico in the state's next Rose Parade float, the Tourism Department says.
The float is dubbed "Passport to Our World & Beyond" and features three big-headed green space aliens riding in an open-air UFO. There also will be rockets, planets and a 24-foot conical tower on the 18-foot-wide, 55-foot-long float. "New Mexico - Earth Spaceport," reads the tower's lettering.
This is the second time in three years that New Mexico has entered the widely televised New Year's Day event in Pasadena, Calif. In 2006, the state entered a float for the first time in 56 years.
The UFO theme stems from the story of a supposed UFO crash in the desert near Roswell in July 1947. The military said it was a weather balloon, but that never stopped the tale from establishing a spot in science-fiction folklore.
The space creatures on the float will be made from crushed split peas. They'll fly through clouds of white coconut and maneuver around colorful planets of orange, purple and hot pink roses and carnations.
The spacecraft will be made of silverleaf protea, with accents of gray poppy seeds and white coconut flakes.
Plans for the spaceport tower call for yellow strawflower and button mums, with a garden of 50,000 green roses. The spacecraft rocks from side to side as blasts of carbon dioxide emit from the rear of the craft.
"It's a festival of flowers, music and sports unequaled anywhere in the world and an incredible opportunity to extend an open invitation for all to come visit our beautiful Land of Enchantment," Tourism Secretary Michael Cerletti said Wednesday.
In the week after the 2006 parade, state officials reported a 16 percent spike in inquiries for tourism information in New Mexico. That year's float had an adobe-style church and more than 30,000 orange, red and yellow roses.