Garden State company presents float in New Year's Day event
A New Jersey company makes its debut in Pasadena's Rose Parade this New Year's Day with a float that features garden-eating animals targeted by the firm's repellents and a seat of honor for a young Los Angeles leukemia patient.
Messina Wildlife Management, based in Washington, N.J., wanted their float to show animals reacting to the odor of its non-toxic Animal Stopper line, so the deer, rabbit, skunk, and raccoon riding aboard are comically holding their noses. Nestled among them will be special guest Candace Rodriguez of Los Angeles, a childhood leukemia patient whose wish to ride a Rose Parade float was granted by the father-and-son team that owns the company, James J. and James D. Messina.
The 122nd Rose Parade, which precedes the college Rose Bowl game, was conceived as a celebration of the flowers blooming in Southern California while the rest of the country suffers with winter snow and ice. This year's theme is "Building Dreams, Friendships and Memories" — which should come naturally at an event featuring marching bands, equestrian teams, flower-strewn floats and a small army of parade volunteers.