In 1914 Burbank entered its first float into the 25th Pasadena
Tournament of Roses Parade. Built by the Burbank Chamber of Commerce,
the float was called "Goddess of Plenty" and featured an ornate dragonís
head, a large cornucopia overflowing with homegrown sweet potatoes,
pumpkins, squash and assorted vegetables.
I found an interesting article about how the first float rider was
picked. A secret ballot was cast to pick a rider. Two ladies, Miss
Ludlow and Miss Brotman, tied at 365 votes each for the honor and it was
decided that those two candidates themselves would pick the winner.
Their solution: to choose someone who had not been in the running. They
elected Miss Stella Hansen, a high school teacher, to portray the
mythical goddess Ops.
The float won a Special Prize 2nd Place Silver Cup and was presented
to the Chamber by the Los Angeles Tribune. The Cityís Board of Trustees
was so impressed with the win that they asked the Chamber to "prepare
a special case to contain the cupÖ and that inasmuch as the Trophy
belongs to the people of the City of Burbank and not to any one
individual body or organization, that the trophy should be placed on
exhibition in the City Hall." I havenít been about to verify that
this was ever done but, through time, the Silver Cup was lost. Then
around April of 1958 the cup was uncovered in a storeroom at the Burbank
Chamber of Commerce. The Silver Cup is now on display at the Burbank
Historical Society/Gordon R. Howard Museum.
Interesting side note. The Burbank Chamber of Commerce redecorated
the same float and renamed it "Dragon Cornucopia" for the 1915 parade.