The American Legion Auxiliary has announced the top two floats from the Palisades 75th annual Fourth of July Parade.
The Will Rogers Ranch Foundation and Resilient Palisades were selected this year. Each winner will receive a $500 check that will be presented at the Auxiliary meeting on July 19.
Judging the floats this year were auxiliary members Nekeishia Lester Spinner, Stephanie Hubsch and Cameron Brown.
The Will Rogers “float” incorporated ropers, horses and a float complete with a paper cut out of Will Rogers.
Judges wrote, “One of the standout features of their presentation was the incorporation of numerous decorated cars, all adorned with 4th of July-themed decorations. This innovative idea not only added a visually captivating aspect to the display but also symbolized the American tradition of parades and processions that are often seen on this patriotic day.”
The judges noted that the horses from ranch not only enhanced the authenticity, but paid homage to the equestrian heritage of the Will Rogers Historic Park and Ranch House and reinforced the connection of horses in the history of the United States.
The judges also liked “the involvement of youth lassoers. This addition not only showcased the talent and skill of these young individuals but also emphasized the importance of passing down cultural traditions and skills to future generations.”
Judges concluded, “Through their impressive display of decorated cars, inclusion of ranch horses, and involvement of youth lassoers, they successfully crafted an engaging and immersive experience that celebrated the history, traditions and values associated with Independence Day leaving a lasting impression on parade goers.”
The auxiliary has been told that the Will Rogers Foundation plans to use its prize money to restore a player piano located in the historic ranch house.
Judges felt that Resilient Palisades successfully integrated their mission of addressing the climate and ecological crisis into their float presentation along with this 4th of July theme, “Diamond Jubilee in 2023.”
“By highlighting their core values and engaging with onlookers through literature distribution and seeds, they effectively conveyed their commitment to building a resilient future for the community and the surrounding environment,” judges said. “Resilient Palisades’ recognition for the Most Creative Use of the Palisades 4th of July Theme is well-justified due to their innovative approach in integrating their mission of addressing the climate and ecological crisis into their float presentation.”
The “Vegan for Everything” float was the brainchild of the Resilient Palisades Vegan Solutions team led by Aleks Pavlovic. The 10-foot carton of soy/oat/almond/hemp milk was built by team members the day before the parade.
The paintings including the milk box and veggie burger box were done by Vegan Solutions team member Sara Marti.
On the float, there were five vegan models cooking veggie burgers, lifting weights, DJ-ing, dancing, and demonstrating the benefits of eating less meat.
“Around the base of the float, the team hung posters of movies that remind us eating less meat is good for our bodies and for the climate,” said RP co-founder Ryan Craig.
The prize money will be used to help fund the group’s Clean Air + Water team’s ongoing campaign to buy electric blowers for gardeners who work in the Palisades and are willing to give up gas blowers.
“So far, well over 50 gardeners have begun this journey with us and we hope to help them all in the coming months,” Craig said.
The first time the prize was given for the best decorated float was in 2022 and a check for $1,000 was given to the Palisades-Malibu YMCA. This year the auxiliary elected to give two $500 prizes to encourage greater float participation in the parade.
PAPA President Matt Rodman said, “The Palisades Americanism Parade Association hopes that the American Legion Auxiliary Award for the Best Community Organization Float will become an annual part of the 4th of July Parade. We thank the members of the Auxiliary for their sponsorship of this award.”