Officials Investigate Why City Float Broke Down

South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Committee (SPTOR) members are investigating why the city float broke down in the 2017 Rose Parade on January 2.

“We’re still figuring that out,” said SPTOR Construction Chair Paul Abbey, noting that Pasadena Tournament of Roses officials asked local float workers to adjust the front brakes to the city float after their first technical inspection last fall.

“Supposedly, they were supposed to inspect it (again), that it was done correctly, and it appears it wasn’t,” said Abbey, adding  the brakes were “somewhat engaged” during last week’s parade “and it was making the engine work extra hard to move the float. Making it extra hard, it heated up the oil and over heated the engine, shutting it down due to the over heating is what we speculate,” he said. “We won’t know for sure until we get it all apart.”

Abbey said members of the SPTOR construction crew discovered the front brakes on the float were engaged after the float broke down a couple days after the parade when they attempted to bring it back to South Pasadena. “When we went to go tow it, that’s when we discovered the front brakes were engaged,” he explained. “They were almost locked into place. It couldn’t move. That’s where we came up with this scenario. Prior to that we were thinking it was an electrical short (as to why it broke down).”

The float stopped on Colorado Boulevard between Pasadena City College and Sierra Madre Boulevard during the parade.

“Things didn’t go as planned,” noted Abbey, who spoke to James Jontz, an animator/observer alongside float driver Chris Metcalf in the city’s float. Jontz reportedly told Abbey that South Pasadena’s parade entry “was passed by the float behind them, mounted police and the mounted Sheriff’s Police that were at the very end of the parade,” explained Abbey. “They were not supposed to go past us. They should have surrounded our float and protected us. That’s where we ran into an issue with the crowd coming out, just swarming the float. The Tournament is doing everything they can to try and figure out what went wrong on why we got left behind without any assistance.”

Abbey said SPTOR officials will go before a Tournament of Roses for a hearing to determine if the South Pasadena float will be faced with a fine as a  result breaking down in the parade.

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