New Mexico Float Wins Rose Bowl Parade Grand Marshal's Trophy

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New Mexico's 'Passport to Our World & Beyond' Float Wins Coveted Grand Marshal's Trophy in 2008 Tournament of Roses® Parade

New Mexico Tourism

The Land of Enchantment is leading the way into the final Frontier, and New Mexico welcomes its visitors to share in the bold new adventure

More than one million spectators lining Colorado Blvd. and millions more watching around the world were treated to the New Mexico Tourism Department's "Passport to Our World & Beyond" float, winner of the coveted Grand Marshal's Trophy in the 119th Tournament of Roses® Parade

The Grand Marshal's Trophy is given "for excellence in creative concept and design" and is one of the top three awards given each year. It is also the first award earned by the State of New Mexico in only its second appearance in the Tournament of Roses® Parade.

Among the float's riders was Miss New Mexico 2008, Jenny Marlowe, who was featured in interviews prior to the parade on Fox Channel 11 and KTLA Channel 5 in Los Angeles and nationally on the Travel Channel.

The float was designed by award-winning float designer Raul Rodriguez and built by Fiesta Parade Floats of Pasadena, Calif. under contract with the Tourism Department. Fiesta Parade-built floats won four of the top five trophies given in today's parade.

The space creatures on the float, created in crushed split peas, flew through clouds of crisp white coconut as they maneuvered around colorful planets of hot pink, orange, and purple roses and carnations. The spacecraft of shimmering silverleaf protea had accents of gray poppy seeds and white coconut flakes. The space port, decorated in yellow strawflower and button mums, soared to a height of 24 feet over gardens of 50,000 green roses including Jade, Limbo and Super Green. The space craft rocked from side to side as blasts of carbon dioxide rose from the rear of the craft. Whimsical music added to the fun.

"This was a fabulous experience and an incredible honor for the citizens of New Mexico," Michael Cerletti, Secretary of the Tourism Department, said of the award. "We are grateful to Raul, Tim (Estes) and all the folks at Fiesta Parade Floats. We also thank the nearly 80 New Mexico volunteers who traveled by plane, car and antique car caravan to California to work on the float and take part in the festivities; Jenny Marlowe, who is a wonderful ambassador for the State of New Mexico; and we particularly want to thank our sponsors - Isleta Resort and Casino, Value Options, New Mexico State Parks, the City of Roswell, 'Caddies and Vettes' in Roswell, El Pinto Foods, and Santa Fe Brewery for helping us in this unique marketing effort."

"The Land of Enchantment is leading the way into the final Frontier, and New Mexico welcomes its visitors to share in the bold new adventure," Secretary Cerletti said.

The national and international exposure offered New Mexico through television coverage of the 2006 Tournament of Roses® Parade was valued at more than $1 million, according to industry experts. Nearly 40 million Americans in 16.5 million households tuned in to watch the parade on nine national and international television networks, including NBC, ABC, HGTV and the Travel Channel. The Parade was also broadcast live in 150 countries and territories.

It is estimated the exposure offered New Mexico following this year's appearance -especially considering the publicity generated as winner of the Grand Marshal's Trophy - will be even greater.

"It is important that the New Mexico tourism industry does everything it can to take advantage of unique opportunities to reach potential visitors," Secretary Cerletti said. "Our successful return to the Tournament of Roses® Parade is just one such effort."

New Mexico Tourism

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Jennifer Hoffman
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