Monday, December 30, 2013

Honda Gunning for World's Longest Rose Parade Float

by: Noah Joseph

Honda has participated in the annual Rose Parade for the past 53 years and returns this year as the presenting sponsor for the fourth time running. But it's not satisfied merely putting its name on the event; Honda intends to lead from the front with what promises to be the longest float in the parade's long history.

The float, previewed in the rendering above, will measure 274 feet long, as tall as 30 feet high, as wide as 18 feet and weighing a whopping 50 tons with 8,980 flowers covering its surface. The train will be led by a locomotive designed to mimic the Acura NSX, with Asimo at the wheel. The second car in the train showcases a Honda engine, followed by a robotic arm, and, for the first time in the parade's history, a pair of 30-foot LED monitors displaying images of spectators lining the parade route. A caboose inspired by theHonda Jet will pick up the rear.

Oh, and in case you're wondering just who Honda will be knocking off the record books with its 274-foot train of roses, that would be... also Honda. The Japanese company set the record in 2005 with a 207-foot float. Scope out the details in the press release below and click the image above to view in high resolution.

Honda's "Keeping Dreams on Track" Float to Lead 2014 Rose Parade, Set to Break Record for Longest Rose Parade Float

12/23/2013 - TORRANCE, Calif.

- Measures an unprecedented 274 feet in length, a Rose Parade float record
- Float will celebrate the recently launched TOMODACHI-Honda Cultural Exchange Program between the United States and Japan, promoting friendship, education and leadership
- GRAMMY-winning songwriter and producer Daniel Ho composed float's original soundtrack
- Rose Parade first: Oversized LED video screen will enable spectators the chance to ride along virtually, via cameras mounted on the float
- Returning as the presenting sponsor for the 4th year, Honda's float will lead the Parade

Honda will lead the 125th annual Tournament of Roses Parade with the "Keeping Dreams on Track" historic-meets-futuristic train-themed float, powered by a specially-configured Honda hybrid engine. The premier float of the 2014 Rose Parade, will measure an unprecedented 274 feet in length, and is set to break the record as the longest Rose Parade float, currently held by Honda's 2005 Rose Parade float entry (207 feet). The float's design embodies Honda's "Follow Your Dreams" spirit – looking into the future where all things are possible by following your dreams – while also fulfilling the dreams of parade spectators.

Entering into Honda's 53rd year collaborating with the Tournament of Roses and fourth consecutive year as presenting sponsor, with this year's float Honda will celebrate a very special new partnership with the TOMODACHI Initiative – the TOMODACHI-Honda Cultural Exchange Program, designed to create friendship and understanding between Japanese and American youth. The TOMODACHI Initiative is a public-private partnership that was born out of U.S. support for Japan's recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. The initiative invests in the next generation of Japanese and American leaders through educational and cultural exchanges as well as entrepreneurship and leadership programs. Two students from the TOMODACHI program will precede the Honda float, carrying the Parade's presenting sponsor banner.

"Keeping Dreams on Track is an embodiment of Honda's deeply rooted philosophy, The Power of Dreams, as well as Honda's passion toward following those dreams to guide and inspire us to make a difference," said Stephan Morikawa, assistant vice president of American Honda Corporate Community Relations. "Honda has many exciting efforts coming in 2014, and the Rose Parade marks our first opportunity to provide a sneak peek at some of these innovative Honda technologies and important new partnerships, while wishing everyone watching the Rose Parade a very happy New Year and joyous holiday season."

Meet the 2014 Honda "Keeping Dreams on Track" Float
Those watching the Rose Parade on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 will experience the record-breaking 274 foot-long float, showcasing a combination of creativity, imagination and inspiration. The float – measuring 30 feet tall at its highest point, 18 feet wide at the widest, and weighing in at 50 tons – features five "train" cars that share Honda's ambitious dreams for the future, all set to an exclusive soundtrack, "Of Friendships & Dreams," composed by six-time GRAMMY-winning songwriter and music producer, Daniel Ho.

An Acura NSX sports car-inspired "locomotive" car, driven by ASIMO, the world's most advanced humanoid robot, leads the train. The second train car is a Honda engine, representing the company's long-term commitment to fuel-efficient mobility.

The third train car is built to represent Honda's task-performing robotic arm, a derivative of Honda's ASIMO robotic technology, and will carry students from the TOMODACHI cultural exchange program.

The fourth train car fulfills the dreams of spectators along the Rose Parade route who have always wished to ride on a float by bringing them onboard virtually. It features two large LED video monitors measuring 30-feet wide and 10-feet tall, the first in the Rose Parade's history. Images of parade-goers along the route will be projected onto the screens, enabling them the opportunity to virtually "ride" on the float. The train's caboose is inspired by HondaJet, the world's most advanced light jet.

Honda's float will be propelled by a specially configured Honda hybrid low-emission engine to help the float function more efficiently and reduce its carbon footprint.

Nearly 9,000 Flowers on Board Honda's Train
"Keeping Dreams on Track" will feature approximately 8,980 total flowers – almost double the amount of flowers from the previous year – to garnish the record-setting length of the new float, including 5,900 roses, 2,500 carnations and 580 gerberas. A variety of flowers, plants and seeds will be used, including hot pink, red and light lavender roses, pink and hot pink carnations, red gerberas, among many others. All of these natural materials will later be ground up for mulch after the conclusion of the parade activities.

Music as a Universal Language
This year's Rose Parade marks an important milestone for the Honda brand, as it serves to establish the newly formed TOMODACHI-Honda Cultural Exchange Program. The three-year initiative, first announced on December 13, was developed to support education and U.S.-Japan efforts to develop future generations with an experiential learning program of Music as a Universal language.

Continuing A History of Friendship between Honda and the Tournament of Roses
Honda first collaborated with the Tournament of Roses in 1961 to provide two-wheeled vehicles and generators for 1962 Parade operations. Honda has been a float participant in the Rose Parade since 1977 and has provided the vehicles for official Tournament of Roses transportation since 1994. Honda continues to supply two-wheeled vehicles used by white-suited Tournament volunteers, side-by-side (multi-utility) vehicles for Parade operations, the official Pace and Sound vehicles that lead the parade, as well as Honda Pilots and Odyssey minivans for the Tournament Queen and her court.

As presenting sponsor of the parade, Honda's float will lead the parade, but it will not compete during the judging process. Prior to becoming presenting sponsor in 2011, Honda floats won awards in 15 of the previous 16 years.

About Honda
Honda offers a complete lineup of cars and trucks through a network of more than 1,000 dealerships in the United States. Honda has more than 30 years of experience producing automobiles in the region, which began with the Accord in Marysville, Ohio, in November 1982. Having produced more than 25 million vehicles in North America through 2012 using domestic and globally sourced parts, Honda currently operates 14 major manufacturing facilities in North America, producing a wide range of Honda automobiles, all-terrain vehicles, power equipment products, engines and transmissions.

About the Rose Parade
The Pasadena Tournament of Roses is a volunteer organization that annually hosts the Rose Parade® presented by Honda, the Rose Bowl Game® presented by VIZIO and a variety of associated events. The Tournament's 935 volunteer members act as ambassadors of the organization within the community and serve on one of 31 committees that ensure the success of the parade and game. Collectively, they contribute upwards of 80,000 hours of manpower each year. The 125th Rose Parade presented by Honda, themed "Dreams Come True," will take place Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, followed by the 100th Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO. On Jan. 6, 2014, the Tournament also will host the 2014 VIZIO BCS National Championship at the Rose Bowl Stadium. For additional information on the Tournament of Roses please visit the official website at

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