Honda has been a major sponsor of the Tournament of Roses for a good long while and seems to pride itself on creating award-winning parade floats for the annual event. This year, the Japanese automaker isn't holding anything back as it celebrates its 50th anniversary in the United States. This year's Rose Parade, which marks the 120th running of the event, will be led by a hydrogen-powered Honda FCX Clarity and a Super Cub motorcycle. It would be difficult to pick two machines from one vehicle manufacturer that are so radically different. Behind the two Honda vehicles will be the automaker's none-too-subtle coup de grâce - a 49-foot-tall animated Asimo robot that's wearing a top hat.
Befitting an automaker with such lofty green ambitions as Honda, the majority of the parade float will be made from lettuce seed, rice and flowers. Afterward, the whole lot of it will be ground up into mulch. A total of 166 Honda Metropolitan scooters will also be used during the parade, which will be watched by millions of people on both television and in person. Sounds like they'll be treated to quite a spectacle.


[Source: Honda]

PRESS RELEASE:

Honda Tests 49 Foot Robot!

Float Will Kick off Rose Parade and Company's 50th Year in the U.S.
Rose Parade Pace Car to be Hydrogen-Powered Fuel Cell Vehicle for First Time

Today Honda (http://www.honda.com) tested its unique Rose Parade float as part of a rehearsal of the parade's opening show, conducted for media and invited guests in Pasadena, Calif., revealing the float design and giving parade fans a glimpse of this year's event. Honda's Rose Parade float, a 49-foot replica of Honda's ASIMO humanoid robot, and the parade's first-ever hydrogen-powered fuel cell pace car, the Honda FCX Clarity, will lead the 120th Rose Parade as well as kick off Honda's 50th anniversary of U.S. operations.

In front of the millions of viewers watching from around the world on Jan. 1, 2009, Honda's float will evolve from an opening ceremony stage into an animated replica of Honda's ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility), standing about 12 times the height of the actual ASIMO humanoid robot. Honda's float creation called "Hats Off in Celebration" will be completed with natural materials like lettuce seed, rice, carnations and strawflower. The float will be joined by the Prairie View A&M University Marching Band, a past participant in the Honda Battle of the Bands which features the music programs of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. A few members of the band will ride on the float, which will be immediately followed by the entire marching band. In addition, during the parade the FCX Clarity pace car will be accompanied by the Honda Super Cub motorcycle, the first model sold in the United States.

"Honda always brings a great amount of innovation to the Rose Parade and what a fantastic way for the company to kick off their 50th anniversary in the U.S.," said Bill Flinn, chief operating officer, Tournament of Roses.

The Honda float includes a variety of flowers, plants and seeds that will later be ground up for mulch after the parade activities are concluded. The surface of ASIMO will be covered with super fine ground white rice and super fine ground everlasting; it is accented by fine cut blue statice and fine cut red statice as well as silverleaf to create accents and "shadows." Fine cut everlasting, whole red carnations and white chrysanthemums will bring vivid color to Honda's 50th anniversary logos, which will be decorated by Honda associates (employees) on December 27.

"We're honored to be celebrating our first 50 years in America by continuing our participation in the Rose Parade," said Stephan Morikawa of American Honda Community Relations. "We're thankful that so many customers have placed their trust in our products and services, and we are looking forward to surpassing their expectations during the next 50 years."

Honda is one of the parade's longest-running corporate sponsors, and its Rose Parade entries have captured major awards in 13 out of the last 14 years. Honda is the official Tournament of Roses vehicle. This year, the company will provide 115 vehicles, including the Honda FCX Clarity pace car; 166 Metropolitan scooters; and, 12 generators for use by Tournament of Roses personnel. The 120th Rose Parade, themed "Hats off to Entertainment," will take place Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2009 at 8 a.m. (PST).

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