Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing series of reprints of historic Catalina Islander articles.
From the Catalina Islander, Wednesday, January 7, 1925
Four hundred thousand persons saw the Catalina Island float in the Rose Tournament parade at Pasadena, January 1. In Class A, there were twenty-five competitive floats and our float captured fifth prize! Glendale won first prize in Class A, Long Beach, second; Pacific Palisades, third; Ontario, fourth; Catalina Island, fifth; Tujunga, sixth; and Flintridge, seventh.
The metropolitan newspapers have published many columns of descriptions and photographs of the one hundred and seventy-five floats taking part in the parade. The length of the parade was three miles. Eighteen hundred persons were in the line of march. Twenty-five Chambers of Commerce were represented and thirty-five bands furnished the music.
The float of the Angelus Temple of Los Angeles, won first grand sweepstakes prize for the best entered. Skilled workmen labored for more than a month to prepare this float for the parade. The cost is said to have been very close to $10,000.
We quote from the Pasadena Star News the following:
“With a huge replica of a tuna fish as the ‘centerpiece’ of the display, the entry of the Santa Catalina Island Company was representative of the various interests of the island as a whole
“The big tuna, which appeared to be floating in the ocean, was placed lengthwise of the float. In front and on either side were miniature reproductions of the steamships Catalina and Avalon, the glass-bottom boats and several flying fish. Smoke was issuing from he stacks of the two steamers.
“In the background were the Catalina mountains, rising shear from the seashore, with miniature houses clinging to the sides and a wild goat or two prowling around. In the valley and around the houses appeared native shrubbery and flowers and the entire float was trimmed extensively with sea growth, such as kelp, moss, eta. The name of the float was done on both sides and ends in genuine native abalone shells.
“Father Neptune and his daughter were seen riding on the float, the daughter guiding the tuna fish with reins. Two small boys were also riding on the float and four youngsters wearing the uniform of sea scouts, walked at each corner of the float. Encased in tanks on either side and visible through plate glass panes were reproductions of the famous submarine gardens with live fish swimming around the tanks, which also contained native shell fish. Black Jack Mine, with a real silver ore streak flowing, appears on the side of the mountain.”
Possibly no contestant in the great parade labored more thoroughly to produce a complete replica of its original than did the Santa Catalina Island Company with its float. Everything on or about the float was of local origin. The sea weeds, fish, shells, scenery, silver and lead samples and the goats were all sent from the Island. The huge design was placed on a five-ton Packard truck at Avalon. It was then driven on board a barge and towed the twenty-seven miles from the Island to the mainland and unloaded at Wilmington.
From Wilmington to Pasadena is about 50 miles, and despite the early morning hour the men in charge of the float were more than six hours making that part of the trip. Inside the float was Eddie Rinehart. Eddie had one “peep hole.” He could see the street car tracks ahead—that’s all! His outlook was right under the nose of the giant tuna. When on the highway Eddie operated his steering wheel boat fashion—starboard and port, with Charley Hammond on the “bridge” as captain.
Those who went with the float from Avalon were General Manager David M. Renton, Albert Conrad, C. W. Hammond, Everett Long Jr., Captain Tinch Moricich, Eddie Rinehart, Jimmy Ramsey and Walter Conrad with his two Catalina semi-wild goats.