West High School senior’s ‘girl power’ sketch selected for Torrance Rose Parade float design. Next year’s Torrance float entry in the 128th Tournament of Roses Parade features a dose of girl power thanks to a contest-winning conceptual design created by a West High School senior.
Lindsey Beckmeyer’s sketch was chosen as the basis for the city entry from among those submitted for the contest by Torrance high school students using the parade theme “Echoes of Success.” The Torrance Rose Float Association wanted to broaden awareness of the float that struggles to find financial support in the community.
Beckmeyer’s concept turned traditional fairy-tale gender roles upside down and features a female knight battling a winged, fire-breathing dragon, with a castle as a backdrop.
“Fighting dragons is a long-standing metaphor for overcoming obstacles,’ Beckmeyer wrote in her entry accompanying the drawing.
“With that in mind, in an increasing movement for girl power, why should anyone have to play a damsel while another fights their dragon,” she added. “In this design, the knight in shining armor is a woman who takes up sword and shield to defend her people and slay the dragon. … This entire design is a metaphor for success and (a call to) be your own knight.”
Beckmeyer will ride the Torrance entry next Jan. 2 — tradition dictates the parade is pushed back a day if New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday — and portray the female knight battling the animated dragon, said Tim Estes, president of Fiesta Parade Floats, the longtime creator of the city’s float.
“Coming up with an idea that will translate into a parade float, which is a floral barge going down the street … is really quite a unique talent,” he said.
The float will be 16 1/2 feet tall, 35 feet long and accommodate eight riders.
The float design was unveiled at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
Torrance has participated in 63 Rose Parades since 1914, association officials said. Municipal floats have won 18 trophies with Fiesta as designer since 1988.
Torrance taxpayers are again footing the bill for the $125,000 float, after attempts at securing private sponsorship on an ongoing basis proved unsuccessful. The money comes from the Community Promotion Program budget, city officials said.
The float association is raising $25,000 to go toward the bill and is holding a variety of fundraising events, including Aug. 6 luau party at the Ken Miller Recreation Center that will cost $50 a ticket.
More details are at the group’s website at torrancerosefloat.org.
The Rose Parade is seen by an estimated 28 million households in 170 nations and is estimated to result in publicity valued at $450,000, making the float a cost-effective promotional vehicle for the city, association President Bev Findley said.