Ahepa Hellenic Heritage Foundation - Archive
James Birakos Press Release - October 4, 1998

News Release - Tournament of Roses ® Parade

October 4, 1998
Contact: James N. Birakos, Ph.D.
Phone: (310) 326-5209
[Tournament of Roses]

For Release October 4, 1998


Ten young Greek Americans from throughout the United States will have the chance of a lifetime, the opportunity to be a rider on the first-ever Hellenic float in the historic Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.

The float, a floral replica of the majestic Parthenon, is sponsored by the Order of AHEPA and the entire AHEPA family. When it glides down famed Colorado Blvd. on New Year's day, it will be seen by almost one million people lining the parade route, and by some one half billion people in over 100 nations that will receive the television broadcast.

Depicting the theme, "Music from the Acropolis," the Hellenic float will feature ten young riders in traditional Greek costumes. In order to provide an equal opportunity for all young men and women between the ages of 12 and 18 to be on the imposing float, AHEPA has literally opened up the chance for participation by creating a clever competition: the five young men and five young women who raise the most money to purchase flowers for the float will be designated winners and float riders.

Thousands of flowers will be needed to decorate the Hellenic float and the sponsors have encouraged young people, church groups, choirs, dance groups, GOYA and YAL members, as well as Sons of Pericles, Maids of Athena, AHEPA and Daughters of Penelope chapters to take part, or to work as groups to assist their representative in the competition.

The choice of float riders, according to the float executive committee, is wide open and will depend entirely on the results of the competition.

There are some rules, however. All entrants must complete an entry form, which can be easily obtained through the following website: www.ahepafloat.org; or by e-mail: Contact Us, or by fax (310) 388-1234.

All entrants must raise and collect donations, and checks should be made out to the AHEPA Hellenic Heritage Foundation, a non-profit California corporation.

All entry forms and all donations must be sent to Flowers for the Float, 2026 Cliff Drive, Suite 187, Santa Barbara, CA 93109.

Entries must be sent by certified mail with return receipt requested, and they must be received no later than November 14, 1998. Winner will be notified one week later.

Float riders must be between the ages of 12 and 18, and must furnish their own transportation to and from Pasadena. AHEPA will provide housing and local transportation. Costume fitting and rehearsal will require some time, and riders must be available on December 30 and December 31. Of course, all float riders must be ready for the January 1 parade and the post parade festivities.

Additionally, float riders must be accompanied by a chaperone over the age of 21, preferably a parent or a guardian, and must comply with safety requirements of the Tournament of Roses.

All entrants who raise more than $100 will receive a Commemorative Certificate and an official pin. Winners, in addition to riding on the float, will be given two grandstand seating tickets for the parade, a commemorative poster and T-shirt, and be featured at the post-parade barbecue lunch and parade float tour.

All those interested are asked to obtain entry forms, or to contact their local AHEPA and Daughters of Penelope chapters.

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