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N.M. UFO-Theme Float Wins Rose Parade Grand Marshal's Trophy


Associated Press
      PASADENA, Calif. — New Mexico's Tournament of Roses float criticized by some for its UFO theme has won the parade's Grand Marshal's Trophy for excellence in creative concept and design.
    The state's 55-foot long float, called "Passport to Our World and Beyond," featured three bigheaded green space aliens riding in open-air UFO, along with rockets, planets and a 24-foot conical tower.
    The UFO theme stems from the story of a supposed UFO crash in the desert near Roswell in July 1947. The military said it was a weather balloon, but that never stopped the tale from establishing a spot in science-fiction folklore.
    In a news release announcing the float, the state Tourism Department said its space creatures were being made from crushed split peas, and would fly through clouds of white coconut and maneuver around colorful planets of hot pink, orange and purple roses and carnations. The float's spacecraft was made of silverleaf protea, with accents of gray poppy seeds and white coconut flakes and the spaceport tower of yellow strawflower and button mums.
    This year's 119th Tournament of Roses had the theme, "Passport to the World's Celebrations."
    In 2006, the state entered a float featuring an adobe-style church its first float in 56 years in the widely televised New Year's Day event in Pasadena. In the week after that parade, state officials reported a 16 percent spike in inquiries for tourism information in New Mexico.
   


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