PASEDENA, Calif. (A.W.)— The Armenian American Rose Float Association’s (AARFA) first float—dubbed “The Cradle of Civilization”—won the 2015 New Year’s Day Tournament of Roses’ President’s Award for most effective floral use and presentation. The theme of 126th Rose Parade was “inspiring stories,” and paid tribute to the people of the community who “loved unconditionally, persevered courageously, endured patiently, and accomplished much on behalf of others.”
The Cradle of Civilization float presented various aspects of the Armenian community: The art display featured a sculpture of an Armenian woman’s head with a traditional Armenian headdress, as well as an apricot and pomegranate tree. A bushel of grapes represented the earliest wine-making facility found in Armenia. A carpet-weaving machine, a traditional Armenian carpet, the Armenian symbol for “eternity,” and an arch were also featured, as representative of Armenian architecture from 4,500 years ago.
Prominent members of the Armenian-American community rode along with the float; they included U.S. Federal Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan, the first Armenian immigrant federal judge in the United States; former Pasadena Chief of Police Barney Melekian; Flora Dunaians, a Pasadena resident and founder of the Armenian International Women’s Association of Los Angeles; and Jill Simonian, author of the popular “Fab Mom” blog.