A new float will cruise down the avenue during the 122nd Rose Bowl parade in Pasadena, Calif., on New Year’s Day.
In an effort to raise awareness of a disease headed for epidemic proportions, the once low-profile Alzheimer’s Association has upped its image in recent years, and its latest effort is “The Boomer Express” float, a locomotive created from purple strawflowers, iris and other blooms. The float, a joint collaboration with drugmaker Pfizer, is the group’s first-ever entry in the parade.
Onboard will be people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, as well as family and friends touched by the disease. A whistle will blow every 70 seconds, as often as someone develops the brain-wasting illness.
Alzheimer’s is a national crisis, says Angela Geiger, chief strategy officer for the Alzheimer’s Association. “As the first wave of Baby Boomers turns 65 this January, the devastating impact of this disease is only going to skyrocket unless we can change the path.”