Mexican officials plan to kick off a year’s worth of bicentennial events, commemorating their independence with a float at the 2010 Tournament of Roses Parade.
“It’s about putting Mexico in an international forum . . . like the Rose Parade,” said Juan Marcos Gutierrez, consul general of Mexico in Los Angeles. “The message is pretty much that today we are starting the celebrations throughout the year.”
The float–featuring floral replicas of the Aztec calendar and Mexico City’s Angel of Independence, skirted by 36 people dancing to traditional Mexican music–is the first time in recent years that the nation has featured a float in the parade.
This coming year, the country celebrates 100 years since the Mexican revolution and 200 years of independence from Spain.
Wells Fargo and Televisa are sponsoring most of the float’s cost.
The 24-foot-high and 55-foot-long float is already sparking ill will among some in the anti-illegal immigration crowd.
Message boards on Web sites and e-mails are aflutter with criticism for the float, which is to be decorated by hundreds of volunteers, including Mexican immigrants and their families and 31 Girl Scout troops from Orange County.
Barbara Coe, leader of Huntington Beach-based California Coalition for Immigration Reform, said she’s attended the parade in years past.
“I’m not going to go this year. I can tell you that,” Coe said. “There are others who are not really happy about it either. I’ve had a few e-mails and some calls.”
Quetzalcoatl: Just what every Rose Parade needs–an Aztec deity.