Garden of Oz float
Garden of Oz float

LOS ANGELES, Jan 2, 2009 / FW/ — Celebrating its 70th Anniversary, The Wizard of Oz is one of the most beloved history in American pop culture. With sculptured likenesses of Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and Professor Marvel (a.k.a. The Wizard of Oz) and two riders, Dorothy and Glinda, the Good Witch, the Bayer Advanced Garden of Oz Rose Parade float featured more than 12,000 roses, one of the roses having traveled on NASA’s space shuttle.

A fantasy movie made 70 years ago, the idea of space travel was still considered sci-fi even in Hollywood. Dorothy and her friends still thought of ‘the man on the moon’ as part of a legend. Bayer Advanced brought fantasy and reality together by creating the Garden of Oz float for the Rose Parade.

The float features more than 12,000 roses, including one that traveled Over the Rainbow on NASA’s space shuttle. NASA Astronaut Rex Walheim took the rose into space on the shuttle Atlantis in February 2008. The rose traveled more than five million miles on the shuttle. Rex’s brother, Bayer Advanced Garden Expert Lance Walheim selected the rose from the Bayer Advanced-sponsored Wrigley Gardens in Pasadena and prepared it for launch.

The float also became the stage for the world debut of the Pink Promise rose — one of the 2009 All-America Rose Selections. There is a rotating giant rose in front of Professor Marvel’s crystal ball. The Tin Man’s hat releases steam and hyellow roses were used to make the Yellow Brick Road.

The Bayer Advanced Float won the 120th Rose Parade Fantasy Trophy, making Bayer Advanced a three-time winner for the award. It is also the 9th consecutive time that the company had won an award.

“It’s an honor to be recognized with our ninth consecutive trophy for the Bayer Advanced Garden of Oz Rose Parade float,” says Mark Schneid, head of marketing for Bayer Advanced. “The Garden of Oz is symbolic of the type of wishes Bayer Advanced grants: Rose Parade-quality roses in your own backyard.”