Roto-rooter Takes The Rose Parade On "Photo Safari"

CINCINNATI, OHIO | Monday, January 02, 2006

Extravagant Float Carries Leopards, Elephants, a 22-Foot Giraffe, and yes, Running Water!

Rose Parade viewers will be awestruck when they spot Roto-Rooter’s exotic new parade float for 2006’s Tournament of Roses’. Themed "Photo Safari" the No. 3 float will transport viewers to a watering hole oasis on the African plains. Riders in a Jeep� will be surrounded by exotic animals and wildlife such as leopards, perched monkeys, trees, eland antelopes, a 22-foot retractable giraffe and elephants that spray water from their trunks.

A traditional crowd favorite, Roto-Rooter is remembered for its "floatilla" of racing bathtubs and toilets that won the inaugural Bob Hope Humor Award three years ago. Rose Parade enthusiasts can also recall Roto-Rooter’s beautiful "Family Retreat" float, which won the 2005 Past Presidents Trophy (for best use of floral and non-floral materials). Photo Safari is Roto-Rooter’s fourth Rose Parade float.

SPECIAL EFFECTS & OPERATIONS Roto-Rooter’s "Photo Safari," float employs advanced animatronics, such as a 22-foot giraffe with a retractable neck (for optimal bridge clearance), two giant elephants and a waterfall using 250 gallons of water. The advanced water recycling system is what you would expect from North America’s largest provider of plumbing services. It requires a network of pumps and a piping system similar to the ones Roto-Rooter technicians repair on a daily basis. The life-sized elephants, also piped to the water pump, will be misting the crowd with water from their trunks as they mimic the actions of their real-life counterparts in the wild.

Operating the float are three Rose Parade veterans who act as the float’s central nervous system. One acts as the "observer," another is the float’s "animator" in charge of the animatronics. The other crew member is the driver who commands a Chevy V8 automatic-transmission engine equipped with two-speed heavy-duty transfer case � all required to move the 28,000-pound, 55-foot creation. WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAM Thousands of tropical flowers, ferns and plants are used on the float. Dendrobium orchids, ansidium and hanging amaranth both cut and live � make up the trees. More than 25 gallons of glue were required to create Roto-Rooter’s "Photo Safari" look and feel. Each animal was painstakingly designed and decorated using various natural materials, such as corn silk, seaweed, ground rice, straw flower, sesame seed and many other seeds, shells, flowers and plants. Amazing natural detail is visible in the animals’ tusks, horns, tails and body compositions. In addition to the majestic flowers and natural ingredients, the monkeys riding atop the elephants were made of Buffalo Grass, a material never before used in the parade’s 117-year history.

CINCINNATI CONNECTIONS Last year there were three Cincinnati companies represented in the Rose Parade but this year there are only two. Roto-Rooter and Proctor & Gamble’s Ivory Soap float (Generations of Good Clean Fun) will be Cincinnati’s only representatives in the parade, which is viewed by more than forty million Americans and millions more around the world. Roto-Rooter believes the Rose Parade to be a cost-effective means for reinforcing its brand image. The company is spending in excess of $225,000 on its float. Construction takes about a year to complete. Phoenix Decorating Company of Pasadena, California (www.phoenixdecoratingco.com) is constructing both of the Cincinnati floats.

WHO’S ON SAFARI Featured in the zebra-printed jeep atop the float will be Dave and Julie Jones. Dave is general manager of Roto-Rooter’s Charlotte, North Carolina branch. He won a contest at Roto-Rooter that awarded him a trip to the Rose Bowl and a ride on the company’s beautiful float. Joining them aboard Photo Safari is Rachael Worby; conductor of the "Pasadena Pops," Rachael is granddaughter of the float’s builder, Phoenix Design Company’s founder Bill Lofthouse # # # Roto-Rooter was established in 1935 and today is the largest provider of plumbing and drain-cleaning services in the United States and Canada. Roto-Rooter is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chemed Corporation. Roto-Rooter operates businesses in more than 100 company-owned territories and more than 500 franchise territories, serving approximately 90 percent of the U.S. population and 55 percent of the Canadian

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