Kansans looking for home state props during tomorrow's Tournament of Roses parade can thank Bayer CropScience, a massive ag science company, for once again reminding millions of viewers worldwide that Kansas will never, ever be rid of The Wizard of Oz.
Bayer CropScience, which is part of the Bayer global health, science and technology conglomerate, has a Manufacturing, Research and Development plant on Hawthorne Road in Kansas City, Missouri, and a Research and Development facility in Stilwell, Kansas. They are happy to announce that their "Rose Parade Tribute Float with Kansas City ties" kicks off the movie's 70th anniversary.
Here's a picture of their fabulous float:
According to the company's description, the monstrosity "will feature enormous (20-plus-foot-tall) replicas of the movie's Tin Man, Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion coated in
more than 12,000 live flowers.... See if you can spot the yellow roses on the float -- named appropriately "Yellow Brick Road" roses -- at the characters' feet when the parade airs
on NBC, ABC and HGTV at 10 a.m."
Mark Schneid, Bayer CropScience's director of marketing, explains that the float team came up with the concept last spring, when the Tournament of Roses announced its theme for this year's parade: "Hats Off to Entertainment."
Because its Bayer Advanced
is "a lawn-and-garden products company ... that provides products to
do-it-yourselfers around America," they put that idea together with
"Hats Off to Entertainment" and came up with ... yeah.
"Part of how we came to celebrating The Wizard of Oz was because poppy fields, yellow brick roads and gardens of color have a lot of impact in The Wizard of Oz. It's a fun way to play off of that. Also, since it's the movie's 70th anniversary, we thought overall it made a lot of sense."
But isn't the whole Kansas-Oz connection a little tired by now? Unfortunately not.
of the most famous sayings is, 'You're not in Kansas anymore,'" Schneid says. "A lot of people use that. And if you look at how most
Americans see The Wizard of Oz -- it's one of the American Film Institute's ten greatest films ever. Most people love the story and have very fond memories of it."
Maybe we just don't hear "You're not in Kansas anymore" because we're still here.
I was happy to hear that the geniuses who decided to represent us in
this faded old way don't actually live here. Schneid is based in
Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. As for the float team, when I asked if
any of them were from Kansas, he cleared his throat and said, "Not
directly. But we're all part of the same company, and our people in Kansas have a lot of pride in what we do." No doubt. -- C.J. Janovy