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PASADENA, Calif. -- The Sailor of the Year from Los Angeles-class attack submarine (SSN 752) will participate in a namesake visit to the city of Pasadena to participate in various Rose Parade related activities and welcome in the new year, Dec. 29 - Jan. 1.
Electrician's Mate 1st Class (SS) Phillip Alampi and his spouse, Veera, were invited by the Pasadena Foundation to take part in the Rose Bowl Kick-off Luncheon, Rose Bowl Game and meet with various Pasadena Foundation civic leaders.
"The USS Pasadena Foundation is delighted that the Pasadena Sailor of the Year and his spouse can join us for our New Year's Day festivities," said William Creedon, former U.S. Navy captain and submariner, and current president of the Pasadena Council of the Unites States Navy League.
Given the strong relationship between the USS Pasadena Foundation and the USS Pasadena, the Alampis will also ride on the City of South Pasadena's float during the 124th Rose Parade.
"I'm honored my wife, Veera and I were invited to participate," said Alampi. "I'm very thankful for the USS Pasadena Foundation and my command to provide this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
The Tournament of Roses annual parade of flower-covered floats has been held in Pasadena since Jan. 1, 1890. One of those flower-covered floats participating in the Rose Parade represents the City of South Pasadena.
Their float is different than past years largely due to the Spanish Galion ship that is displayed across an open book of endless waves of blue flowers. This massive display is 50 feet long and 18 feet wide and includes a wide array of some 25,000 to 30,000 blooming flowers said Chris Colburn, a former Navy Hospital Corpsman who now serves as the Construction Chair of the South Pasadena Float.
"It makes sense to us to honor someone whose achievements in the Navy fit our float's theme to a tee," said Colburn, who said their float's theme is the "Sailing the Sea of Knowledge." "EM1 Alampi embodies what it truly means to 'sail the sea of knowledge' by being chosen as Sailor of the Year for the USS Pasadena."
Colburn has reflected on the importance of including a USS Pasadena Sailor and his wife to ride in the city's float.
"We're all absolutely ecstatic about having the Alampis ride on our float," said Colburn. "By having them ride they can help to teach people not just about those who serve to protect us and our great country, but being the best in their field and going above and beyond."
Like a Sailor's dedication to his or her nation, Colburn is dedicated to his float.
Colburn started building the City of South Pasadena's float in April 2012 and he and his team of builders have amassed about 3,500 to 4,000 man hours, but he doesn't regret the amount of time dedicated to something that has become a tradition in his life.
"I started participating at the age of eight, and it is a proud community tradition I wanted to continue," said Colburn. "I want to be able to cultivate this tradition of celebrating my hometown with future generations."
Colburn has literally served every position on the float from welding, to driving the float, to gluing on the fresh flowers that adorn it.
He added that another 2,000 man hours will be needed to apply the seeds, leaves and flowers to the impressive float. The Alampis will be helping to add some of those flowers when they volunteer to prepare the float for the parade.
"It is an amazing opportunity that my wife and I are excited to be a part of," said Alampi.
USS Pasadena is currently undergoing an engineered maintenance overhaul at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine.
The 124th Rose Parade will be broadcast on ABC, Hallmark Channel, HGTV, KTLA (Tribune), NBC, RFD-TV and Univision. The Parade is also seen in more than 220 international territories and countries.