Andre Faubert's float may not be the best-looking in Huntington Beach's 4th of July Parade. It may not smell very good, either.
But when Faubert's trash sculpture rolls down Main Street, he hopes viewers will agree that it belongs on a flat-bed truck instead of on the beach.
Faubert, a Huntington resident and volunteer for the Surfrider Foundation, spent a month earlier this year gathering trash for one hour a day along the city's shoreline. By the time he finished, he had more than 580 pounds of refuse, from bottle caps to plastic bags to Styrofoam and just about everything in between.
Now, with the help of a student and an alum from the Laguna College of Art & Design, Faubert is turning his discoveries into sculpture. The finished piece will look, from a distance, like a crashing wave, with a curving blue base and white foam at the end of the curl. It may take a closer look to realize that those colors come from pieces of trash sewn and stapled together.
"I said, 'What do you want to make?', basically," Faubert said. "Because they're the art students, you know. And they said, 'How about a wave?'"
The students, Tierney Moses and recent graduate Hannah Cosner, answered an ad Faubert posted on campus looking for assistants. For the last few weeks, they've worked outside Cosner's garage in San Clemente, sorting the trash into different colored piles and aiming to coat the entire plywood base that Faubert created.
It was dirty work, to say the least, and Cosner said the stench proved overwhelming at times. Still, she said, the artists intended to jolt onlookers with the piece, which Farmers & Merchants Bank sponsored for the parade.
"It should be really gross," she said. "But that's why we tried to make it beautiful. People will see it from a distance, and then they'll come up."
Floats are a longstanding tradition in the 4th of July Parade, which started even before the city's incorporation and will celebrate its 107th year Monday. According to city spokeswoman Laurie Frymire, the parade will feature more than a dozen floats this year, with a company or other group sponsoring each one.
Huntington Beach has a full day of activities planned for Monday, including a breakfast in Lake Park, a 5K run and fireworks in the evening. Actors Danny Trejo and Garrett Ryan, rock guitarist Dick Dale and Angels broadcaster Rex Hudler will serve as grand marshals for the parade.
For a full calendar of events, visit http://www.hb4thofjuly.org
If You Go
What: 107th annual 4th of July Parade
Where: The procession begins on Pacific Coast Highway and Ninth Street, turns left onto Main Street and ends just after Yorktown Avenue
When: 10 a.m. Monday
Information: (714) 536-5486 or http://www.hb4thofjuly.org