Saturday, November 20, 2010


Today I got to do something that I have been longing to do. Go help build floats for the Rose Parade.

Ever since I've been a little girl, I have watched the Rose Parade on TV every New Years morning. I even went to see it in person one year. But, I've never been to see all the "behind the scenes" action that took place putting these floats together.

I thought you may like to see what takes place too. So, come along with me and I'll show you.

There were actually eleven floats being built by Fiesta Floats. They are only one of the many companies that build floats for the parade.

It was fun to see what the floats are going to look like ahead of time. Then get to see how they put them all together.

They make tiny models of the figures going on the floats out of styrofoam.

This photo shows the figures that represent those going on the float for UNO.

We got to see what is actually under the floats. I knew they had to be able to drive these big floats some how but I wasn't exactly sure what it was under there.

There were people doing all sorts of work. Here you can see they are putting a fine mesh on the forms. It is on here they will attach some of the flowers.

These guys are working on building the forms.

This piece looks like a globe to me. However, I couldn't find a globe on any of the floats, so, I'm not sure what it will turn out to be.

I believe this big face will also be on the UNO float.

We spent hours cutting flowers. Dried flowers. But, not just cutting them up. We had to cut out only the dark part of the flowers. The bright yellow part will be cut by someone else and used in different areas.

I don't think this big turkey is going to be on a float this year. It could be from last year. But, it gave a good idea on how the different colors of a flower would be used.

You can get a better idea on this close up shot.

Thousands and thousands of flowers get cut up and they are all used in different areas on the floats. It is really mind blowing when you see it all in person.

This is the sketch of one of the floats that is sponsored by the City of Duarte. It is called Living the Healthy life.

It shows people enjoying the outdoors, riding a bike, fishing, hiking and camping.

This all that is done on it so far.

Jelly Belly is sponsoring the float called Ronald Regan Centennial Celebration. It shows black and white pictures of Ronald Regan all through the years of his life. A big American Eagle and Flag is on the back.

We got to see many parts of how this float is put together. Here a man is painting one of the pictures to be used.

Rice and seeds will be used to cover the pictures completely.

Here they are gluing on the different shads of seeds and rice.

A copy of President Reagan's signature is cut out and will be covered also.

The American Eagle and Flags are up and painted. They are waiting to be covered soon.

A few of the pictures are finished. They are covered in plastic to keep them protected.

This is going to be the statute of President Regan. I will be excited to see how they bring him to life with petals, seeds and grasses.

Here is how the float looks now. It shows several parts of how the floats come together.

It was so interesting to learn the step by steps that are taken. It is just amazing how every float in this parade is covered 100% in flowers, seeds, grasses and other living plants.

I know I will be watching The Rose Parade much closer this year and I will appreciate all the hundreds of hours people spent to pull this beautiful event together.

What about you? Do you watch the Rose Parade?



Tales From My Empty Nest said...

Wow, Joanne, that is amazing!! I knew there was a lot of work involved, but the detail is incredible. Making pictures out of seeds and rice is so time consuming! I always love to watch this parade each year. Thanks for sharing your pictures from behind the scenes. Love & blessings from NC!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hi Joanne!

It looks like so much work goes into amking each float! How wonderful that they are honoring President Ronald Reagan this year!

I watch the Macy's Thanksgiving day Parade in NYC every holiday. I hope to get some photos of it this year!

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Unknown said...

Hey, I also worked on the float! I was working on 'A Grand Celebration at Sea' which is the float that the globe was used. Believe it or not, the Ronald Reagan float was right next to us! It was really amazing to see how it looked when it was nearly done. (I came at the final day of flower laying) My only comment on your post is I thought the Rose Parade took place January first. Thanks for the post!