by Dot Cannon
The 2017 Rose Parade® would happen in just over three days–and counting.
Each completed float would contain more flowers than one florist uses in five years.
And decorators were hard at work on Thursday afternoon in Pasadena.
One of the main “Decorating Places” viewing areas was Phoenix Decorating Company’s Rosemont pavilion.
While the roses wouldn’t go on until later, volunteers and staff were busily attaching dried materials.
According to their website, Phoenix Decorating Company is supplying eighteen of the forty-three floats scheduled for the 2017 Rose Parade®.
The Rotary International float’s theme is “Rotary: Doing Good in the World”.
A friendly gold-pink-and-purple dragon wears a “100” medallion to commemorate Rotary International’s hundred years of service. The dragon will blink its eyes and breathe smoke along the parade route, according to the Tournament of Roses®’ press information. It will also be wearing a Rotary International medallion, dangling from its twenty-foot tail!
Nearby was the Union Bank float, themed “Keep the Beat Alive”. Union Bank and the American Heart Association are jointly presenting this one.
Riding on this float on New Year’s Day will be a CPR survivor: actress/recording artist Ilisa Juried. She’ll be in the DJ booth at the float’s center, playing both an original song she co-wrote and other songs at 100 beats per minute. A “CPR Dance Team” will perform to the music, doing a CPR-inspired dance she choreographed, Tournament of Roses® officials say.
Why 100 beats per minute? That’ss the recommended compression rate for CPR! And the float was pretty impressive…
…even before they tested the red-white-and-blue LED lights.
The average Rose Parade® float takes between four and six months to build, Phoenix Decorating company officials say. Then, decorating it with fresh materials takes between four and five days.
The day we visited, we saw mostly the dry-decoration stage.
However, one decorator was attaching yellow chrysanthemums to the giraffe on the Kiwanis float.
Themed, “Children’s Dreams, the World’s Potential”, this one depicts the toys and books a child might enjoy while dreaming of the future. Those dreams, of course, would lead to future success, in keeping with the 2017 parade’s “Echoes of Success” theme.
“Is that cotton?” we asked a decorator. “Yes,” he replied, “and the lamb’s face is made with strawberries.”
More viewing opportunities awaited, just a short walk away.
Vehicles for the Rose Parade® dignitaries had not yet been decorated with flowers. (The temperature remained in the eighties on Thursday.) But visitors could see the cars in an outdoor pavilion.
This year, the Rose Parade® will have three Grand Marshals. Each will travel in a separate vehicle.
This 1911 Pierce Arrow will be Janet Evans’ ride on Monday morning.
In the Brookside Pavilion, decorators were working on additional floats.
The Ragu® Pasta Sauce float’s theme is “Simmered in Tradition”. According to Phoenix Decorating Company’s press materials, the Ragu® company wanted “the reddest float in the parade”. The fifty tomatoes, hanging over the arch, are made with more than 25,000 carnations.
And this is the Cal Poly Universities’ float, themed “A New Leaf”. Cal Poly Universities are one of only six independent float builders, or “self-builts”, in the Rose Parade®.
The Cal Poly Universities float is unique, in that it’s the only student-built float in the parade. It’s also the only float built in two different places! Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly Pomona each build half of the float on their respective campuses. Then, in October, the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo students bring their half south, and students join the two halves together.
And those are just a few of the floats we’ll see tomorrow morning, as the Tournament of Roses® Parade wows crowds for the 128th time with its “Echoes of Success”! Have a safe and happy New Year, and we’ll see you on the parade route.