“That’s why I keep wandering around,” commented the woman. “So much changes here in two hours.”
The speaker was one of Tournament of Roses®’ 935 volunteers, or “White Suiters”. On Monday, she was onsite at Phoenix Decorating Company’s Rosemont Pavilion, in Pasadena, helping with preparations for the 2016 Rose Parade®.
And with three days to go till the 127th Rose Parade®, themed “Find Your Adventure”, things were bustling at all three of the float builder’s sites.
The week prior to the Rose Parade® is “Decorating Week”. That’s when dozens of volunteers and commercial float builders’ staff cover every inch of the parade floats with organic materials.
Flowers, stems, berries, fruit, and bark are all candidates for the colors and textures needed.
“The process starts with the more durable materials,” said White Suiter Larry Wilcox. Peas, beans and crushed marigolds were all being put on the floats on Monday.
“Roses (are) not as durable, so we put them on later on. Most of them go on the 30th or 31st, like at the last second,” he added.
The Kiwanis Float, Larry said, will have around 6,500 roses, orchids and carnations on it when the decorating process is complete.
(Here are some of the roses and assorted float flowers, waiting in the Rose Palace. )
All this week, up until 1 pm on December 31, visitors may come by Phoenix Decorating Company’s three facilities–Rosemont, Brookside Pavilion, and the Rose Palace–to watch the decorating process.
(Brookside Pavilion, while not mentioned in this link, is a short walk from Rosemont Pavilion. The floats in Brookside include the Lakers float, the Public Broadcasting Service float and the Cal Poly Universities float–which is the only student-built float in the Rose Parade®.)
Larry explained that the floats have to be completely decorated by midnight of December 31st. From there, all the floats have to move–on their own power–from the float barn. They move into what Tournament of Roses® calls “formation”–to a preassigned spot, for the parade. Then, the floats spend the night, waiting for 8:00 am on New Year’s Day.
Forty-four floats will appear in the 2016 Rose Parade®, according to the Tournament of Roses®’ website. Meanwhile, if you would like a sneak preview, you’re invited to come by Phoenix Decorating Company’s three “deco” sites, until 5 pm PST today and from 9 am to 5 pm tomorrow. (There will also be hours from 9 am to 1 pm on Thursday, December 31st.)
It’s a great start on “Finding Your Adventure” for 2016.