- Image via Wikipedia
One of my favorite LA volunteer efforts is decorating the floats for the Rose Parade. It started back in High School, when we received extra credit for doing so over the school break. The tradition continued in college as my university enters a float into The Tournament of Roses every year. The experience ended after I met my husband who detests everything about parades due to his growing up in Communist-era Romania.
Still, once my kids get a little older, I plan on taking them to decorate floats. Everyone loves that feeling of watching a project go from the drawing table to the finished product and float decorating provides that to hundreds of people at once. Walking into the warehouse to see a bare bones structure, looking at the plans and getting assigned an organic matter is simply thrilling. Once the seeds and dried flowers and leaves are glued on, then comes the hard part of placing the petals. That is also when the various groups and random volunteers come in. While making it a little more difficult (there’s so many people!), it also makes it a little easier, provided everyone works as a team and you don’t get that one lady who yells at everyone for the sake of yelling.
There is something about showing up on the parade route at 3am, to put the finishing touches on a float. One year, our float was nowhere near done by the time it was slowly towed west on the 210 Freeway, to Orange Grove Ave. We were still gluing orange petals and poppy seeds on our floats when the judges were a float away.
I highly suggest that everyone have this experience at least once. Watching the parade later and seeing “your” float go down Colorado Blvd. is such a wonderful emotion. If you’re interested in spending a few hours in these closing days of 2008 decorating floats, please contact the local float makers for details:
Self-built float organizations:
- Burbank Tournament of Roses Association
- Cal Poly Universities Pomona & San Luis Obispo
- Downey Rose Float Association
- La Canada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association
- Sierra Madre Rose Float Association
- South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association P.O. Box 3662, So. Pasadena, CA 91031
- Phoenix Decorating Company
- Studio Concepts
- Fiesta Parade Company (One of the more popular companies, they’ve already filled all volunteer positions, so try again next year.)