See The Rose Parade Floats Up Close And Personal

Orange_Grove_before_Rose_Parade_2009_(3161432082)Do you watch the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day? (That’s tomorrow, FYI.) Have you wondered what those floats look like up close but have no desire to spend the night in freezing temperatures? (It’s going to get into the mid-30s tonight, that is close enough to freezing for me.) You can! It’s become a custom to view the parked floats for a few days after the parade. This year you can view them tomorrow (Jan. 1), Friday and Saturday (Jan. 2-3). It will cost you $10 per person and the money goes to the Tournament of Roses Foundation. For that entry fee, you can walk all along the floats (but no touching, please) and even talk with white jacketed volunteers who will tell you more about them.

The floats are viewable:
January 1: 1:00 – 5:00PM
January 2: 9:00 – 5:00PM
January 3: 9:00 – 5:00PM

Senior citizens and disabled persons are welcome from 7:00 – 9:00am both days for less crowded viewing.

You can buy tickets online here or you can buy tickets on-site until 3pm each day.
UPDATE: You can only buy tickets online if you plan to pick them up by 5pm TODAY at the ticketing office (See link). Otherwise, you must buy them on site.

Also, there is a Park and Ride Shuttle ($3 for those 6 years old and above) to ease in the parking situation as street parking nearby is limited.

I plan on getting there early on Saturday in warm cozy clothes.

Happy New Year!

Help Decorate a Float for the Rose Parade

Tournament of Roses volunteers prepping flowers
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:

Float Companies