Rose Parade Fun

Rose Parade Float Construction Pasadena, CA

Last week we decided since we are living in LA we should take the opportunity to see some of the sights nearby. The first thing we decided to do was go to one of the Rose Parade decorating sights to see some of this years floats in mid construction. I was really excited about going to see the floats, I had heard they were beautiful to look at, but even more amazing in person. Next year, we are hoping to either go to the parade or visit the floats after the parade or maybe both.

We saw three floats being built, 3 cars decked out with an array of flower arrangements that would be driven during the parade for the Grand Marshall, President and someone else important. My favorite float was the Cal Poly float. It was the most fun because they had California flower farmers and extra volunteers who gave information about what the float was made up of and answered any questions we had. When I was watching the parade the announcer mention the Cal Poly float is the only float to use 80% California flowers. The Cal Poly float is also pretty spectacular because it is built by students and is made in two parts (at each campus) and then finally brought together for construction and decorating. They started adding flowers to the constructed floats on Friday (we visited on Tuesday) there was still a lot of work to be done.

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The detail that goes into creating these floats is crazy. I almost wonder how they get them done in time for the parade each year. While we were there we saw people adding flowers one by one, which was expected, but I also saw one volunteer adding beans one by one to the outside of a piece that was already lined with leaves to create a leaf. The detail was amazing. The beauty on your television screen doesn’t allow you to see all the beauty and time that goes into creating each float.

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If you ever get a chance to visit LA around New Years make sure you take time out of your schedule to check out one of the many events connected with the Rose Parade. Check out more details here.


14 comments on “Rose Parade Fun

  1. Wow! I never realized that it took that long to decorate the floats! And what a great idea to have volunteers on hand to answer the spectator’s questions. Is there a general area where all the floats are decorated?

    • There were two decorating areas near the Rose Bowl stadium and another one in downtown Pasadena. There were only 3 floats where we went so I’m not sure how many were at the other locations. It was fun to see. At the end of the parade route after the parade all the floats are available for viewing up close. We might try and check that out next year.

  2. i got to be in the Parade of Roses when I was in marching band in high school. The parade was miserable! But the experience was amazing – I loved seeing and smelling the floats! It was so neat!

    • How cool. We saw a number of band groups going through and touring the floats. I bet it was an amazing experience to be a part of the parade. I’m hoping we can go to the parade next year.

  3. It’s great you got to see a float in the process. Jim took me to the parade when we were first married and we lucked out in getting seats by a church just in the third row from the front. The kids who had saved the seats were in the front row, tired and slumped down in their chairs so we had a perfect view. Then we went to see the floats after the parade up close. Amazing.
    Hope you can make it next year.

  4. Wow! Gorgeous! I love that you are taking the time to enjoy things around you there! I am sure you are right – what we see on tv must pale in comparison to what they really look like! Thanks for sharing!

    • Me too! There is so much to see in LA, I’m pretty sure we are not going to have time to see it all, but we are trying to do as much as we can.

    • Growing up in California meant that sometimes i didn’t wake up early enough to see them. And then being on the East coast I enjoyed watching the parade long after we woke up. It is interesting what traditions people have depending on where they live.

  5. The floats are soooooo beautiful! And I know the TV does not do them justice at all…I may have to add to my “to do” list to visit LA and see the floats; not sure I’d love the crowds to watch it…but would LOVE to see them in progress and completed. It IS sad that our children and grandkids don’t appreciate them – or even know about them. I have pictures (somewhere in all of my childhood pics!) of me sitting on my grandmother’s lap – watching the parades!

    Thanks for sharing…beautiful pictures!

  6. It was pretty crowded, but it wasn’t as bad as I expected. There was free parking too. There is a lot of craziness that goes along with seeing the parade, but it was very doable to see the float construction. And there was a lot of parking (free) at the stadium.

  7. Gorgeous pictures! Thanks for sharing. My family and I live in Illinois and it is a tradition that we watch the Rose Parade together every year. Pre-kids, my husband’s band marched in the Rose Parade and we got to see it live 10 years ago. It was an amazing experience, but I’m sure seeing the actual construction and details of it all would definitely give you even more of an appreciation!


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