Alhambra enters 91st Rose Parade float

For 91 years, the City of Alhambra has entered a float in the most famous parade in the world, the Rose Parade in Pasadena, on New Year’s Day. The year 2019 is no exception. The whimsical theme of this year’s parade is The Melody of Life. It celebrates music — the universal language. The float is centered on birds and their music and is entitled Home Tweet Home.

The float, built by the Phoenix Decorating Company of Irwindale, is 16 feet, 6 inches tall; 18 feet wide; and 35 feet long. The frame has already been built. All that remains to be done is to add the flowers, seeds, leaves, and other all-natural materials. That will be no small task. It is estimated that between 38,000 to 39,000 flowers will be needed to complete the float. That means that lots of volunteers will be needed to complete the task.

This year the design process was entrusted to fifth-grade students in Alhambra. The winning design was offered by fifth-grader Grace Blackwell of St. Therese School.

Decorating the float is the task of Mike Macias, director of Alhambra’s Park and Recreation Department. He and his staff are searching for volunteers. The first task to be completed on Saturdays before Christmas is the application of dry organic material like seeds, beans, legumes, corn husks, rice, and dried flower petals. Dry decorating dates are Dec. 1, 8, 15, and 22, and the decorating shift is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

From the day after Christmas until New Year’s Eve, the real work begins. That is when the fresh flowers go on. First the mums, tulips, carnation petals, and much more. The fresh roses and orchids go on last. That work will start on Wednesday, Dec. 26 through Sunday, Dec. 30. There will be two shifts each day. The first shift is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The second shift is from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Volunteers should plan on staying for a whole shift. Call 626-570-3242 for details.

Former volunteers who have decorated Rose Parade floats say the great memories of the hard work and the pride in seeing “your float” roll down Colorado Boulevard lasts a life time.


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Jan 2022


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