Some Rose Parade News


There are many Tournament of Roses related events going on before, and after, the Rose Parade / Rose Bowl. Here are some snapshots of one the other night. A benefit for the Pasadena Police Activities hosted at the Rose Palace and Phoenix Floats.


(Forgive my dirty lens which shows up on these photos. I thought about it about didn’t do anything about it until after the fact. Blame it on my being too busy and tired at this time!  In fact, as soon as I’m done with this I’m gonna take a nap. Don’t wake me until January 2nd.)  The 1st float you’ll see in the parade will be what I call the Theme Float. I trust you can see why




Phoenix is the largest of the handful of float builders.  They are constructing about half of the 41 or 43 floats.  In Rose Parade history there use to be many more float entries but, well, TV wants to show the parade…just not a lot of it.




But, more important for me was the food & drink at this event.







I recognized, too late, that somehow I failed to take a photo of the beverage bar with the wine, beer, coffee, and water, despite speaking with the bartender for a couple of minutes.




El Cholo and Dona Rosa were the caterers.



Some Christmas cookies




And the food tables had real Roses!





Think I should get back to the floats as they near completion.  Here’s an interesting shot.





Artist renderings of what floats should look like on New Years morning.



What they look like now.




Floats under wraps.








A piece of Glendale’s float.  I hope the future of their Alex Theatre is bright.




The Lutherans, aka The Petal Pushers, are here in force (about 4,000) from throughout the USA. They are the main helpers for Phoenix in the weeks just before the parade.  Phoenix in turn helps build their float. I believe the Lutherans told me they’ve had a float in the parade for 60+ years.  I  was talking with a Kentucky Lutheran about their weather back in their horse state.   To another I was giving camera advice for his upcoming safari when it’s actually me who needs camera help!  As I left that night they filled the parking lot for their “lunch” break.




Every float entry interprets the main theme in their own way. Call them, Sub-Themes. Here’s an example from the Shriners – another long-standing float entrant.



Besides the main draw – the Food – I try to support, in my small way, people I know.  One of my ToR White Suiter friends was working this event. And Pasadena Police Chief Sanchez had to cancel to instead attend a news conference at Citihall for the unbelievable murder of Mr. Victor McClinton, a much beloved leader & mentor to many youth in Pasadena. Sad to say, I never met him.  God’s Blessings to him & his loved ones.

But the Chief couldn’t have had a better “backup” than Officer Glenn who is directly involved in Pasadena’s Police activities for youth.  The police run a program which involves youth in positive activities which provide alternatives to delinquency. 

I shouldn’t be surprised whenever I see this officer at events where police are required.  Seems like he’s always in charge of whatever and wherever it is. So, he’s a hard worker, likes to eat, a great guy, and therefore future Chief material, imho.




Enuf of that, let’s get back to float building.  We all know a variety of Roses and other flowers are used to decorate the floats.  But other natural ingredients, primarily seeds also ride the floats. 



But before they look like the picture above, they usually have to check into one of these blenders.  It’s difficult to hold a quiet conversation when more than one of these is going off at one time.  Going across the street might help.



Cups of Glue. Cheers!




Correction: PART of the Seed Chart.






Btw, did you know it takes a whole brunch of Roses & other flowers to fill up all these floats? These photos are just a fraction of what Phoenix has in their cooled flower warehouses.





















These aren’t flowers, I know. They may look like nails but actually, and my mind just went blank on the technical name!, you can call them flower stems or feeders. Each flower is inserted into one of these filled with water.  If you guessed there are buckets & buckets of these you’re close.



Several of these feeder stems at a time are screwed into this feeder rail to filler-up.  A team of petal pushers operates this.




Although there are thousands of volunteers who come in December from around the world to put the finishing touches, they are still easily outnumbered by these feeder stems, and the flowers.  Some of you may know this and have volunteered in the past.

Anyone planning to attend the 2013 Rose Parade or Bowl?

That’s about all I can say for now.  I gotta get some sleep, especially to deal with more walkers & drivers filling up Colorado Blvd in these last days before the return of the Rose Parade.




Gotta Nap! Stay Thirsty My Friends



10 responses to “Some Rose Parade News

  1. It’s so Awesome to see your behind the scenes look at the parade, especially since we didn’t get to go and see the floats this year (we were out of town). It’s amazing how they create them! Thanks for posting!

  2. You did your job well. I was there for the after party, when Colorado Blvd belongs to the leftovers and the pedestrians. Intrigued by those green flowers — any idea what they are?

    • They’re called Green Button Poms aka Yoko Onos! They can withstand the environment & lack of water better than most.
      I prefer the pre-parade, but I hope you took post-parade shots for your future blog post!

  3. Wow! It’s a major production, isn’t it? I love that they blend seeds. I had no idea. I took an Altadena hike yesterday and missed all the Rose Bowl festivities. I trust you will fill us in on the parade and post-parties, yes? It’s January 2nd, time to wake up! Happy New Year, Cafe.

    • I’m just waking up cuz this blog, for me, is a major production!
      I’ll probably post another ToR related post soon, however, I’ve given the ToR it’s fair share of space on this website. I have a backlog, to put it mildly, of other subjects to mention here.
      What about your blog writing, SC?? Get your man, Tommy, to help you!