These photos were taken Saturday, December 29 at Fiesta Parade Floats in Irwindale, CA as volunteers hurried to add the organic items to nine of the entries to the 124th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade. After my last visit to Fiesta Floats on Christmas Eve I happened to notice that Fiesta Floats was tweeting my articles about the float preparation at their location, so I contacted their social media person via Twitter and asked if they would be able to assist in my getting in to photograph the actual decorating of the floats. I was put in touch with the Vice-President of The Pollack PR Marketing Group who was more than happy to help me come back in with my camera.
This was my third visit to the warehouse at Fiesta Floats and the first thing I noticed was that this time it smelled great! Of the 10 floats built by Fiesta Floats, nine of them were set up with scaffolding around them and the floats were covered with people adding flowers, seeds and whatever other finishing touches needed to be completed by Monday. To me, some of the more interesting tasks were performed by those adding the small details to the floats; items such as books or butterflies that required each individual seed to be added, one by one; or the people underneath the floats that would pull the flower holders down to ensure that only flowers would be seen on the topside.
I have been asked a couple questions about the process, such as how much does it cost and who designs the floats. The average coast of an award winning float like those designed and assembled by Fiesta Parade Floats is about $250,000; the more intricate floats can cost even more. It is easy to see why organizations like the Torrance Rose Float Association need donations. Civic pride is not cheap. As far as the design and building of the floats, this is done by approved professional float builders such as Fiesta Floats. The design is based on the theme of the parade and is approved by the float sponsor. The decorating and preparation of the decorations is done by volunteers.
You will be able to see all the completed floats by attending the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s Day; or by watching it on television. It should be quite enjoyable.