Monday, December 30, 2013

A Peek Inside the Tournament of Roses Float Building Frenzy

Rose Parade floats

The folks at the San Antonio Winery distribute the line of Stella Rosa semi-sweet sparkling wines, and this year Stella Rosa is unveiling its first-ever float at Wednesday's 125th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade. To celebrate the float, Stella Rosa threw a party on Saturday in Irwindale, next to the float-building warehouse. The cool part: We got a tour, and got to see the craziness up close as volunteers worked around the clock to get flowers, seeds and other plant life glued to the floats (per Tournament of Roses custom).

Besides Stella Rosa, floats under construction at the Irwindale warehouse include Dole, Kaiser Permanente, MiracleGro, SeaWorld, the City of Torrance and more. There's a sense of community at the site, as plenty of movement in and out of the building as volunteers shuffle in and out. Food vendors are even outside to feed hungry volunteers. I'm sure things will even get more crazy leading up to Tuesday night as the floats prepare for a late-night slow ride to Pasadena.

Rose Parade floats
Buckets of flowers

Rose Parade floats
Entrance to the float warehouse

Rose Parade floats
Transformer float

Rose Parade floats
Hopefully this duck is more tolerant than some of the other ones we know

Rose Parade floats
The Sea World float, under construction.

Rose Parade floats
The MiracleGro float volunteers work on butterflies

Rose Parade floats
Camels!

Rose Parade floats
Hard at work on the Kaiser Permanente float

Rose Parade floats
Monkeys!

Rose Parade floats
Fish!

Rose Parade floats
Seahorse!

Rose Parade floats
Chick!

Rose Parade floats
Under construction.

Rose Parade floats
Rows and rows of flowers.

Rose Parade floats
Now that's an unfortunate sight.

Rose Parade floats
Tucked in a corner, the float that will carry the Tournament of Roses royal court looks simple now, but on New Year's Day is will be covered with roses (naturally).

Rose Parade floats
Working on a float

Rose Parade floats
It's the first float for Stella Rosa, which is using the theme "Stellabrate Good Times." The Stella Rosa float will feature dancers plus KC and the Sunshine Band performing on top. Nearly 300,000 flowers will cover the float, which comes with a hydraulic top (so it can be lowered while going under overpasses).

Rose Parade floats

This year's 125th parade includes 91 participants, 46 of which are floats. The parade kicks off on New Year's Day at 8 a.m.

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