Fiesta Parade Floats

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Fiesta Floats of the 126th Tournament of Roses Parade

It is New Year’s Eve, and the time is up for the preparation of the floats for the 126th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade with will begin at 8:00 AM on January 1, 2015. I began my day by heading back out to Irwindale and Fiesta Parade Floats, the leading award winning float-builder in the Tournament of Roses Parade.

I lucked out today as I happened to arrive at Fiesta Floats after they had begun removing some floats from the building they were built in, giving me the ability to take some photos without dozens (or hundreds) of people vying for position to take their photos. If you have been following the progression of the float construction you can see that the Torrance entry dedicated to hometown hero, Louis Zamperini, came out very nice. It will be one of the first floats in tomorrow’s parade. Continue reading

Torrance comes to Fiesta Floats

On Sunday evening several bus loads of Torrance residents, along with their mayor, the city council, commissioners and other various dignitaries headed out to Irwindale and Fiesta Parade Floats to check out the progress of the float that the City of Torrance is sponsoring for the 126th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade.

The theme of this year’s Rose Parade is “Inspiring Stories” with the Grand Marshal being Torrance hometown hero, Louis Zamperini, who passed away earlier this year. The Torrance entry is called “A Race Well Run” and will feature black-and-white photos of Zamperini’s life, the Olympic torch and other imagery that reflects Zamperini’s life including a replica of the B-24 plane he was shot down in during World War II. Since the movie Unbroken was released on Christmas Day the City of Torrance hopes that this float, dedicated to the memory of Louis Zamperini, can once again bring international recognition to the city.

Sunday’s visit required a little imagination as all the floats essentially had most of their big items removed so flowers and seeds could be added prior to the reassembly which must be completed by Tuesday night. If you would like to see the progress that has been made over the last two weeks, you can see a few of my photos on CNN’s iReport. I will return one more time, on New Year’s Eve, so I can get some up close and personal shots of the finished product. Continue reading

Floats readied for the 125th Tournament of Roses Parade

If you will recall, last week I headed out to Fiesta Parade Floats to take photos of the floats they were building for the upcoming 125th Tournament of Roses Parade. It was December 23 and at that point the floats were virtual skeletons; waiting for December 26 when the actual decorating could begin. The parade rules state that all surfaces of the float framework must be covered in natural materials; usually flowers and seeds. Since these natural materials have a tendency to decay after they are plucked from the ground, the decorating does not begin until December 26. The decorating must be completed by the evening of December 30 so that the floats can be judged on December 31.

Yesterday, December 30 I headed back out to Fiesta Parade Floats in Irwindale to see how progress was coming along. The first thing I noticed was how great it smelled in there with thousands upon thousands of flowers; most already on the floats, but some still waiting to be applied. One of the volunteers told me that they got a slow start because of the extremely warm weather we have been experiencing, but it was obvious that most of the floats were very close to completion.

After I left Irwindale I headed out to the Rose Bowl Stadium parking lot, having been invited by the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) to come photograph the float by entered by California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly). Last year the CCFC reached out to me because approximately 80% of all cut flowers sold in the United States are imported from other countries. The CCFC and California flower farmers were working with the Cal Poly Universities and the City of South Pasadena to ensure that more than 85% of the flowers used on their floats were American grown, specifically from California’s flower farms. This year, Cal Poly is the only certified “California Grown” float in the parade with more than 85% of the flowers used to decorate the float being sourced from California flower farmers. Continue reading

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