Pasadena

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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

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

American Craft Beer Week with Stone Brewing

Day three of the 8th Annual American Craft Beer Week (ACBW) found us out in Pasadena at the Stone Brewing, Company Store. When it comes to venerable Southern California, award winning breweries, it would be pretty tough to beat Stone Brewing. Stone Brewing had the first California beer tasting room that I visited on a regular basis, but it is out in Escondido which is a 100 mile ride. Fortunately, it is a pretty nice ride and Stone makes some quality beer. Recently, Stone Brewing opened a company store at the Del Mar Metro station. It is not nearly as nice of a ride, but it is at least 70 miles closer; and I get to visit my daughter, who lives down the street.

After enjoying a flight of award winning beers from Stone Brewing Company, we headed over to Haven Gastropub to meet my daughter for dinner. Haven brews on location now, and they have a very nice guest tap list. You can read about the experience at both locations on CraftBeerGuy.com. Continue reading

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