3 Rose Parade Deco Week photo galleries—self-builts, AES, Phoenix, Fiesta

South Pasadena does not have a float barn, and builds the float under the only concrete bridge designed by architects Charles and Henry Greene.

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Your Rose Examiner spent three consecutive days walking the float barns, and came back with tons of photos. For these galleries, I’ve chosen one of each float, shots I particularly like, just to give a flavor of the process and introduce readers to the floats that will glide along the Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 1, 2020.

The barns and decorating sites were pretty packed and the decorators were working furiously to get the dry dec on. I managed to fit in two conversations, one with Erik C. Andersen and Linda Cozakos at Burbank Tournament of Roses Association., and one with Harry Gill and Minu Singh at the Sikh American float in the Phoenix Decorating Company barn.

Photos in Gallery A were taken on Dec. 28 and 29, and include AES and five self-built floats (we didn’t go down to the Downey float barn). Gallery B was taken on Dec. 30 at Phoenix Decorating Company. Gallery C was also taken on Dec. 30, at Fiesta Parade Floats.

 

Deco Week Gallery A

Sierra Madre Rose Float Assn., La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Assn., AES, Cal Poly Universities, South Pasadena Rose Float Assn., Burbank Rose Float Assn.

Deco Week Gallery B

Phoenix Decorating Company

Deco Week Gallery C

Fiesta Parade Floats

Photos: 24 award-winning floats in the 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade

“Spend Your Life Living” in the S.S. Elephie by Northwestern Mutual won the Bob Hope Humor Award

by Laura Berthold Monteros

In anticipation of the upcoming 131st Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 1, 2020, The Rose Examiner has put together a collection of photos of the award-winning floats that glided along the Rose Parade route in 2019. Take a look at the stunning and gorgeous creations that won in 24 contests.

We’ve split the photos into two galleries to avoid overwhelming our readers. Each photo is captioned with its award, sponsor, title, builder, and designer. Comments on the winners and descriptions of the awards in table form are in the article “Rose Parade 2019 float awards; The UPS Store takes Sweepstakes.”

All photos are copyrighted; contact The Rose Examiner  for permissions.

Gallery A: Sweepstakes and Float Design categories

Gallery B: Entertainment Value and Floral Design categories

List of floats in the 2020 Rose Parade with titles, builders, designers

Chinese American Heritage Foundation 2020 Rose Parade Float

The Chinese American Heritage Foundation returns to the Rose Parade with a tribute to WWII Congressional Gold Medal honorees.

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

As promised, here is the most complete public listing of the floats that will appear in the 131st Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 1, 2020. The chart below lists the sponsor, title, builder, and designer for each of the 42 floats. The awards presented in 2019 are also noted.

New sponsors this year are General Society of Mayflower Descendants, celebrating 400 years since Plymouth Rock; Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, for its centennial; Pasadena Celebrates 2020, the centennial of the 19th Amendment; The Cowboy Channel, to promote its upcoming rodeo in Madison Square Garden; The SCAN Foundation; and Wescom Credit Union. Long-time sponsors who were in the 2019 parade are all returning, but still absent are Lucy Pet, Miracle-Gro, Singpoli, and the City of Los Angeles. Also missing are 24 Hour Fitness and the American Armenian Rose Float Association.

There are 39 sponsored entries, six of them self-built, and three Tournament of Roses entries, including the Royal Court float and two floats for the schools playing in the 106th Rose Bowl Game. Phoenix decorating company tops the numbers with 18 floats, followed by Fiesta with 11 and AES with five, seven if they build the team floats, which they have done in the past.

The most prolific designer is Michelle Lofthouse of Phoenix Decorating, with 18 entries. Sometimes, designers cross boundaries and create concepts for more than one commercial builder, but this year, they break down by company: AES, John Ramirez (4); Fiesta, Michael Abboud (4), Stanley Meyer (3), Art Aguirre (2), Charles Meier (2); Phoenix, Michelle Lofthouse (17), Rachel Lofthouse (3).

Subscribe to The Rose Examiner by filling in your email in the box, above left. We ask that commenters register with this site, to avoid spam.

131st Tournament of Roses Parade Floats

Sponsor Title Builder Designer 2019 Award
AIDS Healthcare Foundation “Hope for the Homeless” Fiesta Parade Floats Art Aguirre
Amazon Studios “Troop Zero” AES John Ramirez
American Honda Motor Company “Our Hope for the Future” AES John Ramirez
Blue Diamond Almonds “The Best Almonds Make the Best Almondmilk” AES John Ramirez
Burbank Tournament of Roses Association “Rise Up” Self-Built Lisa Long Animation
Cal Poly Universities “Aquatic Aspirations” Self-Built Student designed Extraordinaire
China Airlines “Dreams of Flying, Wings of Hope” AES John Ramirez International
Chinese American Heritage Foundation (CAHF) “American Heroes” Fiesta Parade Floats Mike Abboud
Chipotle Mexican Grill “Cultivate the Future of Farming” Fiesta Parade Floats Mike Abboud
City of Alhambra, CA “Hope Keeps Us Going” Phoenix Decorating Company Michelle Lofthouse Princess
City of Hope “City of Hope” Phoenix Decorating Company Michelle Lofthouse President
City of Torrance “Our Garden of Hope and Dreams” Fiesta Parade Floats Art Aguirre Tournament Volunteer
Dole Packaged Foods “Sunshine for All” Fiesta Parade Floats Mike Abboud Wrigley Legacy
Donate Life “Light in the Darkness” Fiesta Parade Floats Charles Meier Judges
Downey Rose Float Association “On the Wings of Hope” Self-Built Thom Neighbors, Carrie Redfox
Farmers Insurance “Conveyor of Hope” Phoenix Decorating Company Rachel Lofthouse Queen
General Society of Mayflower Descendants “The Voyage of Hope – 1620” Fiesta Parade Floats Mike Abboud
Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens “Cultivating Curiosity” Phoenix Decorating Company Michelle Lofthouse
Kaiser Permanente “Courage to Reimagine” Fiesta Parade Floats Stanley Meyer
Kiwanis International “Soaring with Hope” Phoenix Decorating Company Michelle Lofthouse
La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association “Dodo Bird Flight School” Self-Built Ted Baumgart, Grant Delgatty Founder
Lions Clubs International “Hope for 2020” Phoenix Decorating Company Michelle Lofthouse
Lutheran Laymen’s League “Anchored in Jesus” Phoenix Decorating Company Michelle Lofthouse
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day “Plant a Garden…Believe in Tomorrow” Phoenix Decorating Company Michelle Lofthouse Americana
Northwestern Mutual “Spend Your Life Living” Fiesta Parade Floats Stanley Meyer Bob Hope Humor
Odd Fellows Rebekahs Rose Float “First Responders Bring Hope” Phoenix Decorating Company Michelle Lofthouse
Pasadena Celebrates 2020 “Years of Hope, Years  of Courage” AES AES
Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee “Hope Connects the World” Phoenix Decorating Company Michelle Lofthouse
Shriners Hospitals for Children “Hope Knows No Limits” Phoenix Decorating Company Rachel Lofthouse Theme
Sierra Madre Rose Float Association “Ka lā hiki ola” Self-Built Jason Redfox Director
Sikh American Float Foundation “Planting Seeds of Hope” Phoenix Decorating Company Michelle Lofthouse Isabella Coleman
South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association “Victory at Last” Self-Built Michael Mera Mayor
The Cowboy Channel “Walk Ride Rodeo” Phoenix Decorating Company Rachel Lofthouse
The SCAN Foundation “Hope’s Heroes” Phoenix Decorating Company Michelle Lofthouse
The UPS Store, Inc. “Stories Change Our World” Fiesta Parade Floats Charles Meier Sweepstakes
Tournament of Roses 2020 Royal Court Phoenix Decorating Company Preston Bailey
Tournament of Roses Rose Bowl Game Team: University of Oregon N/A N/A
Tournament of Roses Rose Bowl Game Team: University of Wisconsin N/A N/A
Trader Joe’s “It Takes a Flight of Fancy” Phoenix Decorating Company Michelle Lofthouse Crown City Innovator
Underground Service Alert of Southern California (DIGALERT) “The Power of Safety FIRST” Fiesta Parade Floats Stanley Meyer Past President
Wescom Credit Union “Better Together: Hope Creates Community” Phoenix Decorating Company Michelle Lofthouse
Western Asset Management Company “Growing a Better Tomorrow” Phoenix Decorating Company Michelle Lofthouse Fantasy

Visiting the float barns during 2019 Rose Parade Deco Week

by Laura Berthold Monteros

The Rose Examiner dropped in on the three float barns last Friday and Saturday to see the progress of the creations at the commercial builders and to talk to some of the folks doing the decorating. The 130th Tournament of Roses Parade happens on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, so the decorators—almost all volunteers—were busy cutting statice, powdering rice, gluing on flowers, and filling vials.

Be sure to check out the gallery below to see the progress all those volunteers were making.

Making the rounds at Phoenix Decorating Company

Ryan Young with the Farmers Insurance float.

Our trip started off with a bang at Phoenix Decorating Company in Irwindale. We had just walked in the door when a sound like an I-beam hitting the floor split the air. Those cavernous float barns echo, so it turned out it wasn’t as bad as it sounded. There had been a small explosion under the Trader Joe’s float. The folks at Phoenix reacted immediately, with crew chiefs hurrying the decorators off the scaffolding and away from the float.

“Go back to your floats, go back to your floats!” the other volunteers were ordered. Everyone complied, because after all, those floats had to be covered with flowers in less than four days.

We asked a man who had been waiting to work on the Kiwanis float if it was scary. “It certainly was,” he said. Another man suggested that the sulphur-scented smoke we noticed might well be just dust and glue, and we returned to our tour of the floats

At the Farmers Insurance float, “A Carousel of Experience,” we met Ryan Young, a Philadelphia transplant. He’s only been in Pasadena for a few months, and already he was fully into the experience of decorating a float.

“I didn’t realize the scale,” he said, comparing the TV version and the real thing. “It’s neat to see it coming together.”

Young works in procurement for Farmers, which is a good match for his role on the float. He said his job is to be a runner, getting whatever anyone working on the float needs.

At the United Sikh Mission float, “A Divine Melody Resonates in All,” we ran into creative director Minu Singh, whom we spoke with last year. The float features a giant rabab, which she said was the first Sikh instrument. It was used by Guru Nanak to spread his message of the oneness of all though his poems and songs.

“Everything in our holy book is music,” Singh said. “Every time we congregate, it’s about singing.” She spoke of an “eternal cosmic symphony.” “Every bit of creation is part of the symphony,” she said.

A few blocks north at Fiesta Parade Floats

Tejinder and Simran cut statice for the United Sikh Mission float at Phoenix Decorating Company.

We got to Fiesta Parade Floats around lunch time, and most of the volunteers were up on the floats or scaffolds so we stuck to taking pictures. We did notice that there were a couple towering humans looking down from the decks, though.

Lono, the Hawaiian god of music and peace and the deity associated with the fertile lands of the Hawaiian Islands stands at the front of “Rhythms of Paradise,” the Dole Packaged Foods float. Stella Rosa lets the genie out of the (wine) bottle with “Taste of Magic.” (Others are on the American Armenian float at Phoenix and AES’ 24 Hour Fitness float.)

“Harmony Through Union,” the first entry from the Chinese American Heritage Foundation, doesn’t have a whole human, but it does have two spectacularly huge arms, one holding a mallet and the other a golden spike to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the historic meeting of the eastern and western portions of the Transcontinental Railroad in Promontory, Utah on May 10, 1869, and to celebrate the contributions of immigrants.

Rosemont Pavilion

Denise Godfrey and Emma McGregor at the Cal Poly Universities float.

Previously used by Phoenix Decorating Company, Rosemont Pavilion now holds the AES floats for final decorating, as well as Cal Poly Universities and the FTD vehicle decorating. We were able to strike up a couple conversations at the floats. Check back after the Rose Parade for more about the four vehicles that will carry the celebrities in the parade.

At the Cal Poly float, “Far Out Frequencies,” we were given a California Grown sticker, which indicates that 85 percent of the floral material on the float was grown in California. Denise Godfrey was there with her daughter Emma McGregor. Their family business, Olive Hill Greenhouses, was founded by Godfrey’s parents in 1973. They have been supplying indoor plants to Cal Poly for about four years.

At the Chipotle Mexican Grill float, “Cultivate a Better World,” we found Russ Wimmer and Aida Bueno busily mixing spices to cover the float. And that is mostly what will cover the float. Wimmer told us that Chipotle insisted that only the 51 ingredients used at their restaurants can be used on the floats.

Red is created with a mixture of fresh chili pepper flakes and chili powder. The wood is brown rice instead of the usual paper bark, and juniper berries, oregano, lemon leaf, and corn husks are seen throughout the float. Baskets laid out around the deck like a vegetable stand will be filled with fresh produce. The only roses will be a red edging around the bottom and white spray roses tucked into a garland of red chili peppers. The Tournament of Roses granted a variance to allow a wheelchair lift at the back to remain uncovered.

For a list of all the floats with builders and designers, read “Rose Parade 2019 float entries.”

Subscribe to The Rose Examiner by filling in your email in the box, above left. We ask that commenters register with this site, to avoid spam.

 

All photos copyright LB Monteros. Contact administrator for permissions.

 

Revamped Deco Week for 2019 Tournament of Roses: Food, football, fine wine, and floats

Cal Poly Universities decorate “Dreams Take Flight” for the 2018 Rose Parade

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Deco Week used to a big deal in Pasadena, with two warehouses and a pop-up pavilion filled with floats and cars being decorated for the Rose Parade. The last five or six days before the Rose Parade, folks could drop into the float barns and see dozens of creations getting their final flowering as fresh materials were fastened to floats.

With the last Pasadena builder moving out of town in 2017, there isn’t much decorating left to see in the Crown City, but the Tournament of Roses and partners have gotten creative in providing plenty of things for locals and out-of-towners to see and do. There are two really new things going on this year.

AES, a powerhouse company that builds set pieces for Disney Resorts and other theme parks, produces Hollywood events, and of course designs and builds floats, is moving its floats from Azusa to Pasadena and parking them in Rosemont Pavilion for final flowering during Deco Week. (Phoenix Decorating Company, which used to build there, moved to shiny new headquarters in Irwindale last year.) FTD will again decorate the Rose Parade vehicles in Rosemont.

Rosemont Pavilion, located in the Arroyo just south of the Rose Bowl, is open for viewing from Dec. 28-31. Tickets are available for $15 on site or from Sharp Seating. Floats that will be in the barn are Universal – How to Train Your Dragon, Blue Diamond Almonds, China Airlines, Chipotle, 24 Hour Fitness, and Cal Poly Universities. Tournament vehicles are the Mayor’s fire truck and the President’s, Grand Marshal, and Hall of Fame cars.

The second thing is the brand-spanking new Sip & Savor event, produced by AES, on Jackie Robinson Memorial Field next to Rosemont Pavilion. It looks to be a pretty big event, with food, wine, craft beer, music, and six large-screen TV monitors for football fans. For $15, a person can see the floats and enjoy the entertainment at Sip & Savor. Taste tickets are extra; pricing and the growing list of culinary sponsors are on the website. Dates are Dec. 28-30, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Live on Green is returning to the Pasadena Convention Center Dec. 29-31 for the fourth year, and will have

Peter Samek, AIFD arranges floral material on a 1929 Packard. In the background is J. Keith White, AIFD CFD

plenty of activities for youngsters and grown-ups. Everything except the food and beverages is free for all. The 2018 schedule will be up on their site soon.

 (opens in a new window)Farther afield, The Bloc Plaza in Downtown Los Angeles hosts the second annual Rose Bowl Bash. It’s a celebration of college football and the Rose Bowl Game at Hope and 7th Street. The event is free and includes family-friendly interactive games, Rose Bowl Game merchandise, a beer garden, entertainment, food trucks, and participation from team bands and cheer squads. The 7th Street Metro Center Station is on the corner, making it convenient to take the Metro instead of driving. Dates are Dec. 30, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Dec. 31, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Other events during Deco Week include Equestfest and Bandfest, which we have already posted.

“The Melody of Life” is the theme for the 2019 Tournament of Roses. The central events, the 130th Rose Parade and 105th Rose Bowl Game, are held on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019. Subscribe to “The Rose Examiner” to get news and articles throughout the year.