by Laura Berthold Monteros
Building a Rose Parade float is an expensive process for sponsors, and would not be affordable without volunteers who dedicate from a few to scores of hours working on them—volunteers who do not mind getting glue in their hair, cramped fingers from snipping strawflowers, or ruining an old pair of jeans. Some volunteers even give up holiday shopping on weekends in December to prepare and glue dry materials.
Every inch of the float must be covered with flowers or other natural materials, such as leaves, seeds, grass, bark, sod, or even fruits and vegetables for it to be eligible for a trophy. Volunteers take a great deal of pride in their work and thrill at seeing the float they pasted mums and gerbera on go down the parade route. Generally, dry decoration takes place on Saturdays in December and fresh materials go on during Deco Week between Christmas and Dec. 31, when the floats are judged.
Readers who are interested in volunteering should check on the websites of the float builders to see if there are still open slots. Many are already booked up, but sometimes they need extra help for the big push. Prospective volunteers can also show up at the decorating site and ask; however, there is no guarantee that a builder will take drop-ins and keep in mind they are very busy during Deco Week. Continue reading “Want to put flowers on a Rose Parade float? Here are some tips”