Search

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Photo Essay: The Float-tastic Floral Creations of The Rose Parade, 2019

I'd never gone to see the Rose Parade or the Post-Parade Float Showcase to see one float in particular—until this year.



There's one float that millions of TV viewers—and perhaps hundreds of parade-goers—didn't get to see because it stalled out at the beginning and burst into flames.



By the time the fire department deemed it safe enough to travel and the truck arrived to give it a tow, the marching bands and horse teams had squeezed around it to finish the parade without it.



TV broadcasts ended and spectators left, without catching a glimpse of the monstrous float commemorating the 150th anniversary of the First Trans-Continental Railroad ...



...which was completed in 1869 at Promontory Summit, Utah, where the final spike—a gold one—was driven.



The float and the commemoration, presented by the Chinese American Heritage Foundation, really had nothing to do with this year's parade theme, "The Melody of Life."



But it was spectacular... and a spectacular failure.



And that made it worth it for me to visit the showcase of floats in Pasadena, where it was still tethered to the tow truck that dragged it there.



Other floats didn't stick too closely to the theme, either—including the UPS Store's book-reading ballerina ostrich. But when a float is that good, why bother being a stickler?



Farmers Insurance brought its "Carousel of Experience"...



...and Rotary International, its tribute to "Crocodile Rock."



Lions Clubs' lion sported a mane and tail of palm fiber...



...while spectators were entertained by Odd Fellows and their cool pipe organ...



...South Pasadena's "Three Little Birds" (using the Bob Marley song)...



...and a "Stompin' Good Time," courtesy of the City of Burbank...



...and its animal-based jugband.



Easterseals celebrated a milestone birthday...



...as did The American Legion, the country's largest wartime veterans service organization.



Sierra Madre shared its "Harmony's Garden"...



...while Downey's "Let's Go to the Hop" oddly featured "Jeffrey's" Broiler instead of Bob's or Johnie's...



...and Dole's "Rhythm of Paradise" starred the Hawaiian god Lono...



...and seahorses made of flowers.



Big Bear brought winter to the scene, with their namesake animals outfitted in yellow starflower vests, their fur made of dock seed (a.k.a. wild foraged flour).



One of the highlights was Northwestern Mutual's "Spend Your Life Living" aboard the S.S. Elephie...



...whose professionally-crafted water was made by Fiesta Parade Floats out of irises.



I do wish I'd seen Kool and the Gang performing "Celebration" on the Stella Rosa Wines float, under the flaxseed genie poppin' bottles.



True to the year's parade theme of musicality, Torrance let its treble clef take the mic...



...as Cal Poly Pomona tuned into its "Far Out Frequencies"...



...with an extraordinary float (in fact, "Most Extraordinary") built by its students...



...using marigolds, strawflowers, and statice from its own campus.

This was the first year since 2016 that I didn't actually attend the parade. But I didn't want to miss out on the entire experience.

And now, I kind of feel like I was there.

Related Posts:
Photo Essay: A Closer Look at the 2018 Rose Parade Floats
Photo Essay: The Floats of the Rose Parade, 2015
Photo Essay: Rose Parade 2014 Floats, In Progress

No comments:

Post a Comment