Decorating a Rose Parade float is much more detailed work than you’d think. Here are some behind the scenes pictures of some of those details.
Each float starts as just a giant flatbed, like you’d imagine, then the designers make the general shape and theme. Once that is established, the Fiesta Float people go on a scavenger hunt through their massive warehouse for the steel and wireframe pieces that have been used for previous floats.
The above picture, is a tiny fraction of everything available. These pieces start out as what I’ve been calling a paint-by-numbers project. For example the tiger above, is “color-coded” to denote what type of material you glue to the surface.
While decorating, you might find yourself in a somewhat compromising position, such as glueing crushed peach lentils to a tiger’s butt! It’s a slow and tedious process, with painting the glue, precisely on the color coded areas, then patting the tiny natural materials, such as onion seed, for the black stripes.
The view as you walk around the float is pretty interesting. You mostly see butts and feet dangling from the scaffolding as workers press statice flowers to this camel’s saddle.
Each task is very time consuming. For example, here, we were popping the glue plug out of straws that were rolled in oregano.
Below, Dave spent his 6 hours creating the Sunrise at the Oasis sign – look for it on the front of the float.
Oh, and we did run into a celebrity! This little cutie is Daniel, a beagle being billed as “the luckiest dog in the world.” He was in a group of dogs to be euthanized, in a canine gas chamber in Alabama. When they opened the door, he popped out alive as can be! Look for him, he will be riding on the Lucy Pet Foundation float.
The little piece of excitement we had on Saturday was that PETA was outside protesting the Sea World float which is being constructed right next to ours. Their float, while not nearly as beautiful as our Dole float, has some majestic killer whales on the front, but it’s truly NOT disrespectful to animals! One little example of both the Sea World float and the detail involved in creating these art pieces is the picture below. On TV the floats go by so quickly, you never get a chance to see the detail that we have had the amazing opportunity to see this week. For example, only the head and feet are completed in this picture, but I watched the people placing the split peas and beans on this using tweezers, and the back of a paint brush. This is a great example of the dedication of volunteers working on these floats.
We took the day off today, to do some cool personal/genealogy stuff, but we’ll be back at it again tomorrow. It will be much more intense, so tune in again to see the progress!