Decorating Time: Tiny Petals, Towering Floats, Human Hands

Patience, beauty, time, and more patience are all requirements.

By Alysia Gray Painter
|  Friday, Dec 27, 2013  |  Updated 8:08 AM PDT
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The 2013 Parade of Roses

Tournament of Roses

Watch volunteers decorate the Rose Parade floats ahead of the big day. Viewing opened on Friday, Dec. 27.

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What was the most repetitive, time-consuming task you faced over the holidays? One that produced a wonderful result?

Some people might answer addressing dozens of Christmas cards. Some might say that detangling string after string of lights can get old. And sticking cloves in citrus fruits? So pretty, yes, but boy howdy, that takes some time and finger dexterity.

Still, there's no December pursuit that equals the decorating of the Rose Parade floats. These mammoth moving creations are a symphony of natural bits and bobs -- think petals, seeds, leaves, and such -- and each one of those bits and bobs must be applied by careful handwork.

Enter the Rose Parade volunteers, who head into another whimsical round of float decoration on Friday, Dec. 27. There'll be five days of decorating to follow -- the 27th through 31st -- at three Pasadena locations: Rosemont Pavilion, Brookside Pavilion, and the Rose Palace. (Note that decorating on Dec. 31 is only scheduled for the Rose Palace.)

Tickets are ten dollars each.

The word "painstaking" is often used when describing the festooning of the floats, but consider what all of that careful and patient work yields. "(F)loat decorating can by messy," reads the site, so that's yet another reason to applaud the people who pitch in to give the whole world a visual treat come New Year's Day.

Plus, one fun part? You'll have something to watch for come Jan. 1, if you stand before a particular creation long enough. That's one of the joys of Float Decorating Days 'round the Crown City -- that quintessential Tournament of Roses pre-excitement

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