Rose Parade Float Decorating Opportunities Are Abloom

Calling volunteers: It's nearly time to place petal after petal after petal on the showy superstars of New Year's Day.

What to Know

  • The final days of December 2018
  • Contact a commercial float builders and self-built float organization
  • The Tournament of Roses has a round-up of float builders to contact regarding volunteering opportunities

Prepping for Christmas right now?

Are you baking several different cookies or cakes, all to keep various family factions knee-deep in dessert-based delights at the big holiday dinner?

Then you likely know what it is like to place almond slice after almond slice on a linzer torte or peppermint crumble after peppermint crumble atop a chocolate pie.

It's slow and careful work, but you're a pro, and you know that when the confection is done baking, you'll eye a true work of art.

You might also think of the famous floats of the Rose Parade when you see your perfectly pretty cake. After all, the elaborately festooned vehicles have been carefully covered in small decorations, too, but of the floral sort.

But all of those petals and seeds and leaves and buds don't appear on the floats at the wave of a wand; rather, a cadre of creative and committed volunteers be-petal them each year, as December winds down.

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If this has long been on your bucket list, to venture to Pasadena, for a morning, a day, or a weekend, all to volunteer to help decorate a float, here's where to start: The Tournament of Roses roster that includes a number of commercial float builders and self-built float organizations.

Places like Phoenix Decorating Co. and the Downey Rose Float Association may be found on this page, along with several other groups and businesses.

There are a few things to keep in mind, like whether there's a minimum-age requirement, so do ask, if you need to, when you inquire as to whether volunteers are needed, and when.

Also? There shall be waiver signing.

Also? It's good to remember that "... float decorating can be messy and you may get glue, paint, and/or dirt on your shoes and clothing." Yep. Truth.

Also? You'll totally keep your eyes peeled on the first of January for the float you worked on, and the section that was your focus, and you'll surely and understandably brag about it to all within earshot.

Ready? Feeling bucket-list-y? Want to be a part of a local-but-known-everywhere tradition that has a rosy root in three centuries?

Begin here.

And we weren't joshing about that "three centuries" bit: The world-famous procession will again roll, in much the same way as it has done since 1890, on New Year's Day.

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