Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pasadena Rose Parade Float Decorating

Thanks to my National Honor Society Daughter volunteering me to drive a carload of her fellow NHS members to Pasadena yesterday - I also was able to decorate a very small area of one very large and detailed parade float.

We have grown up grew up watching the Rose Parade on television every New Years Day. I never dreamed, of one day having the opportunity to decorate one of those beautiful floats.  Have you ever dumped pails of poppy seeds or white lettuce seeds into your hand and carefully pressed each palm full onto a curved surface of white glue?  In addition, have you ever attempted to apply gloppy white glue with a gloppier brush to a detailed painted design?  Well, you may have never fully lived until you do so continually (OK, with a lunch break) for 6 hours with a friendly group of teenagers, their coach and two Moms "who drive".

Flower cutting tables - City of Hope float in the background

White glue and lettuce seed application....

DNA spiral gets poppy seeded

After dried flower heads are snipped, they get bagged and then sent to the blender for chopping.

My area of expertise was the three tiered fountain on the float for City of Hope a Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The "fountain crew" fresh and eager to begin!

This was a "by chance" match up with the City of Hope float.  Daughter and I spent the entire day thinking of our "Grams" (my mother in law) who was a success story and patient at City of Hope until September 2010 when she passed from liver cancer.  Yes, I did say success story.  You see, she lived nearly 6 years after her diagnosis of stage 4 breast cancer in her liver (never having had any cancer before).  Originally, when her doctors told her they might help her survive another 2 1/2 years she told them, "5 would be good".  We miss her very much, and know she was with us yesterday.

Can you see how the seeds resemble stone and mortar?
A Rose Parade float is strictly decorated with only organic materials.  Every square inch of every surface will be covered in seeds, dried flower "dust", ground spices (the portraits on our City of Hope float smelled like Christmas) and finally, during the week leading up to parade day (Jan 2nd this year), fresh flowers and bouquets are added.  We are all looking forward to seeing our work on the television broadcast this next year!

Volunteers and family members create portraits of donors who gave life to ill patients through Donate Life.
A tired, proud, satisfied group of teens and their Coach.  Thank you to the other "Mom who drives" for her photos!
Including the car ride, the kids spent nearly 12 hours volunteering their time and energy to this project.  These are an example of the high school students who have sports, advanced class loads, church and community leadership duties and still find time to volunteer through one more activity, National Honor Society.  It was my honor to be included, if only for a day.

 Congratulations and continued success, and to never loosing the energy it takes to be them!

Cheers!  Linda


  1. Linda, I am surprised and pleased to learn there still is a NHS. I think there is too little recognition for excellence in today's educational system. Good work!!

    Thanks for visiting Pontifical.s Porch. My ornaments were heavily vetted several years ago when I moved into a smaller house. At my daughter's house there is a small room set aside for the boxes I handed down.

  2. Thank you Sami for your comment & response to my question for you. It is a very Merry Christmas around here with new Blog friends beginning to pop in now and then!
    I have just about put away the empty boxes and "everyday" decor so the scene is nearly set. Cheers!


Hello! Your comments are the interaction I look forward to while writing my posts.
Cheers! Linda


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