PASADENA, Calif. (WHTM) — One of the most cherished traditions associated with the Rose Bowl game is the New Year’s Day Rose Parade, celebrating its 134th year in 2023. The Rose Parade will be broadcast live on abc27 on Monday at 11 in the morning.
The 35 floats featured in Monday’s parade are decorated entirely in natural material.
At Fiesta Parade Floats in Irwindale, California, dozens of volunteers worked tirelessly to assemble several different floats for Louisiana’s Department of Tourism, Donate Life, Kaiser Permanente and other organizations.
“We’re building seven of the 35 floats,” said Stefan Pollack of Fiesta Parade Floats. “We’re calling them the Magnificent Seven. They’re fantastic.”
For Louisiana’s Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser, he sees the Rose Parade as the perfect marketing opportunity to entice travelers to come to Mardi Gras.
“[Last year] we won best floral and best entertainment,” Nungesser said. “And we hope to be back in the running this year.”
Louisiana’s 2023 parade float features several festival queens from across their state. These young women represent the best Louisiana has to offer in the state’s proud festival-focused culture.
“If you can eat a drink to it, shoot it, dance to it, we name a festival after it,” Nungesser said. “So to have those queens out here representing every part of Louisiana is really special.”
The Louisiana float features natural materials harkening back to it’s Bayou roots.
“This is Buckwheat seed [on my frog],” said float decorator Miki Clark. “Individual buckwheat, and individual seeds, [glued on] one by one. He’s probably going to have about 10,000 seeds on it when we’re finished. I’ve been working on my frog since the 27th of December.”
Each float takes months of conceptualizing and creating, including the Donate Life float, designed to inspire millions to consider organ donation.
“It is a year round effort for us,” said Donate Life float volunteer Mike Thompson. “We actually started on this float in October. We decorate a little bit in November. We worked a lot of weekends in December and then from basically after Christmas until the day, it’s six 17 hour days in a row.”
According to the Rose Parade website, “the Rose Parade travels 5 ½ miles down Colorado Blvd. and features four types of entries: floral-decorated floats entered by a participating corporation, non-profit organization or municipality, equestrian units, bands, and Tournament Entries. Rose Parade participants have long histories with the Tournament of Roses and keep the traditions alive.”
Keeping a rich tradition alive, the Rose Parade welcomed 3,000 spectators it’s first parade featuring “beautiful, horse-drawn carriages covered in flowers.”
The collective effort of hundreds of volunteers is estimated at over 80,000 hours to put on the parade each year.
Months of work culminate in the 134th annual Rose Parade on Monday, January 3 at 11 a.m. broadcast live on abc27.