Posts Tagged “floats”
So, who is as shocked as I am that today is NEW YEAR’S DAY?! Say it with me, “2015 just flew by!” Today was also, obviously, the Rose Parade, but this blog is going to take it back a week and cover the final days leading up to the parade, kind of like a prequel (think Star Wars episodes 1, 2, & 3, aka only ones I have ever seen, and the reason I am currently being shunned by all my Star Wars loving friends).
Over the past month, our series “From Field to Float” has been building up to today, showing you the ins-and-outs of the floats and the flowers that make up these floats. We’ve shown you the flowers as short little stems in Colombia, the skeletons of the floats, the journey the flowers made from South America to California, and now I’m going to show you some images from the past week as everyone geared up for the big day!
Though I currently live in Seattle, I am fortunate enough every year to travel home to Los Angeles for the holidays. It has been a tradition of my dad’s to take us, as well as close friends, on a “behind-the-scenes” tour of the float pavilions that we provide flowers to. So this year we took our annual trip to the Phoenix Decorating Company pavilions, not once, but twice!
So let’s go on a virtual tour of the pavilions (note: you will see images from both pavilions, but let’s pretend this is one big virtual tour!) You’ll even get to see some areas that the general public doesn’t have access to… #workperks
The following gallery gives you a “Virtual Tour” of the Rose Float Pavilion, starting with all of our flowers being delivered, processed and stored in the tents, to a view of the entire pavilion, to some updates on Western Asset’s float “Let Your Imagination Run Wild,” where fresh flowers & greens have started going on!
Well there you have it! By now you have seen the final floats all finished up, but I hope you enjoyed your virtual “prequel” tour! Happy New Year’s friends, it’s 2016!
I hope everyone survived, I mean, enjoyed a wonderful holiday with friends and family! While the holiday madness may be over, things are really gearing up for us on the Rose Parade end of things. Flowers grown specifically for the Rose Parade have been cultivated, packed and shipped to the United States from Colombia and Ecuador, awaiting their final destination on one of the floats.
First stop: Miami!
After being harvested and packed up in South America, they make their way to Miami, their first stop in the States. Trucks pick them up at the airport and they are transported to our Miami Distribution center.
We then receive & distribute the flowers in Miami.
…and then send them off to their final destination, California!
Stay tuned for some more behind the scenes as the countdown to the Rose Parade begins!
We interrupt this fine, winter day (or in my case up in the PNW, cold & gray day) to bring you some photos of where our float, “Let Your Imagination Run Wild!” currently is! If you haven’t been following along, we’re doing a mini blog series on the whole process of the Rose Parade floats. Check out the previous two blogs here & here! (above photo by Terry Barker)
As we speak, the flowers are currently en route from South America to the States, so I thought I’d share some colorful photos to tide you over. Diane Schoelles, a “Detail Decorator” volunteer that specializes in animals, was assigned this float by Phoenix Decorating Company, and has kindly been sending me photos of the process. The first few images show the float being painted to act as a guide for where all the living material will go. Then comes the “Dry Dec” stage, in which dry decor including seeds, grains, and other materials that can last longer than the fresh cut flowers are glued on.
Remember when I said we were going to start this process from the ground up? And that you’d find out what I meant later? Well, later is now. In this segment, I wanted to show you the two biggest components of the float in their beginning stages. What might those two components be? Yep, that would be the flowers (thank you Captain Obvious) and the structure of the float itself.
If you follow our blog, you probably remember seeing a post or two (or five) about my recent trip to Colombia, and more specifically, a farm tour of Liberty Blooms. While we were at Liberty Blooms (also our hosts during our stay in Medellín), we were able to get a sneak peek at the flowers they were growing for us specifically for the Rose Parade. My aunt Pam, AKA our Director of Purchasing, is in charge of all the Rose Parade activity, so it was pretty cool for her to get to see her order in the ground.
The timeline for the beginning phases of the floats goes something like this:
On Phoenix Decorating Company’s end, once the sketch of the desired float is approved, they start working on the materials that will be used to decorate it, whether it be flowers, seeds, grains, vegetables, etc. They then submit the first flower order. Once the float starts to take shape, Phoenix will get a clearer idea of the areas that need to be covered and re-calculate the numbers. Phoenix Decorating Company has a mathematical formula for the products they use and what coverage they get out of each one of them. As the float continues to progress the calculations for materials are re-checked.
On our end, we work to make sure they will get all the materials they need in time. Our Purchasing Department starts working on the order with our farms around mid-June (see, this is a long process folks!) to ensure that we will have all the colors we need, as nobody else wants anything but red and white during December… Merry Christmas y’all!
We always start with pom pons first, which is what we get from Liberty Blooms. These have to be programmed for us because we use so many fall type colors that if we didn’t have them grown specifically for the parade, we wouldn’t be able to find them. Poms usually take about thirteen weeks to grow once they are planted.
Next up is carnations, whose growing cycle takes about 28 weeks, and following that is the rest of the bulk items. During the growing processes, we constantly monitor the crops to make sure they will be on time. By the time our trip rolled around in late October, our poms were small but well on their way!
Rose Parade poms in late October
And here are some photos we just received about a week ago (first week of December).
Quite a bit taller with just a few more weeks to go…
And now for the float! The following images show the skeletal structure of the float before any dry material goes on. It all starts with the initial concept and sketch, and from there they start building the bones and mechanics.
Skeleton structure of Western Asset’s float, “Let Your Imagination Run Wild!”
Photo credit: Matt Lirag – Western Asset
Once the structure is complete, the float is painted to act as a guide for all of the dry material and flowers that will later be put on, kind of like a “paint by numbers.” Last weekend they began with the fresh dry decór, like seeds and grains, and fresh flowers won’t go on until a few days before the parade!
Hope you enjoyed learning about the early stages and planning that goes into these beauties! Keep following the journeys of the float and our flowers in the upcoming weeks – can you believe we’re only two weeks from Christmas, and three from the Rose Parade?!
It’s that time of year again! Christmas trees in windows, sparkling lights all over town, and the skeptical faces of babies meeting the mall Santa for the first time. Sound familiar? Happy holidays! Well, there’s one thing that probably rarely, if ever, crosses your mind during the month of December. It’s probably on your radar New Year’s Day, but it’s on ours all month. Any guesses? If you guessed the Rose Parade, you’re right! Gold star for you. If you’re local to Southern California, chances are you’ve spent at least one New Year’s morning bundled up on the side of Colorado Boulevard, gripping a cup of hot coffee (I know, LA winters are tough), anxiously awaiting the start to the parade. And the second you catch a glimpse of that first float, that’s when the magic begins.
As one of the parade’s flower suppliers, we thought it would be fun to give you guys a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into making these incredible floats. Growing up as one of the Mayesh kids, my dad has taken me almost every year to see the floats being worked on prior to the parade, and it really is such a fascinating process that I’m so excited to share with you. We even have Mayesh employees volunteering on the floats this year! Did you even know you could volunteer to work on the floats? Well now you do… add that to your bucket list! Anyhow, we’ve teamed up with Phoenix Decorating Company to take you through the entire process, focusing on one float from start to finish. This year’s Rose Parade theme is “Find your Adventure,” and we thought that Western Asset Management Company’s float, titled “Let Your Imagination Run Wild,” would be the perfect candidate for the job.
Over the next month we will attempt to capture the steps that go into the rose parade coming alive on New Year’s Day, starting from the ground up, literally (you’ll see what I mean shortly). So stay tuned for the next segment of this exciting series: From Field to Float.
This year’s Rose Parade theme:
The sketch of Western Asset’s float, “Let Your Imagination Run Wild!”