Posted in Around Town

Rose Parade 2009: The Prep Edition

Old, cynical Pasadenan that I am, every year I think to myself, “Oh, the parade. Ho hum.” Then it gets to be the 28th or 29th of December, and I feel the anticipation in the air.

I find myself on south Raymond Avenue, where a parking spot has miraculously opened up. In true Harriet the Spy fashion, within seconds I’m up close and personal observing parade floats under construction.

May I present to you a special Rose Parade…

It takes a lot of work to make a Rose Parade float.
Young and old get in on the action.

In order to make


…you need tools.




The blender grinds up the seeds.

There’s a Seed Chart to help keep things straight.

Let’s have a closer look…

All kinds of plants are used.
rb-09-prep-yellow-pink-sticks rb-09-prep-pine rb-09-prep-sparkly-sticks

The flowers are prepped, and then they wait to be placed.
rb-09-prep-red-roses-standing rb-09-prep-white-carnations rb-09-prep-pink-carnations-11 rb-09-prep-white-flowersrb-09-prep-peach-pink-roses

Float decorators at work…



Some places are difficult to reach…

Things begin to take shape.








The float designers and builders are truly



This is a personal blog. Expect a potpourri of stuff.

11 thoughts on “Rose Parade 2009: The Prep Edition

  1. Great storytelling and reporting, thanks Kelly! I feel like I was there. Hey, wait, I live just down the street, I SHOULD be there! Good thing I have friends like you to keep me in touch with my immediate surroundings.

  2. That’s a hell of a post! Any cynicism I had just went out the window. I’m a bit claustrophobic in clouds and I have always avoided the area this time of year. Maybe it’s worth facing my fears.

  3. We need more of this to give a light & hope in this world and hard economy.

    Those who look down their nose at things like parades have probably lost most of their child as well. I’m not too intelligent to have lost the curiosity, hope, and all innocence of a child.

    Great blog post. It’s not gonna be easy to top during the rest of 2009. Happiest of New Years 2 U!

  4. Well you all may be ho hum about this, but the dream of watching this parade in person has been a part of my life as far back as I can remember…1960s in a small midwest town…looked pretty exotic to me. Still does as a 30 year veteran of Houston. I want to take my 74 year old mother next year…any advise?

  5. Kewl. I posted my own “making of” from The Ghost of Rose Parades Past (2002, 2005) on my site. HOw was it? NY was spent TV-less in Monrovia, in prosaic must! clean! up! fashion, so we’re seeing none of it. But ate waffles, instead! (skittish about waffles at Doc M’s house– one year when my fam visited, we had 2 wafflers going simultaneously, and blew out power to ancient 1938-era kitchen electric circuit)

  6. Pasadenans should not be “ho-hum” about the Parade. We should be Proud, Damn Proud of it! We are fortunate to have access to the Parade every year.

    I didn’t grow up in Pasadena, but I grew up watching the Parade every New Year’s morning on TV; no matter what time I had gone to bed I was up by 8:00 to watch it with my whole family!

    Now, I just feel so lucky to be able to say “I live there!”

    You captured it so well in these photos!

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