Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Dogs, Doves and Determination

The Rose Parade has taken place for 127 years now in Pasadena, California, usually on the first day of January.  (It is not held on Sundays, so on days where January 1 falls on a Sunday, like this year, the parade is held on January 2.)

I watched it, thousands of miles away, at my home in upstate New York

Creating a float takes hundreds of hours and lots of determination.  The rules seem simple - floats in the parade must be covered in natural materials.  So, every visible surface on every float you see is decorated in flowers, bark, seeds, walnut husks, or other natural materials. Flowers, seeds and more must be glued on individually.  Some materials are so fine that volunteers use tweezers.  Since most of the materials are perishable, they must be installed on the floats hours or days before the parade, by hundreds of volunteers.

The best floats receive awards.

The work is tedious - but, look at what this determination produces.

This float was called Doing Good in the World.

In this closeup, you can see some of the natural materials.

There are two other floats I would like you to see.   One float featured surfing dogs.  Yes, several dogs surfed, on real water, carefully monitored by handlers.

The float with the dogs was the largest and heaviest float ever in the Rose Parade. It is successfully rounding a corner which lessor floats have become hung up on.
The other float paid tribute to victims of a tragic shooting last year at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.  Several survivors of the shooting rode on the float.  Doves were released to honor the 49 dead.  A large flowered dove hovered over the float.
It was a beautiful tribute, but sad, knowing that so much violence still remains in the world.

Again, determination - determination to continue forward after experiencing something like that, was on display.

A lesson in determination for day 3 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.

17 comments:

  1. Haven't watch any parade in forever. I've been in a few, both walking and riding. I'll pass in the future. Thanks for sharing your pics.

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  2. The dove float is amazing. The theme for the 2017 Parade, I don't know or care because it has it all, whimsy, meaning, and all gorgeous 'details' in the flowers.

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  3. This is truly a visual treat to me Alana! I come from Ooty, a hill station in South India, and we have a three day flower show there. it used to be such fun, with lots of dance shows and orchestra. The road show though is something we don't get to see. Loved your pics.

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  4. I've seen this on TV and long to see it for real one day. I watched Macy's parade on TV and two years ago, we actually went, and we were right under the big balloons, it was fantastic.

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  5. We were in California visiting family one year between Christmas and New Years and went to look at the floats up close. The day before the parade, you can walk around the various sites where the floats are stored and get pretty close to them. The detail was amazing! And the smell, too! I know we'll never forget the experience.

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  6. I haven't watched the Rose Day parade since Michigan last participated in the football game that followed. That was a decade ago.

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  7. Wow! I never knew the rules for having a float in the Rose Bowl was to be so natural!

    It is amazing at what some of those float look like to begin with, let alone having to be all natural and only getting created so soon before the event!

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  8. Gorgeous. I grew up watching the parade but never really appreciated the work that went into making these beautiful and creative floats. I am in awe of them now.
    Hey, you added me to your blogroll. Thank you!

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  9. One of these years I'm going to go and visit the floats. They have them on display someplace for a few days after. (Once upon a time I thought I wanted to go to the parade itself, but sleeping on the sidewalk doesn't appeal. And it's been cold this year.)

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  10. I love watching the parade. Even though I live in LA, I watch it on my couch. Great shots for being thousands of miles away.

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  11. I had no idea that the Rose Bowl rules were that decorations had to be natural. You taught me something!

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  12. I am so bummed!! I did not realize it was on yesterday instead of Sunday...we were driving all day Sunday (the 1st) and I just assumed I had missed it. Thanks for the recap via the photos. :-)

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  13. The flower float was just beautiful and omgoodness that dog float would have had me on tenterhooks going around that corner!

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  14. Each year for the Rose Parade they publish an "Official Program" for those in attendance. I am not sure how it is distributed on Parade day. Several years ago I obtained one that was listed a week or so after the Parade on eBay. It turned out to be very well done. Some discriptions of how the floats are built certainly puts a spotlight on "determination".

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  15. It looks like such a fun parade! I know my kids would love it for sure!

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  16. I'm amazed at the time and care that goes into making those floats! I've never had a family tradition of watching the Rose Parade, but I'm thinking that needs to change next year. Amazing!

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  17. I have always loved watching the Rose Parade - and I'm always stunned at what people can do with such patience and determination!

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