Building Award Winning Floats “CA Grown” Style

Only two of this year’s forty-two floats in this year’s Rose Parade can claim the honor of being certified “CA Grown” and they happen to both be award winning!  The Commission was proud to be a part of the certification of the South Pasadena and Cal Poly Universities’ Rose Parade floats, honoring their commitment to bring locally grown flowers back to the historic parade.

Along with the their commitment to California Grown Flowers, each team received trophies for their efforts, with Cal Poly receiving the Bob Hope Humor Trophy and South Pasadena receiving the Founders’ Award respectively.

Building these award winning floats to also be certified “CA Grown,” was not only a commitment to bringing California Grown Flowers back to the Tournament of Roses Parade, but took advance planning and coordination with our California flower farmers.

Cal Poly students from both the Pomona and San Luis Obispo campuses tour Pyramid Flowers in Oxnard in August.

Julie Smith of South Pasadena meets with flower farmer Rene VanWingerden at OceanBreeze Farms in Carpinteria during the middle of the summer to talk colors and varieties for this year's South Pasadena Rose Parade float.

Both teams worked with the Commission to better understand the diversity and availability of California Grown Flowers during the weeks before the parade.  Despite the fact that roses farms throughout the United States have all but become extinct due to imports from Ecuador and Colombia, fortunately you can still find American Grown roses right here in California (You can read more about the loss of the American Grown Roses in a previous blog post:  Where do your roses come from? Probably further than you think.).  Fortunately, the Rose Parade is not only about the roses and fortunately California grows an amazing diversity of beautiful flowers to offer float teams who want to become certified “CA Grown.”

We hope to work with more and more teams over the next several years to help bring tradition of using flowers and products grown in California to adorn these amazing floats.  However, first we’re going to relish in the accomplishments of this year’s parade and the two award winning floats who committed to California first when designing their floats.

Thank you to CalPoly Universities and South Pasadena for your commitment to California Grown!  It makes a difference!

How important is it to you to see California Grown Flowers return to the Rose Parade?

Take a look at some of these great behind the scenes images of building these two “CA Grown” floats:

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