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Rose Parade 101: Design a float for the 2015 Tournament of Roses parade

Design an award-winning Rose Parade float like this one from La Canada Flintridge.
Design an award-winning Rose Parade float like this one from La Canada Flintridge.
Ramona Monteros

Deadlines for float designs are coming up fast for the 2015 Rose Parade. Four self-built float organizations are looking for that award-winning design that will roll down Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena on Jan. 1, 2015.

The theme will not be announced until Jan. 16, 2014, when the next Tournament of Roses President Richard L. Chinen takes office, but he has given the builders a few hints. Themes are devised to be broad enough to allow for a wide range of creativity.

Here’s what Chinen says:

  • We have selected a theme that allows us to reflect on and appreciate the many people around us who elevate the human spirit by who they are, what they have done and what they continue to do.
  • It pays tribute to those who have loved unconditionally, persevered courageously, endured patiently and accomplished significantly on behalf of others.
  • They may be “heroes” or “stars” to some, but they don't seek such titles. They may be kind, resilient, free-spirited or intensely focused, and though different from one another, they all give us life because they have overcome obstacles, achieved the unthinkable, given immeasurably, or sacrificed unselfishly.
  • Whether for justice, for charity, or for any other good, they do so humbly and with resolve. It is the tale of their journey that enriches our lives regardless of the fulfillment of the purpose.

The self-builders have links to entry forms on their websites. Download the forms and read them carefully. Each builder has a different deadline and requirements for submissions. While you’re on the site, be sure to check out past floats the organization has entered in the Rose Parade. This will give an idea of the kinds of floats they like and keep you from repeating recent design concepts.

Here are the builders and the awards they won in 2014:

Burbank Tournament of Roses Association, Fantasy Trophy for “Lights! Camera! Action!”
La Canada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association, Bob Hope Humor Trophy for “Dog Gone!”
Sierra Madre Rose Float Association, Mayor’s Trophy for “Catching the Big One”
South Pasadena Tournament of Roses

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