The Tournament of Roses Parade is all about floral floats, but floats are not the only modes of transportation covered in flowers at the Rose Parade. Horses have garlands and nosegays, too. And then there are the celebrity conveyances—cars and carriages all decked out with roses, colorful blooms, and greenery.
The Rose Parade does not have a long list of celebrity guests like the Hollywood Christmas Parade. There are only four: the Grand Marshal, the Tournament of Roses President and her family, the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame inductees, and the Mayor of Pasadena. The mayor has received this honor more than once; Bill Bogaard has ridden in the parade with his family some 16 times.
FTD floral designer J. Keith White, AIFD CFD, designed the presentation on the seven cars and one carriage that appeared in the 2013 Rose Parade. Photos and descriptions are in the list attached to this article.
As the final touches are put on the vehicles, the celebrities try them on for size. “Jane Goodall, Sally Bixby try out their Rose Parade rides” has the story and photos of the Grand Marshal and 2013 President, Sally M. Bixby.
Since the vehicles are often antique, classic, or rare automobiles, parade-goers often wonder about how mounting huge bouquets affects the paint jobs. There is a special—and secret—process that White uses to ensure that the cars return to their owners in pristine condition.
Prior to White taking over the decoration of vehicles for the Tournament of Roses, Els Hazenberg flew in from her family’s flower farm in Aalsmeer, the Netherlands to design and prepare the cars for the Rose Parade. She and her husband, George, worked on the parade from 1978 until their retirement in 2007. She handpicked White as her successor, and he worked with her for three years before she turned over the reins.
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