Behind the Scenes at the Rose Parade

Behind the Scenes Feature

Upon arrival in sunny (but chilly) California, our first order of business was heading to the decorating site to get a behind the scenes look at the float-building process. What better way to ring in the New Year with a celebration of flower-covered floats that’s more than a century old? It is definitely more than roses!

decorating places badge


The pre-parade period was packed with float-making magic – and you wouldn’t believe how much time, effort, and attention to detail goes into each and every component of the Rose Parade.

Accordingly, FTD puts in more than 1,120 hours of labor to decorate their vehicles in the Rose Parade. This year there were six historical vehicles – one for the Mayor, Tournament of Roses President, Grand Marshal, and more. Each is decorated with nearly 20 different types of flowers and stems and — get this — more than 300 pounds worth of foliage!


flowers for decor




Jessica and I had a chance to help with a few finishing touches to the President’s vehicle, but we left the bulk of the “heavy lifting” to the experts. Instead, we handed out hundreds of festive flowers to those in attendance. Aren’t these Oregon-colored roses gorgeous?




jess president's car




One of my favorites was the Grand Marshal’s VIP vehicle – it contained a variety of nearly 1,200 flowers. We watched as a talented team of FTD florists closely decorated the vehicle, with the last step being to add hydrangea-covered Olympic rings to honor the late Louis Zamperini.


olympic rings decorating


grand marshal car


For more photos and footage from the Tournament of Roses Parade, be sure to visit FTD’s Instagram account.


instagramming the flowers


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