Lions Club Rose Bowl Parade Float. Pictured with the Lions Club Rose Bowl Parade Float in Pasadena, California, are from left, Mark, Anita, Kimberly and Ryan Krutsinger; Stacey and Tyler Houser and their granddaughter Mackenzie Matthias (in front).
Anita Krutsinger, owner of the Arthur Flower Shop, and her sister Stacy Houser had the distinct honor of working on the Lions Club float for the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California on Monday, December 30. Since 1994 the Lions Club International has had a float in the parade which is 5.5 miles long.
It takes one year the build the float with the design plans being submitted by February followed by the committees approval at the end of March.
The chassis is the first thing to be built and must be tested to make sure it is drivable. Next the design is constructed on the float and it’s not until December 1 that the decorating starts. The seeds, pods, berries and dried materials are placed first followed by the fresh flowers but not until December 30 which is the part Anita and Stacy got to be a part of.
This years theme was “The Power of Hope.” Hope for 20/20…one of the services the Lions Club provides is help people with eye glasses that can’t afford them and screen almost two million children yearly.
The float this year had a lion cub and an owl with glasses reading the Book of Hope as the organizations goal is to cure blindness.
Parade rules for the floats require all decorations be some part of a living plant such as seeds, bark, leaves, fibers, nuts, vegetables, petals and blooms.
A total of 21 floats were being built in the warehouse where they were with no heat to keep the flowers fresher. Two different sections of people were working on the flowers to ge them ready to use. The flowers were cut short and placed in a water pick and then placed on a styrofoam tray, counted and tagged. Every time we went to get a tray of flowers, they would be charged to that float account.
We would take one section starting at the top and fill in the space. Stacy would hand me the flowers and then I would place them in the base which was made of styrofoam so it was hard to get the water pick placed securely.
The float had to be completed on Monday night and we worked from 3:30-9:00 pm. Tuesday was for judging and Wednesday the parade. The driver of the float sits underneath and he has to get in it on Tuesday evening and stays there all night and up until the parade is over. He is allowed to have a sleeping bad and food underneath with him but not sure of restroom facilities.
The Lions Club float was 35’ long and 30 roses cover 1-square foot on the float. The float used 52,000 flowers which were red, hot pink, light pink and white roses, hot pink and orange Gerbreas, Springri, and Pompoms. The Lion was made out of Pompus Grass.
The parade had a total of 42 floats with 500,000 roses alone were used. Other flowers we saw included orchids, birds of paradise, anthurium, iris, glads and statice.
Anita and Stacy both said it was an awesome and amazing experience to work on the float.