PASADENA (CBSLA) – On Sunday, hundreds of people gathered to attend Floatfest, an annual tradition where attendees get the opportunity to view the floats that were featured in the Rose Parade up-close.
COVID-19 regulations didn’t hold many back either, as attendees were required to show either proof of vaccination or a recent negative test to get on the grounds, as well as required masks.READ MORE: Authorities Searching For Missing Teen Girl Allegedly Taken By Her Mother
Gates opened two hours early for senior citizens, who were granted the earliest opportunity to wake up and smell the flowers, while general admission ticket-holders were allowed in at 9 a.m. to view the thousands of flowers that adorned the floats that paraded down Colorado Boulevard on New Year’s Day.
One early morning attendee, Priscilla Fuchita, couldn’t resist pulling her mask down to get the full affect, “Oh, it is awesome. You just see the detail and the creativity, the imagination. I cheated and took my nose thing down a little bit to smell the flowers, it’s really a nice way to do it.”
Many attend Floatfest as an annual tradition, but Cathy Burkman, who hadn’t been since she was a child, couldn’t believe the true extent creators go to for detail and creativity. “It was fun as a kid to see it as a whole,” she said, “But when you’re an adult you can see all the specific details, up-close is different.”
The UPS Store took top honors in the 133rd Tournament of Roses Parade, winning the 2022 Sweepstakes Trophy for its entry “Rise, Shine & Read!’ featuring a proud father rooster reading to his family of chicks on a 35-foot-tall, 55-foot-long animated float.
The float, built by Irwindale-based Fiesta Parade Floats, demonstrates the importance of literacy.
The Sweepstakes Award honors the most beautiful entry encompassing float design, floral presentation and entertainment. UPS Store also won this honor in 2019 and 2020.
A factor well-considered when it comes to awarding the floats is not only their creativity, but their attention to detail, especially in regards to the parade’s annual theme.
Floatfest visitors, like Lynn Marecrk, were also appreciative of the little things when she got her up-close look at the larger than life floats, “I just love this, the creativity and how they use everything to bring it to life is just amazing. … We were noticing how there’s cabbages and bell peppers and all these exciting vegetables being used – things you wouldn’t notice on TV. I love the themes, how everybody creates something that fits the themes, this is just a little treasure for me.”
Creators and volunteers are grateful for the opportunity as well, as it gives the public a true chance to see all of the effort they put in to make something special. Pam Wiedenbeck, told CBS reporters that there’s a lot more than what can be seen during the parade, disclosing that this year, due to shortages from the pandemic, they dried and chopped fruits and vegetables to finish their creations.
Floatfest Chairman Robert Hickam offered a little bit of clarity into what this event means, not just to the staff but to the guests who attend from across the globe. “They come here from all over the country and sometimes all over the world. Sometimes just seeing the magic in their eyes when they see this up-close, it’s unlike anything that’s out there,” he said.
The other winning floats, 23 in all, are:
— Louisiana Travel “Feed Your Soul”
Wrigley Legacy Award for most outstanding display of floral presentation, float design and entertainment
— Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day “Seeding Tomorrow”
President’s Award for most outstanding use and presentation of flowers
— Lions Club International “Quest for Kindness”
Leishman Public Spirit Award for most outstanding floral presentation from a non-commercial participant
— Donate Life “Courage to Hope”
Extraordinaire Award for most extraordinary float
— AIDS Healthcare Foundation “Vaccinate Our World”
Queen’s Award for most outstanding presentation of roses
— RFD-TV/Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom “Wild Kingdom”
Director’s Award for most outstanding artistic design and use of floral and non-floral
— City of Torrance / Torrance Rose Float Association “The Embodiment of Nature”
Princess Award for most outstanding floral presentation among entries 35 feet and under in length
— Kaiser Permanente “A Healthier Future”
Theme Award for most outstanding presentation of the Rose Parade Theme
— Sierra Madre Rose Float Association “Nature’s Classroom”
Judges Award for most outstanding float design and dramatic impact
— City of Alhambra “School Rocks”
Tournament Volunteer Award for most outstanding floral presentation of the Rose Parade Theme among floats 35 feet and under in length
— City of Hope “Garden of Hopes and Dreams”
Past President’s Award for most outstanding innovation in the use of floral and non-floral materials
— The Michael D. Sewell Memorial Foundation “Saluting America’s Band Directors: We Teach Music. We Teach Life.”
Showmanship Award for most outstanding display of showmanship and entertainment
— California Physical Therapy Association “Physical Therapists Improve the Way You Move”
Grand Marshal Award for most outstanding creative concept and float design
— The Masked Singer “Anything Can Happen”
Isabella Coleman Award for most outstanding presentation of color and color harmony through floral design
— Reese’s University
“Chocolate. Peanut Butter. Success.”
Bob Hope Humor Award for most whimsical and amusing float
— Cal Poly Universities “Stargrazers”
Animation Award for most outstanding use of animation
— La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association “Who Says We Can’t?”
Crown City Innovator for most outstanding use of imagination, innovation and technology
— Western Asset “Let Imagination Be Your Guide”
Fantasy Award for most outstanding display of fantasy and imagination
— Trader Joe’s “You Are Invited”
Americana Award for most outstanding depiction of national treasures and traditions
— Wetzel’s Pretzels “California Cruisin”
Golden State Award for most outstanding depiction of life in California
— Burbank Tournament of Roses Association “An Unlikely Tale”
Mayor’s Award for most outstanding float from a participating city
— South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association “Sky’s the Limit”
Founder’s Award for most outstanding float built and decorated by volunteers from a community or organization
— China Airlines “Biking Around Taiwan”
International Award for most outstanding float from outside the United States
(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)