We can see the floats!
They are huge creations of metal, styrofoam, and floral materials, all in varying states of completion. Some look particularly abstract at this stage. We can make out a giant football shape. And a dragon. And gigantic flowers that will be made from other flowers.
I feel like a child who is experiencing Disney World for the first time.
That initial excitement doesn’t fade for me as the day goes on. Buckets of flowers begin to appear, ready to be cut and placed into individual water vials. Hundreds of stacks of vials on styrofoam pallets are bordering a fence outside, and we soon realize the volume of flowers that we will be encountering.
As we begin to explore the warehouse, we are greeted by a Parade staffer who shares her knowledge on how the floats are prepared and how much work is left to be done. We continue to walk through the warehouse, wide eyed with excitement as we view the six floats that are being built in the facility. We then search out jobs that we can help with.
Some Road Scholars begin to glue almonds along giant leaves. Others are adhering shredded coconut onto enormous white flowers. Many of us have the opportunity to begin adding bark onto what will soon be a “tree,” and a few have found their niche by gluing pumpkin seeds to the official Rose Bowl football team floats.