LocationAlhambra , CA United States
Alhambra, Ca. — October 24, 2018 — As we prepare to enter the holiday season, it is also time to recruit volunteers to decorate the City of Alhambra’s Rose Parade float. The City of Alhambra and the Alhambra Chamber of Commerce have been working on the annual process of selecting a float design and beginning construction for several months now, but this year the design process was helped with the expertise of 5th grade students in Alhambra.
In March, the City of Alhambra launched a contest to help design the City’s 2019 Rose Parade float. Each year, the Rose Parade unveils a new theme, and each float sponsor is expected to come up with a design for their float that works in harmony with the theme of the parade. The theme for the 2019 Rose Parade is “The Melody of Life”, which revolves around the universal language of music and how music shapes our lives.
With this year’s theme focused on music, the design contest was opened to any 5th grader in an elementary school in the City of Alhambra, because 5th graders are some of the youngest students that are exposed to music lessons in schools, and they have great imaginations!
From the dozens of submissions received, the drawing that stood out the most was created by Miss Grace Blackwell of St. Therese School. She drew a float that featured a “gingerbread” style cottage with trees full of singing birds all around, and a mother standing outside holding her baby and singing along with the birds. The drawing was then adapted into a 35-foot long Rose Parade float entitled “Home Tweet Home”, as the cottage was designed into a Victorian-era birdhouse with a family of birds singing, chirping and tweeting along to their own melody.
At this time, the “Home Tweet Home” float is built, and sitting in a float barn in Irwindale, waiting to be decorated in December. There are several volunteer opportunities to decorate the City of Alhambra’s float, starting with Dry Decoration days in December. Dry decorating consists of working with dried organic material like seeds, beans, legumes, corn husks, rice, and dried flower petals. These materials help create the different textures of a float design, and since they are dried, they are applied well before the parade on January 1st.
Dry Decorating dates are the first four Saturdays in December, the 1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd, and the decorating shift is from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Volunteers are asked to work for the entire shift, as there is a bit of a learning curve to successfully applying seeds to float with glue. The intensive week-long floral decorating period begins on Wednesday, December 26th through Sunday, December 30th, with two shifts per day: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
Volunteers should plan to dress warmly in layers, but wearing clothes that you don’t mind getting ruined with glue, seeds, and flower petals. Closed-toe shoes are required for safety, and all volunteers must be 13 years of age or older.
To register to volunteer, visit the City of Alhambra’s website at www.cityofalhambra.org or call the Alhambra Park office at (626) 570-3242.
Matthew Cuevas, Management Analyst (City of Alhambra)