Grace Mack ‘20 and her brothers Colby ‘24 and Tristan ‘24 spent a large portion of their Winter Break designing a float for the 2022 Rose Parade with an homage to TBS.
Upper school social studies teacher Anne Franzen, who worked on the float with her three children, said the town of LaCanada, California creates a float for the Rose Parade every year.
“Orange and blue flowers were given in the name of Benjamin for this year’s float,” said Franzen.
“The entire process to create a float starts in January, when a theme is released by the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, CA. Then, ideas are submitted to the LaCanada committee, and one design is chosen. The theme for this years' parade was ‘Dream, Believe, Achieve.’ The design concept was ‘who says we can't?’ and included an animated skatepark with old dogs who could learn new tricks,” said Franzen.
Volunteer engineers from Jet Propulsion Laboratory spent all summer rebuilding the chassis and creating the animation of the float before covering it with chicken wire, styrofoam, and paint for the design. The dogs were molded and sculpted, and then set on rollers to move throughout the float.
“The fun starts the day after Christmas,” said Franzen. “Volunteers come from all over the country for ‘deco week.’ The rules for the parade are that 100 percent of the visible float must be covered in living material. The first days of decorating are seed work to match the colors of the base of the float, flowers, especially roses, go on the day before the parade.”
Franzen said over 1,000 hours of labor go into decorating the float. The Franzen family spent all of deco week working on the float.
“We were assigned the satellite of the float - a sheepdog riding a jetski. First, he was covered in pampas grass, then his lifejacket had yellow carnations. The jetski was covered in yellow and red carnations, and the ‘water’ was covered in baby's breath, blue hydrangeas, and blue irises. It took over 100 hours to create the satellite from start to finish,” said Franzen.
The LaCanada float won the Crown City Innovator Award, which recognizes outstanding use of imagination, innovation, and technology.