Sunday, December 30, 2007

Mom's Day so Far

Mom deserted us today again. Mom belongs to a walking club, and she walked 10K yesterday, and then today, she worked at the table - signing the walkers in and stamping their books. After that, she was going to go work on one of the Rose Parade Floats - she has done this before, and it is a lot of fun, but she was really tired after having to get up 2 days in a row, so she just took some pictures of the float.

This is the artist's rendering of the Sierra Madre float. Sierra Madre is one of the towns around Pasadena. Sierra Madre's float is only one of 6 that are not made by professional float builders. The float is entirely made and paid for by volunteers.

This is as you first go into the float "barn." The theme of this year's Rose Parade is Celebrations Around the World. Sierra Madre chose to Celebrate Valentine's Day because of its close association with roses and flowers.

Here are some of the volunteers putting some of the finishing touches on the float. It is amazing how much they got done in just one day. The volunteers work 24 hours a day from December 26th to the 31st. Some of the non-perishable items (such as seeds, beans, bark, etc.) can be prepared before the big work week, but all of the flowers need to be put on the float within one -two days before the parade, so they won't wilt.
When Mom first saw the float yesterday, none of the hearts filled with flowers had been put on the float, and the swans wings had not been finished. It looked like they were covering the swans with potato flakes. Everything on the float must be organic in nature. Years ago, Mom worked on a float for GM that was a giant race car, and because part of the wheels touched the ground, they had to get special permission from the Rose Parade Committee to not cover that part of the float so they would have traction, but everything else, including the rest of the wheels had to be covered (they used seaweed sheets to cover the wheels).

The floats are judged at least twice during the week proceeding the parade. During the first judging, the float must be about 70% completed, and everyone has to leave the building. During the second judging which should take place tomorrow, the float must be almost finished and anyone riding on the float must be in their places in costume. When it is taken over to the staging area before the parade, the final judging takes place with any animation that occurs.
Most of the floats are completed in a series of "barns" in Pasadena. People can take tours to watch the floats being built, and there are usually between 5 - 10 floats being worked on in each building. Because the Sierra Madre float is being built by volunteers, and it is being built in Sierra Madre, it is the only one in this "barn."
Mom has only seen the parade once in person, when her niece was marching in the USC Band a couple of years ago. She said it was nice to see in person, but it is much warmer in bed with something warm to drink, and the nice TV coverage that allows for a lot more detail.
She wants to go back to working on the floats because it is so much fun (and messy) but we don't want her to, because that means she will be gone from us. Maybe next year.


Tigger the FBI Cat said...

Crikey! We don't ahve thsoe over here but we have slways seen them on the TV.

Mom probably saw them when she was a little girl in California, but she doesn't remember.

DaisyMae Maus said...

Oh, wow! It's furry cool that your momma is a volunteer float decorator ... My momma's friend used to do that as a church activity. They were called the "Petal Pushers" ... but that was a really long time ago.

Mom walks in events here in San Diego an' is "resolving" to do more daily walking in 2008. The most she's ever done is a 1/2 marathon ... She walked a toenail off (it's grown back though).

Happy New Year!
DMM and the Feline Americans

Zippy, Sadie and Speedy said...

Wow, we neffur knowed anyone who akshooally worked on one of da floats. Mom and dad have scambled eggs, toast and mimosas and watch dat parade every year! It's der tradition and dey has been doing it for about 20 years or more! Someday mom would like to go in person cuz she sez it must smell incredibul as dem floats go by.

Junior said...

That is a gorgeous float! Meowm watched a show on HGTV one year that showed how they make the floats and she got an idea of how much work goes into them. She was very impressed! Give your Mom extra purrs and snuggles when she gets home cause what she is doing is wonderful!

Daisy said...

That is a really beautiful float! Many, many, many years ago (more than 25!) when my Mommie was in high school in Mission Viejo, she got to work on a Rose Parade float. She will always remember that.

Millie said...

Nice to meet you all! I have added you to my list so I can visit often. My mom is arty, and she would love to see one of these floats close up, and she thinks it would be cool to help work on one! But we are far away in New Hampster so the closest we ever get to the Rose Parade is to watch it on the picture box.

It's very interesting that you guys like sleeping with your woofie, Camie.

Happy New Year!