Published : Monday, December 30, 2019 | 6:14 AM
KTLA Rose Parade coverage host Leeza Gibbons and her Channel 5 crew visited float volunteers working on the floral masterpieces that will glide down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena’s 131st annual Rose Parade on Wednesday.
Gibbons, Mark Steines and Micah Ohlman, who will co-host the local broadcast, were on hand to meet and greet different groups at the Phoenix Decorating Company hangar, to learn about the entrants, and to take lots of notes.
Gibbons and Steines took over for longtime KTLA Rose Parade hosts Stephanie Edwards and Bob Eubanks in 2017 and have become a broadcast cornerstone for parade viewers at home. KTLA has been covering the Rose Parade for 72 consecutive years.
“The Rose Parade is like comfort food for us,” Gibbons told Pasadena Now. “It’s such an iconic tradition that grounds us in what we stand for, which is community.”
And community was clearly represented as hundreds of volunteers were on hand for Decoration Week, taking place now through Tuesday night, December 31.
Floats from groups ranging from Kiwanis and Rotary to Trader Joe’s and Mrs. Meyers Clean Day were being decked out with seeds and flowers from all over. People from Pasadena and beyond come to affix the flowers on the floats while others take pictures and admire the work.
Also on hand was Lauren “Emi” Powers, a member of the 2017 Royal Court, who works with KTLA.
The tradition is something that is cherished by all, Gibbons said. She said seeing the floats and meeting the volunteers is something she and her crew look forward to every year. And this year’s theme, “The Power of Hope” is particularly poignant and is something to which everyone can relate.
“This year’s theme being ‘The Power of Hope’ is especially resonating at this time in our culture,” Gibbons said. “We need to be focused on hope for the future, hope for scientific research, hope for recognizing caregivers, hope for our resilience as humans and that’s what we see on all these floats.”
And, she said, hope comes in different forms.
“I love to see the interpretations of what hope stands for,” Gibbons said. “How personal it is and how universal it is.”
For more about KTLA coverage of the Rose Parade, click here.
The 131st Rose Parade takes place on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2020 in Pasadena, California