Need for Volunteers Blossoms as Pasadena's Rose Parade Floats Flower Up

Your guide to becoming a part of Pasadena history with 'Flower by Numbers'

Published : Friday, December 13, 2019 | 6:35 AM

There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer to work on Rose Parade floats as cities, companies and organizations are creating their Rose Parade entries on a year’s long work.

With only two and a half weeks to go before the 2020 Rose Parade, float builders are in high gear and the need for volunteers will skyrocket the day after Christmas.

Over the years many companies have relocated or found other bases of operation outside of Pasadena. And, by nature of the business, there’s so much work to be done in a short amount of time, companies, schools and organizations with the floats are putting out the call for assistance.

“It’s a challenging business to be in these days,” said Dave Evans of website. “Float builders need volunteers everywhere.”

“December 26th through New Year’s we kick things into overdrive,” said Will Kelso head of media relations for Phoenix Float Decoration. “Dry decorations began last Saturday and continue every Saturday until Christmas. Then on 26th through New Year’s we have two 8-hour shifts so we have our decorators come in and that’s where they’re putting on the beautiful flowers that you see.”

“Our company has been run by the Lofthouse family for many generations. That’s tradition. That’s what keeps Phoenix going is the sense of family and tradition.”

“Every year is a different animal,” Kelso said. “We’re constantly learning, constantly evolving. Even though the parade is 130-plus years, we continually learn and strive to make things better. Maybe that’s our secret to adjust with the times as needed.

And yes, there’s a custom-built chassis below the float that makes the basis for the float.

“From there they take artistic renditions and depending on that frame whether it’s a 15-foot-long float, or a 100-foot-long float, the insides are similar,” Kelso said.

The process is similar to “paint by numbers,” it’s along the same lines.

Phoenix, the Pasadena Float Decoration company is looking for volunteers. For details visit

But whether it’s to obtain school hours or to volunteer for fun, here’s a guide to where volunteers can get some hours helping the build:

Artistic Entertainment Services

Artistic Entertainment Services is asking for volunteers at the Rose Pavilion in Pasadena and the company is holding first and second shifts from December 26 through December 31, with three available shifts on Monday, December 30. Rose Pavilion is located at 700 Seco Street. Go here for more information:

Fiesta Parade Floats

Fiesta Parade Floats has a long history in the Rose Parade. Working with the Girl Scouts of America, Fiesta coordinates volunteers. Floral decorators must be at least 12 years old. Go here for more information:


The Downey Rose Float Association is asking for veteran, first-time and every other kind of volunteer in between for Deco Week, December 26 to 30. Volunteers are needed from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the Downey Rose Float Barn, at 13030 Erickson Drive, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. To volunteer, visit Volunteers are on a first-come, first-served basis and bring printed medical waivers . For more information email:

Sierra Madre

Sierra Madre Float Association is looking for volunteers for the Ka La Tiki Ola Float during Deco week Dec. 26 through Dec. 31. Ka la hiki ola means “Dawning of a New Day” in Hawaiian. For more see:

South Pasadena 

South Pasadena is seeking volunteers for the float. It’s a months-long process to build the core of the float but in South Pasadena, that’s what has been going on. But more will be needed during Deco Week, December 26 to 30, at the float site located at 435 Fair Oaks Avenue.  Sign up on site and for more information go here:

La Cañada Flintridge

The City of La Cañada Flintridge could use volunteers, for Tree Frog Night, but online registration is finished. Walk-ins are welcome, bring a printed waiver along:

Burbank Tournament of Roses Association

Burbank Tournament of Roses Association has a float and volunteers can come in and be a part of the team. Go here:

Not only can you build the float for Burbank, there’s a deconstruction volunteer activity as well: De-Construction: Even before they have finished building and decorating the float, the group are plans the Float De-Construction Work Party and BBQ Lunch.  Currently scheduled for Saturday, January 11, 2020 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. at the float barn. The float is built and decorated Burbank Water and Power yard at 123 W. Olive Ave, Burbank, CA 91502.

There are Burbank “Float Watch” opportunities as well.

Cal Poly Pomona and Cal Poly SLO

For people among the collegiate ranks, new friends can be made while decorating some of the collegiate set: Cal Poly Pomona and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, which have had floats in the parade since 1949, say the December 26 through 30 week is for decorating the floats. Volunteers are wanted to come and help build the float at the Rosemont Pavilion, at 700 Seco Street in Pasadena.

The Poly schools have had the longest-consecutive running self-built entries in the parade. To sign up to volunteer, visit or call (909) 869-3204. You may also email

More Information

For additional volunteer opportunities and more info go here:

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