More than a century after the first Rose Parade in Pasadena, California kicked off for the first time, many wonder exactly how many flowers are part of the iconic long-running event.
According to MapQuest, an estimated 18 million flowers are used on the floats in the Rose Parade. Lyn Lofthouse, floral decorator at Phoenix Decorating Company, told HGTV that one large float could have as many as 60,000 roses.
“We use Gerberas, carnations, orchids, and things you’d see in a garden,” Lofthouse said about the different flowers used. “Like snapdragons, delphiniums, and Canterbury bells. We also use pampas grass and buffalo grass, plus dried materials.”
Lofthouse also stated that Phoenix builds floats for companies such as Wells Fargo, eHarmoney, and American Honda. “When the floats come back to our building, we disassemble them and have a crew who throws the roses away. We’ve had companies who’ve tried to salvage the petals for potpourri, but they’re pretty dead by the time they get back here.”
MapQuest further reports that the Rose Prade is attended annually by around 700,000 spectators. It is part of “America’s New Year’s Day” celebration. This includes the Rose Bowl Game, which is considered the oldest bowl game in college football. The teams playing in the bowl game this year are the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Michigan Wolverines. The game will start at 5 p.m.
Al Roker Talks Covering the Rose Parade Following Health Scares
Prior to the step off of this year’s Rose Parade, Al Roker spoke to Parade about covering the iconic event after dealing with health scares.
When asked what stands out about the Rose Parade for him, Roker had some thoughts. “It’s like a pu pu platter of stuff because, first of all, the floats are unbelievable,” he explained. “The idea that every square inch of the float has to be covered in an organic material—it’s flowers, seeds, nuts, shells or other plant material—there’s no paint, cloth or anything. It takes literally thousands of people hours to cover each float with these things.”
Roker also said there are different participants. You’ve got all these equestrian groups. You’ve got antique automobiles. It’s probably one of the most diverse, from a display standpoint, of any parade in the world. throughout the Rose Parade.”
Roker added that his best memories are alongside his Today co-host Hoda Kotb. “We’ve known each other for so long, we can finish each other’s sentences. Getting to do something like that live, you just don’t get to do that that often. It’s very special that you can work with somebody for two hours of live television, bring an event to the country, and have a blast doing it.”