Monday, November 1, 2010

Portland Rose Festival Grand Parade float design excursion

BYU IDAHO floral students and faculty get to play before the parade!

In June, for the past three years, BYU Idaho Floral Design students and faculty have travelled to Portland, Oregon, to help do the floral design work on floats for the Grand Floral Parade. It has been a great place to practice the training students receive, and we have been able to perform quite a service as specialized volunteers for the event. If there were no volunteers in Portland, there would be no parade. As it is, there is a small army of help that shows up. This year most of them were Mormon missionaries serving in the Portland Oregon area on a full-time 18 month or two year volunteer mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. There were dozens who showed up to help glue, pin, paint, stick, cut...
There are many other loyal volunteers from the greater Portland community who likewise give time to help make the event beautiful.

One of the rules about the parade floats is that all surfaces must be covered with plant materials. This requires some pretty detailed and creative use of seeds, bark, leaves, fruits--in fact just about anything that has the right texture or color ends up on a float.

These volunteers are covering the letters and surface of a sign with seeds. This sign alone took hours to complete.

Volunteers are detailing these signs for a float supporting the local Hispanic community

¿ What do poppy seeds and popcorn have in common...

with dried pineapple...

and candied mango?

Can you see where they were used? Notice the belly covered with ground dried red peppers.

Many of the volunteer time is spent on scaffolds, here several missionaries are covering leaves.

Volunteers pin fir branch tips onto a foam base. You can see the square container caged and ready to accept flowers in the left center of the photo.

And here is the same float nearly complete.

The dragon is spectacular already,

but look how much a few flowers can add.

These boots are made for walking, but the rose parade calls for ROSES!

and then a little more of the patriotic mix of colors.

Many flowers are placed in water pics to help them last and stay securely on the float.

Here they will give an illusion of waves of water.

This one is almost ready for the judges.

Every stem that is inserted in a cage on a float has to be glued in place, as well as inserted in floral foam. No that is not honey!

Here we are after days of work, we take a quick walk before the parade begins, after the floats have been driven a few miles over the freeway (we have to design for the wind), then we jump in the car and drive more than a dozen hours to get back home to Rexburg that night.

Thanks to the 2010 BYUI design crew, ready to head out.
We also send a team to the Pasadena Rose Parade to help with some of the much larger floats there. That will have to wait for another post...
...and, by the way, the floats we worked on won the top honors two years in a row!!!


Jenks Jive said...

These are amazing! Who knew so much work went into the floats.

Momma Kaye said...

What awesome photos. I'm glad I just happened upon your website!