On the start of Thanksgiving break I volunteered for the Rose Parade. While volunteering there, I witnessed how complete strangers from Riverside came together as a community and helped put a beautiful creation together.
The Rose Parade started in the Winter of 1890, the club members of the Valley Hunt Club started brainstorming ways to promote the “Mediterranean of the West”. They invited their former East Coast neighbors and they could enjoy a collection of games such as chariot races, foot races, jousting, polo, and tug-of-war. The fresh flowers, even during the winter, promoted the club to add another showcase to it all. In the beginning the floats were simply pulled by cars and such, but the Rose Parade has grown so much the floats have gotten bigger and better than ever (“History Of The Tournament Of Roses Association” https://www.tournamentofroses.com).
At the event, I took different types of dried up flowers, and cut the flower petals off. During the process you had to be extra careful and make sure that you didn’t get any of the pollen or leaves mixed in with the petals. The flowers that our volunteer group was assigned to were Yellow Straw Flowers. The Yellow Straw Flowers are flowers which the petals are made up of different, vibrant shades of yellow, orange, and red. Luckily, we didn’t have to sort the petals by color.
While working, everyone got to see a variety of different types of floats that were in the process of being built. The Riverside float which is going to be joining the Rose Parade since their last float in 1959, is a model of a section of the Downtown Riverside Mission Inn. The float is going to be based off of the Mission Inn in celebration of the 25th Annual Festival Of Lights. Some of the other floats that were being built included Kaiser Permanente, Honda Motor Company, Kiwanis International, and Shriners Hospital For Children.
To see more of the Rose Parade Float Participants go to: https://www.tournamentofroses.com/news/2018-float-participants-announced
During the process of working, I was able to meet a Girl Scout troop who came together as a team to get the job done. The mayor of Riverside, Rusty Bailey also dropped in to get some of the flower-cutting done, he also walked around thanking everyone for their hard work and for volunteering for this special event. In the end, it goes to show that events like this, bring the community together and create new friendships.
See all the cool photos from the parade below!