Have you ever wondered how the iconic Rose Parade in Pasadena, California manages to have fresh, vibrant flowers adorning their floats every year? As a popular event that draws in crowds from all over the world, it’s no surprise that people are curious about what goes on behind the scenes to keep those flowers looking perfect.
In this post, we’ll delve into the secrets of preserving and maintaining these beautiful blooms for one of America’s largest and most beloved Parades.
The Preparation Process
The process of keeping flowers fresh for the Rose Parade starts months before New Year’s Day. The official float builders begin by selecting and ordering thousands of flower varieties from all around the world. These flowers are then grown specifically for use on parade floats, ensuring that they will be at their peak freshness on Parade Day.
Refrigeration is Key
When it comes to keeping the flowers fresh for the Rose Parade, one of the biggest secrets lies in refrigeration. The process of refrigeration involves storing the flowers at a specific temperature, usually between 33-37 degrees Fahrenheit, to slow down their natural aging process.
The flowers used in the Rose Parade are meticulously hand-picked and arranged by skilled florists. These delicate blooms go through an extensive journey before they reach their final destination on the parade floats. From being cut from nurseries all over California and around the world to being shipped and delivered to float builders, these flowers are exposed to various environmental conditions that can cause them to wilt quickly.
That’s where refrigeration comes in. By storing the flowers at a cool temperature, it helps to preserve their freshness and extend their lifespan. This is especially crucial for flowers like roses, which are highly sensitive to heat and can start wilting within hours.
But it’s not just about keeping the temperature low. The refrigerated trucks used for transporting the flowers also have controlled humidity levels, ensuring that the blooms stay hydrated and do not dry out during transit.
Moreover, float builders have dedicated refrigerated rooms where they store the flowers until they’re ready to be used. This allows them to carefully regulate the temperature and ensure that each flower stays in peak condition until it’s debut.
Water Tubes & Floral Foam
When it comes to keeping flowers fresh for the Rose Parade, another key method used is through the use of water tubes and floral foam. These innovative tools play a crucial role in preserving and maintaining the delicate petals and blooms that adorn the floats.
Water tubes, also known as water picks, are small plastic tubes filled with water that are attached to each individual flower stem. These tubes not only provide a constant source of hydration for the flowers, but they also act as a barrier between the stem and any harmful bacteria that may be present in the surrounding environment.
Floral foam, on the other hand, is a special type of foam specifically designed for flower arranging. This foam is made up of tiny cells that can absorb and hold large amounts of water. When placed in a container filled with water, floral foam becomes saturated and provides a continuous supply of moisture to the flowers.
So how do these two tools work together to keep the flowers fresh? Firstly, water tubes ensure that each flower has access to water at all times. This is especially important during long parades where the flowers may be exposed to harsh weather conditions such as heat or wind. The constant supply of water keeps them hydrated and prevents wilting.
Additionally, floral foam acts as an anchor for both individual stems and entire arrangements.
Spritzing & Mist Machines
Another method used to maintain freshness during float decorating is spritzing bottles. They are filled with a mixture of water and flower-friendly preservatives and are used on all surfaces where flowers will be placed. For larger floats that have more complex designs where manual spritzing may not be possible, mist machines are used instead.
Touch-Ups Before the Parade
To ensure that all flowers look their absolute best, a team of volunteers armed with spritz bottles give the floats a final touch-up right before they roll out onto the parade route. This involves carefully inspecting and spritzing each flower on every float to guarantee freshness until they reach their final destination.
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As you can see, keeping flowers fresh for the Rose Parade is no easy feat. It takes months of preparation, refrigeration, and careful maintenance to ensure that each bloom looks its best for this special event. Next time you watch the parade, take a moment to appreciate not only the beauty of the floats but also the hard work and dedication that goes into preserving those gorgeous flowers. And if you’re planning on attending in person, be sure to book your Rose Parade Tour with A la Carte Tours early, as it’s an experience you won’t want to miss!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do they keep the flowers fresh for the Rose Parade?
The flowers are stored in refrigerated rooms and transported in refrigerated trucks to maintain a specific temperature, slowing down their natural aging process.
Why is refrigeration important for preserving the flowers?
Refrigeration helps to preserve the freshness of the flowers and extend their lifespan, especially sensitive flowers like roses which can wilt quickly in higher temperatures.
What are water tubes and floral foam used for?
Water tubes provide a constant source of hydration for the flowers and act as a barrier against harmful bacteria. Floral foam absorbs and holds water, providing continuous moisture to the flowers.
How do water tubes and floral foam work together to keep the flowers fresh?
Water tubes ensure that each flower has access to water at all times, preventing wilting. Floral foam acts as an anchor for the flowers and arrangements, keeping them in place and hydrated.
How do they maintain freshness during float decorating?
Spritzing bottles filled with a water and a preservative mixture are used regularly on all surfaces where flowers will be placed. For larger floats, mist machines are used instead. Volunteers also give the floats a final touch-up before the parade with spritz bottles to guarantee freshness.