Story Summary

Rose Parade 2013 #6 – Donate Life and Department of Defense Floats

Gayle Anderson was live in Pasadena with a preview of the 124th Rose Parade presented by Honda Tuesday, January 1st, 2013 at 8:00 a.m. (PST). This year’s theme, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” features a spectacular display of floral floats, marching bands, and high-stepping equestrian units. The Rose Parade began in 1890 when members of Pasadena’s Valley Hunt Club covered their horse-drawn carriages with fresh-cut flowers from their garden in celebration of the mild winter weather of the West. Today, the Rose Parade’s breathtaking floats tout the world’s rare and exotic flowers and showcase the best in animated technology.

Curbside viewing of the 2013 Rose Parade in designated areas is FREE and available first-come, first-served. Pasadena city ordinance allows the occupancy of curbside space along the parade route beginning at noon on the day before the parade. Grandstand tickets are available through Sharp Seating Company, the official grandstand seating provider, through December 31st. Every person, regardless of age, must have a ticket to sit in the grandstands. However, if a child is two years of age or younger, he/she may sit on an adult’s lap. If not seated on an adult’s lap, each child must have a ticket. For tickets, please call (626) 795-4171.

The Rose Parade, along with the Rose Bowl Game are part of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, a celebration more than a century old of flowers, music, and sports held annually on New Year’s Day. The Tournament is more than just a parade and football game. It’s America’s New Year Celebration, a greeting to the world on the first day of the year, and a salute to the community spirit and love of pageantry that have thrived in Pasadena for more than a century. The Tournament of Roses Association, a volunteer organization dedicated to presenting an internationally recognized New Year’s celebration, supplies 935 volunteer members who contribute about 80,000 hours of combined manpower each year. Each volunteer is assigned to one of 35 committees, with responsibilities ranging from selecting parade participants to directing visitors on New Year’s Day, to serving hamburgers to band members at the end of the parade route, to giving presentations about the Tournament to community groups. Nicknamed “White Suiters” because of the distinctive white uniform every volunteer wears, these community-spirited men and women give up their evenings, weekends and holidays to ensure the success of the Parade and Game. A small full-time staff provides support and continuity to the volunteer organization.


Each year, Phoenix Decorating Company builds the widest range of floats, from the largest to the smallest. In most years, Phoenix is the largest builder of floats, creating more than all other commercial builders combined. For the 124th Rose Parade, Phoenix is building 20 floats for clients, such as Honda, the City of Los Angeles, the City of Glendale, Wells Fargo, Farmers Insurance, Trader Joe’s, Shriner’s Hospital, Rotary International, and Kiwanis International.

Phoenix’s reputation is largely the result of the company’s years of experience in the float industry. Late Phoenix Decorating Company Founder, Bill Lofthouse was involved in Rose Parade float building since 1956.  Company president, Chris Lofthouse has been a part of the float industry his entire life. The group of designers, builders and decorators who create the company’s floats represent more years of parade experience than can be found at any other firm.

As the largest buyer of flowers for the Rose Parade, Phoenix has its pick of the best blossoms around the world and even has its own growers to meet many of its decorating requirements.

Phoenix is also the only builder with permanent locations in Pasadena. All float construction and decoration takes place at its two facilities, each situated within minutes of the parade route and Tournament of Roses headquarters. These sites, the Rose Palace and Rosemont Pavilion, are also specifically designed to accommodate public viewing of float decoration. You can experience the magic of the floats before they make their debut in the 2013 Rose Parade presented by Honda by getting a backstage glimpse of the floral floats in their final stages of preparation where you will see an assortment of fruit, seeds, bark, grasses and flowers being applied to the floats by skilled professionals and hardworking volunteers.

Public float viewing will be held rain or shine at three locations: at the Rosemont Pavilion and Brookside Pavilion, located across from the Rose Bowl Stadium, and the Rose Palace in Pasadena. The Rosemont Pavilion is located at 700 Seco Street in  Pasadena. Accessible to disabled visitors, Brookside Pavilion is located at Lot 1 on the south side of the Rose Bowl Stadium. The Rose Palace is located at 835 South Raymond Avenue in Pasadena.

The public float viewing schedule before the 2013 Rose Parade is as follows:

Rosemont Pavilion/Brookside Pavilion:

Friday, December 28th and Saturday, December 29th- 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 30th- 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Monday, December 31st- 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.


Rose Palace:

Friday, December 28th- Sunday, December 30th- 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Monday, December 31st- 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Advance tickets for the public float viewing are available through Sharp Seating Company at (626) 795-4171. Tickets are $10. Admission is FREE for children age 5 and under.


Don’t miss the Post Parade: A Showcase of Floats presented by Miracle Gro, which is a unique opportunity to get up close to the beauty and splendor of the Rose Parade floats after they have made their appearance on Colorado Boulevard. The Post Parade will be located approximately at Sierra Madre Boulevard and Washington Street.


The Post Parade schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, January 1st- 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (general public)

Wednesday, January 2nd- 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. (for senior citizens and disabled visitors) and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (general public)

Admission is $10 and FREE for children age 5 and under. Ticket sales end at 3:00 p.m. The venue closes at 5:00 p.m. Advance tickets are available by calling Sharp Seating Company at (626)795-4171.

Please allow two hours for this display and don’t forget your camera! Comfortable walking shoes are suggested. Due to the popularity of the event, early arrival is suggested. NO PETS OR BIKES ALLOWED. This event is rain or shine. Use of the Park-N-Ride shuttle is strongly recommended. Guests using shuttles enter the event through a priority line. Shuttle fare is $3 per person, round-trip and FREE for children age 5 and under. Ticket sales at Park-N-Ride locations ends at 2:30 p.m.

Shuttle service will be available from three locations in Pasadena:

Pasadena City College
1570 East Colorado Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91106
(Enter off Del Mar Boulevard or Bonnie near corner of Hill Avenue)


Community Education Center
3035 East Foothill Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91107
(Enter off Foothill Boulevard, West of Sierra Madre Villa)


Rose Bowl Stadium (Wednesday, January 2nd ONLY)
1001 Rose Bowl Drive
Pasadena, CA 91103
(Lot F)


 Today, Gayle took a look at the DONATE LIFE and DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FLOATS. This year’s parade theme derived from Dr. Seuss’s “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” inspired DONATE LIFE to dramatize the celebration, reverence, love and courage that define the human experience of organ and tissue donation and transplantation. The places we go range from the highest of highs, to the lowest of lows, to every point in between. The ups and downs of life teach us many lessons, with those experienced through organ and tissue donation and transplantation being among the most profound. Donor families pass through grief on the way to peace and remembrance; living donors step forward to give love and life to others; and transplant recipients courageously move from harrowing illness to health and gratitude. The tenth Donate Life Rose Parade float, “Journeys of the Heart,” shows how we are all connected even if our paths vary from the places we start. “Journeys of the Heart” measures 29 feet high, 18 feet wide, and 55 feet long and will transport 30 riders representing deceased organ, eye and tissue donors, living donors, and transplant recipients through a magical, heart-filled world encompassing the highs and lows that life has to offer. A pathway of looping hearts is lined with 72 memorial floragraph portraits of deceased donors who are remembered every step of the way. The float’s collection of joyful hearts representing the new life made possible by transplantation is grounded by a reverent dedication garden filled with roses bearing personal messages honoring those who make the gift of life possible. The journey peaks with intertwined red and purple hearts representing the love and courage that define humanity at its best. Donate Life urges viewers to take their own “Journey of the Heart” by joining America’s 105 million registered donors so everyone whose life depends on a transplant can have one. Sign up when renewing your driver’s license or state I.D. or by visiting

Donate Life is a national brand for donation supported by national organizations and state teams dedicated to motivating the American public to register now as organ, eye and tissue donors. Hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life in every corner of the country are in need of life-saving and healing gifts that are possible only through organ, eye and tissue. The Donate Life Rose Parade Float national campaign is coordinated by OneLegacy, the non-profit, federally designated organ and tissue recovery agency serving the seven-county greater Los Angeles area, and is supported by more than 100 official sponsors nationwide, including organ and tissue recovery organizations, tissue banks, state donor registries, transplant centers, hospitals, funeral homes and affiliated organizations. Joining OneLegacy as top-level benefactors are the Dignity Memorial® network, North America’s largest network of funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers; the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB); Donate Life America; TBI/Tissue Banks International; the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) and the National Donor Memorial.

While decidedly less whimsical than most other entrants, the Department of Defense 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee float, “Freedom Is Not Free,” commemorates America’s intervention on the Korean peninsula. In 1950 at the start of the war, Korea was a distant place unknown to most Americans; thus the phrase inscribed on the Korean War Memorial, “They Went to a Place They Didn’t Know to Defend a People They had Never Met.” By 1953, many more Americans were aware of the Republic of Korea and the plight of the Korean people. This float is significant to the Department of Defense because the Korean War marked the United States’ and United Nations’ blunt refusal to accept the Communist invasion of South Korea. It was the first “hot” war of the Cold War and the first real test of the fledgling United Nation’s resolve demonstrating to the world and to the Communist bloc that bold, naked aggression would not be tolerated. It also marked the first war in which the US military’s units were fully desegregated. Our float and our float riders reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the units who fought so bravely in the Korean War. The theme is also very emotionally charged for Korean War Veteran riders on the float; as it represents their sacrifices and those of their comrades, some of whom made the ultimate sacrifice and never returned home.

“Freedom Is Not Free” measures 21 feet high, 18 feet wide, and 55 feet long and commemorates the selfless sacrifices of the Veterans who fought in Korea to ensure the freedom and prosperity enjoyed today must always be remembered. The Veterans who shivered in the trenches, tracked through knee-deep mud, flew combat missions over rugged mountainous terrain, and stood watch over hostile seas set aside their own comfort, safety and aspirations to answer the call to arms at a time when our nation was still exhausted from the horrors of World War II. These patriots halted the tide of communism that threatened to sweep over the Korean peninsula. Today, the Republic of Korea stands as a modern, prosperous, vibrant democracy because of their courage and selfless sacrifice.

The Department of Defense 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee, authorized in the 2011 Defense Authorization Bill, is dedicated to thanking and honoring all the Veterans of the Korean War as well as their families and friends who supported them on the homefront. Through 2013, the Committee will honor the service and sacrifice of Korean War Veterans, commemorate the key events of the war, and educate Americans of all ages about the historical significance of the Korean War. For more information, visit

 More Info:

Tuesday, January 1st 2013

6:00am KTLA Pre-Parade Coverage

8:00 a.m. 124th Rose Parade presented by Honda

Begins at Green Street/Orange Grove Boulevard & ends at Sierra Madre Boulevard/Villa Street

Downtown Pasadena

(877) 793-9911 (Visitor Hotline)

 Pasadena Tournament of Roses
391 South Orange Grove Boulevard
Pasadena, California 91184
(626) 449-4100

 For Grandstand, Float Viewing and Post Parade tickets:

Sharp Seating Company
(626) 795-4171

 Phoenix Decorating Company- Rose Palace

835 South Raymond Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 793-3174

Phoenix Decorating Company- Rosemont Pavilion

700 Seco Street
Pasadena, CA 91103
(626) 793-3174


 If you have questions, please feel free to call Gayle Anderson at 323-460-5732 or e-mail Gayle at

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Gayle Anderson was live checking out the “Donate Life” Rose Parade float.

America’s New Year celebration, better known as the Rose Parade, is a festival of marching bands, equestrians, and flower covered floats.

Gayle Anderson was live checking out the “Donate Life” Rose Parade float Thursday.

Gayle Anderson was live checking out the new “Department of Defense” Rose Parade float.