After 40 years, Fiesta Floats no longer authorized to build floats for Rose Parade

Josh Haskell Image
Wednesday, June 26, 2024
After 40 years, Fiesta Floats no longer authorized for Rose Parade
For more than four decades, Fiesta Floats helped prepare award-winning entries for the Rose Parade. But the company no longer meets the parade's criteria.

PASADENA, Calif. (KABC) -- We're just over six months from the 2025 Pasadena Rose Parade and Fiesta Floats in Irwindale should be bustling with activity.

Instead floats are being disassembled as the company is no longer an approved float builder for the Tournament of Roses.

They have to vacate their Irwindale warehouse, owned by the Tournament of Roses Association, by next month.

"Working here has been the best place as an artist," said Antonio DeJesus Lopez, an artist who works for Fiesta Floats. "I get to create things every year. I get to make people smile. For us, we haven't been really sleeping. People don't know what to do because if they go somewhere else they're not going to get paid what they get paid here."

"Best award winning. Everybody knows Fiesta Floats when you're going down the street. It makes me feel bad that we can't do a product again this year," said Bob Gleason, who also works for Fiesta Floats.

The Tournament of Roses Association tells Eyewitness News they have a set criteria for approved float builders and Fiesta Floats no longer meets their criteria. The criteria includes financial capacity, having the appropriate vendors to source flowers from around the world, technical ability, and skilled float drivers.

"We congratulate Fiesta on its more than 40 years of working with the Rose Parade and building these amazing floral floats and we wish them the best, but there's plenty of capacity for us to put together the floats and build for the 2025 parade," said David Eads, CEO of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association.

Fiesta Floats was already working on floats for the 2025 Rose Parade including the One Legacy organ donation float. Now, those floats will be outsourced to the two other companies that make Rose Parade floats.

Those companies are Phoenix Decorating and Artistic Entertainment Services. Roughly 18 people with Fiesta Floats will lose their jobs, including Vicente Avila who has worked for the decorated float maker for 36 years.

"Now with this company I don't know what's going to happen with me. With the rest of my co-workers," said Avila.