Work underway to finish South Pasadena Tournament of Roses float ahead of Rose Parade

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Thursday, December 29, 2022
Work underway to finish South Pasadena Tournament of Roses float
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South Pasadena Tournament of Roses committee members and volunteers are carefully crafting this year's Rose Parade float.

SOUTH PASADENA, Calif. (KABC) -- Tucked away under a white tent, South Pasadena Tournament of Roses committee members and volunteers are carefully crafting this year's Rose Parade float.

"We are the oldest self-built. We're the oldest float in the parade. On 1893 was our first float," said Janet Benjamin, head decorator for SPTOR.

She said construction on the float titled, "Spark of Imagination," started in June.

"It's kind of a science fair, Rube Goldberg, Mouse Trap theme," Benjamin said.

With just five days until it's set to cruise down Colorado Boulevard, Benjamin knows it's crunch time.

"Well we'd never say we ahead or we're on time," she said. "We always say we're in a comfortable position. We have a lot of stuff stored that have already been decorated that will go up on the float, kind of last minute because of the weather."

Also, Benjamin said putting the float together has become more expensive.

"Pre-pandemic it was about $100,000 to $110,000 to build the float. Right now we're looking at $150,000 to $160,000," Benjamin said.

However, for the community that rallies to raise that amount of money, and for the volunteers who put in the work and effort to build the float each year, it's a labor of love.

Laurie Lozano took time out of her day to lay down eucalyptus leaves on the float.

"I've always gone to the Rose Parade. Always been a part of the ending and everything in between, always wanted to do this so this is one off the bucket list for me," Lozano said.

"It's indescribable. You can't put words to something like that when you watch it going down the parade route," Benjamin said.

If you want to see the finished South Pasadena Tournament of Roses float you're going to have to wait until Jan. 2.

People who would like to volunteer can email volunteer@sptor.org.

If you would like to donate, click here.