Float Talk   Really Frequently Asked Questions
Secrets Of The Master Float Detailer0    

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Lets start with some Float talk...


Working around the float barn you hear lots of terms.  Here is a sampling of just a few...

  Camera Side

Facing forward this is the right side of the float.  The parade route is down Colorado Blvd. moving west to east.  Most of the television coverage of the parade comes from cameras located on the south side of the parade route.


  White Glue

Fun stuff to work with.   White glue is like a staple of the barn, it's used on a lot of materials.


  Oasis Glue

Extremely sticky stuff that provides for some fun challenges when removing from hands!  It's also been known to make one sing!


  Carns Short of carnations  
  Detail Department

Where specialty items are decorated.  Where most of us live for a week or so!


  Seed table Lots of seeds go on the floats.   
  Silent Parade

The day that the floats are moved from the barn to the parade route.  It takes lots of staff to move the floats to the parade route.  A moving flotilla of floats, tow vehicles, support vehicles, and staff spend hours slowly moving the finished art works to the parade route.  If you get a chance to "sit on a curb" to see this its is an entirely different perspective and a bit eerie! 



The judging of the floats come in several segments with the last judging the day before the parade.  On judging day the floats are as they will appear while moving down the parade route.  All music, animation and live talent are included.  The barn is in a state of excitement and exhaustion on judgment day.  A good deal of the volunteers and staff have put in an "All nighter" just to make sure that everything is just right!


  You're just the right...

You will hear a lot of this.  Be prepared!

  Watch Out!

Usually is followed by being glued, seeded or flowered!  Sometimes it is possible to review what you did at the barn when returning home.  You will fine material everywhere!  EVERYWHERE!!!  Don't be alarmed, sometimes it's edible and comes in handy when you need a quick snak!   


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  Frequently, really frequently, asked questions.....  
  Along the way we have been asked several questions.  The following only represent a small portion of the questions asked by visitors.  
  Is white glue waterproof?  
  No.  Visit the floats the day after the parade and after it rains.  It makes for a whole new look!   



  What happens to the floats when it rains?  
  First and foremost is the protection of the finished floats.  In the extremely rare instance when the beautiful California sky gives way to showers or a down right "chicken choker"  there is an all out effort to completely cover the floats with protective plastic cover.  Some of the materials used on the float do not fair well when wet weather hits. 

Of course the floats are not covered when they move down the parade route resulting in some loss of the beauty and grandeur but all in all they hold up rather well.  After all the flowers just love the rain.

The float become heavier too.  But the designers have factored in this possibility and designed the float to handle any water issue. 

  Where do the flowers come from?  
  From around the world.  Massive refrigerated trucks deliver the flowers that are shipped hours, days and weeks in advance thus guarantying their freshness and beauty.  
  Do the roses smell?  

Crazy question?  Not at all.  We often here the comment that with all the flowers there's not a lot of fragrance. 

  How do you become a float driver?  
  Driving one of the barns creations takes skill and lots of experience to say the least.  Floats can weigh  thousands of pounds and can be very long.  Float drivers are usually friends or family that our staff knows. Some of our drivers and observers have been doing it for years.  
  Where can we stay?  
  We are currently updating the hotel page!  
  Where's there a good place to eat?  
   We've put together a little map with some of the many eateries around the barn.  

Click here for more information.

  How long does it take to move the floats from Azusa to Pasadena?  
  Over 12 hours.  The "Silent Parade" moves slowly to Pasadena at a snails pace.  Sometimes overhead wires have to be raised to accommodate the float.   
  Can my group earn money from volunteering to decorate floats?  
  You bet and its fun!  Click here  Visitors and call Andrea,  The Production Coordinator  
  When is the best time to come to the barn?  
  The barn hours vary the closer it gets to Parade Day.  Its best to call in advance and see what the hours will be for the day however you can also find out at the "check-in" table located at the entrance of the barn.  
  When do they start "decorating"?  
  Actually the decorating process starts many weeks before the parade.  Lots of volunteers are needed for cutting and seeding.   
  How do they build a float?  
  The process starts almost immediately after the Rose Parade!  But for a quick idea  Click Here                      
  Do they really place each rose in a vase?  
Yes it's true that each rose is placed in its own special miniature water holder!  Hundreds of volunteers clean, fill and insert one rose in each vase! 

Did you know that the roses are all cut underwater and placed in the vase? 


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  Tips   Or better known as...Secrets of the "Master Float Detailer"!  

Keep your feet warm by using plastic bag (used to wrap newspaper) before putting socks on.  
  Mechanics hand cleaner, citrus peel oil, WD40 and hand sanitizer takes oasis glue off!  
  There are no places to store your possessions at the barn and they are not responsible for lost or stolen items.  Keep valuable items, cameras etc. with you or leave in them in your vehicle.   
  Tie your scissors on a piece of cord then to you.  If left unattended they have a tendency to find a new home!  
  The barn supplies all the tools you will need to do the job however experienced detailers will bring their own tools.  Sometimes there is no tool for the job so you would be surprised what strange tools have been developed!   
  Take a break!  It's very easy to get so engrossed in what you're doing that time passes quickly.  Get up, walk around, take in the sites and then back to work!   
  Dress in layers and wear your grubbies!  If you are working up on a float or under scaffolding...well accidents happen so wear a hat or you will be pulling the strangest material (glue too) out of your hair.  Great way to take home a sample of float decorating material but there are better ways!  
  Eat and drink!  While this may seem a bit elementary you would be surprised at how dehydrated you can become working in the barn.  Most of the time there is a lunch truck to buy food and drink but its best if you bring bottled water and snacks.  Usually there are plenty of snacks "around the area"  It's somewhat of a potluck.  Many folks bring in their favorites to share with everyone and its wonderful!!!!  
  Disclaimer: Not responsible for weight gain while working on floats!  Of course "Goodies" are always welcomed!  
  If you are working on a project that requires standing in one place, find a piece of hard foam scrap and stand on them.  This act as a cushion and an insulator from the cold concrete floors.   
  One of the biggest no no' and drink around the work or float.   
  If you bring a guest and its their first experience and time permits, let them experience many of the jobs available.  The barn always has room for helpers not only in the detail area.  Working "on" the float is exciting too!  
  Please remember that safety is the first concern.  It is very easy to get overwhelmed by the site of these creations when you first step into the barn area.  Your guest may not be watching where they are going or stepping.  
  While float decorating is a family affair remember to closely supervise young children.  To work on a float you must be 13 years old and playing around on the float is strictly forbidden!!!!!  
  Make a float memory book!  Pick up a small sample of the materials used (Please do not abuse this) and glue it to a page in a binder along with a picture of the float and any memories of your visit.  Your friends and family will not believe the many types of materials used to create these works of art.   

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