One of the biggest annual parades in the world featured Swift Current talent this year.  

Florist Poppy Parsons AIFD, CFD, CAFA, EMC, once again worked as a volunteer on the Donate Life float at the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California over the New Year. Donate Life claimed the Sweepstakes Award.  

“[It’s the highest] award the Rose Parade gives out,” Parsons said. "It encompasses everything involved in the float: floral application and design and theme—everything that you want the float to be in the parade. So, we captured all of those things and executed it all well with fine detail." 

This year’s theme was Year of the Dragon, and Parsons’ float was exactly that. 

rose_paradeThe dragon is welded from metal and the entire float decorated strictly of botanical materials (photo courtesy of Poppy Parsons)

“Our company has won many of the Sweepstakes Awards over the years, and to be a part of it this year is an incredible honor,” she said. "All the hard work really pays off when you're honoured with such an amazing award.”

Donate Life is a national organization in the United States that raises awareness for the importance and need of organ donors. 

rose_parade2The Donate Life float travelling down Colorado Boulevard (photo courtesy of Poppy Parsons)

Each float has an extensive team working hard to perfect the final product, from carpenters, to welders, to electricians, to florists, and more. While the dragon itself is welded of metal, the float is entirely decorated with botanical materials.

Once the parade is over, all pieces of the float are repurposed; plant matter is composted, and metal is re-worked for future floats.

Crews will begin working on the next New Year celebration in just a couple of months.

"It's quite the machine that gets such amazing work done in such a short period of time," Parsons said. "It's amazing to watch it from beginning to end when we go there. The dragon head actually wasn't finished when we arrived; it was still bare metal from mid neck up to its head. It's still gets me every time when I see raw metal and four days later beautiful floral. It's still shocking to me, actually. It's really quite exceptional to be a part of that."