A florist from Swift Current came home with a first-place finish in a New Year's Day tradition in the United States.

Poppy Parsons is the owner and operator of Smart Flowers in Swift Current and made the trip to Pasadena, Calif. to participate in the Rose Bowl parade.

The tradition leading up to to the college football game has been established in the city since 1890, and saw around 935 volunteer members participate, with Parsons being one of them.

Parsons said that she was working with a group of dedicated florists on the float they were creating, working non-stop for over 24 hours to finish the six-day decorating process.

"We actually spent the final night before judging, I worked all night, didn't leave the space, we got there around eight in the morning on the 30th and didn't leave the judging space other than a quick breakfast run at seven a.m. the following day, so we actually didn't leave till around noon on the 31st."

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The float that Parsons worked on nearing completion (Photo submitted by Poppy Parsons)

This was following a drive up to Regina on Christmas Day to fly to the competition.

Despite it being a contest, Parsons assisted a friend in completing the last minute touches to another float during some downtime.

"I actually got called away to assist on another float that needed some help, so about two in the morning to about five or 5:30 in the morning I was up on scaffolding doing just orchid work, pinning orchids onto the feathers of a main character on one of my friends float," she said, going into further details. "They needed a hand finishing, and of course I'm going to help them, you know, we're all part of a big flower family, and are there to help each other out in the end."

Being grouped into the volunteer category, Parsons left Pasadena having earned first place in that category.

"It's so rewarding to win an award on my first year, and win with such an amazing team."

Parsons is looking forward to participating in the event next year, but says that there have been talks to have her come out and receive a paycheck for her role.

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