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Rose Parade 2016: What it takes to decorate a Rose Parade float in GIFS

Volunteer David Gaydosh of Hawthorne patches poppyseed onto a bird beak at Sierra Madre Rose Float Association's barn on Tuesday morning, Dec. 29, 2015. The birds are part of a float for the 2016 Rose Parade on New Year's Day.
Volunteer David Gaydosh of Hawthorne patches poppyseed onto a bird beak at Sierra Madre Rose Float Association's barn on Tuesday morning, Dec. 29, 2015. The birds are part of a float for the 2016 Rose Parade on New Year's Day.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Volunteer David Gaydosh of Hawthorne patches poppyseed onto a bird beak at Sierra Madre Rose Float Association's barn on Tuesday morning, Dec. 29, 2015. The birds are part of a float for the 2016 Rose Parade on New Year's Day.
Volunteers fluff and de-stem carnations before they are glued onto the Sierra Madre Rose Float Association's Rose Parade float on Tuesday morning, Dec. 29, 2015. The float, themed "Rollin' on the River," uses more than 30,000 flowers.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Volunteer David Gaydosh of Hawthorne patches poppyseed onto a bird beak at Sierra Madre Rose Float Association's barn on Tuesday morning, Dec. 29, 2015. The birds are part of a float for the 2016 Rose Parade on New Year's Day.
Volunteer Ken Tyminski of North Carolina decorates umbrellas with nigella seeds at Sierra Madre Rose Float Association's barn on Tuesday morning, Dec. 29, 2015. Tyminski and his wife have been volunteering on the float for the past three years. They first started working on this year's float on Christmas day.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Volunteer David Gaydosh of Hawthorne patches poppyseed onto a bird beak at Sierra Madre Rose Float Association's barn on Tuesday morning, Dec. 29, 2015. The birds are part of a float for the 2016 Rose Parade on New Year's Day.
Volunteer Sharon Tittle of San Diego fluffs and de-stems carnations at Sierra Madre Rose Float Association's barn on Tuesday morning, Dec. 29, 2015. Tittle worked until 10 p.m. the night before.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Volunteer David Gaydosh of Hawthorne patches poppyseed onto a bird beak at Sierra Madre Rose Float Association's barn on Tuesday morning, Dec. 29, 2015. The birds are part of a float for the 2016 Rose Parade on New Year's Day.
Volunteer Vince Verro of Saratoga Springs, N.Y. carries flowers out of a storage fridge outside Sierra Madre Rose Float Association's barn on Tuesday morning, Dec. 29, 2015. This is Verro's fourth year volunteering on a Rose Parade Float.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Volunteer David Gaydosh of Hawthorne patches poppyseed onto a bird beak at Sierra Madre Rose Float Association's barn on Tuesday morning, Dec. 29, 2015. The birds are part of a float for the 2016 Rose Parade on New Year's Day.
Volunteer Ken Tyminski of North Carolina patches up the foot of a flamingo at Sierra Madre Rose Float Association's barn on Tuesday morning, Dec. 29, 2015. The float will be part of the 2016 Rose Parade on New Year's Day.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Volunteer David Gaydosh of Hawthorne patches poppyseed onto a bird beak at Sierra Madre Rose Float Association's barn on Tuesday morning, Dec. 29, 2015. The birds are part of a float for the 2016 Rose Parade on New Year's Day.
Jacque Page, left, of Memphis, Tenn. and Ben Gordon of Saratoga Springs, N.Y. glue carnations onto a flamingo at Sierra Madre Rose Float Association's barn on Tuesday morning, Dec. 29, 2015. "It's like a big family," Page says. This is her fifth year volunteering.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC


It's crunch time for Sierra Madre Rose Float Association volunteers who are busy fluffing and gluing more than 30,000 flowers to its colorful creation. 

“I get emails every year from people all over the country," said volunteer coordinator Bonnie Colcher. "Mostly in the country — a couple from out of the country — saying decorating a rose float is on my bucket list and how can I make it happen?”

Its float is among six remaining self-built ones that will roll down the streets of Pasadena on New Year's Day at the 127th Rose Parade. The theme this year is "Find Your Adventure" as a centennial celebration of the U.S. National Park Service. 

Sierra Madre will be "Rollin' on the River." It features river-rafting flamingos and will be covered in everything from cranberry seeds to sushi rice. 

Sierra Madre Rose Float Association's
Sierra Madre Rose Float Association's "Rollin' on the River" float uses more than 30,000 flowers. The float will be in the 2016 Rose Parade on New Year's Day.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Wonder what it takes to pull off such an elaborate design? We stopped by its warehouse to find out. 

More than 6,000 roses are trimmed before being put into vials of water.

Roses

Volunteer Teresa Bingham says members of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses will stop by on Thursday to make sure everything is in working order. In this GIF, she individually places beans onto a Sierra Madre sign that will top the float.

Sierra Madre Sign

Tons of volunteers on Tuesday were fluffing and removing stems from carnations. The float will be covered in more than 18,000 of them. 

Carnations

The finishing touches: All those carnations must be glued to the larger-than-life flamingos. 

View from the Top

It's not just flowers. Volunteers paint glue and sprinkle lentils, seeds and rice onto the float to add detail. 

Gluing Flowers

The decorating in Sierra Madre will run through New Year's Eve. You can sign up online to lend a hand. Here's a full rundown of other floats and volunteer spots. 

To read our Rose Parade guide, click here.