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City of South Pasadena

Sailing the Sea of Knowledge

Founders' Trophy

Sailing the Sea of Knowledge

The design for the oldest self-built float in the parade is open to a community-wide design contest. Our theme, Sailing the Sea of Knowledge/ Imagination Sets Sail was selected from a submission after reviewing many great ideas. The concept reflected our take on this year’s theme as we were inspired by the idea of a sailing vessel riding high on a sea of books. The design committee worked hard to extract the elements that would inspire imagination and inspiration from guests watching the parade around the world. The concept includes a Spanish Galleon riding high in a giant book open to places and adventures we all imagine.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go is the theme of the parade, a title created by Dr. Seuss. Our inspiration was to complete the thought by looking towards thoughts and places we all have been to or have yet to explore. Viewers will appreciate this float from every angle as our decorations committee has planned breathtaking floral patterns and textures. Sparking the imagination of visitors and viewers of this year’s parade, Oh, the places you’ll go, takes you on a journey with us to the limitless possibilities and countless places we can all go while Sailing the Sea of Knowledge (your imagination sets sail).

South Pasadena is a can-do community that thrives on volunteerism and community spirit as well as activism. Sailing the Sea of Knowledge/ Imagination Sets Sail is an acknowledgment of the community’s spirit; it stands as an inspiration to new and exciting things and places we all have yet to explore!

FLOAT BUILDER: Self-built float sponsored by the City of South Pasadena and built entirely by the volunteers of South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Committee.

FLOAT DESCRIPTION: Height: Height – 25’, Width: Width - 18', Length: Length - 45'

Imagine looking up to see a beautifully decorated Spanish Galleon listing and falling as if it were afloat on the ocean’s tide. Carved figures representing sailors are placed onboard signify those who have set out for explorations to places, lands and adventures yet unknown. The ocean, represented by a large book borrowed from the South Pasadena Library, provides the base and foundation that all books do in our quest for knowledge and adventure.

The idea that people can find inspiration in many forms - especially reading – gives us the tie to Oh the Places You’ll Go and how we can imagine ourselves getting there. Our Spanish Galleon embodies that early exploration vision as it helps us to rise above and seek out and adventure and places we have yet to see.

FLOWERING: Dry Materials Crow’s Nest – Mimosa Pods Ship Railing - Corn Husk Masts – Malaluka Bark Page Base – White Sesame Seed Map Pieces & Accents on Pages – Yellow & Brown Clover Seed / Gold & Brown Flax Seed / Parsley / Oat Bran / Cinnamon / Ground Walnut / Blue Poppy Seed / Black Sesame Seed / Onion Seed / Amaranthus Seed Canons – Seaweed / Light Lettuce Seed / Mixture of Rice, Blue Poppy, Spinach Powder Windows – Lunaria background w/ dried Bougainvillea as the stain glass designs Blue in Sails – Statice Ship Deck – Redwood Bender Board Sculpted Figures – Seeds and grasses ???? Fresh Flowers/Materials Sails – Mums / Carnations Flags – Strawflower petals / Carnation petals Ship Body – Carnations / Ti Leaves / Flax Leaves / Mums Ships Garland – Gerber Daisy / Roses– Topaz, Sweet Unique, Esperance, Polar Star / in a bed of Plumosa and Springiri ferns Book Cover – Voodoo Roses Gardens under Book – Tulips / Gerber Daisy / in a bed of Noble Fur and Deflexis Fern Water Sprays – Hydrangeas / Iris / Stock Flowers / Cabbage / Phealnopisis Orchids / Dendrobium Orchids / Ting Ting / Wax Flowers / Dusty Miller City Signs – Dried Bougainvillea Title Sign - Gladiolus Petals

Our goal is to become a California Grown float (80% of all materials grown in California) so we have been working with California’s flower growers to make this happen. We might not reach our goal this year but we are working hard to make it happen by next year. Roses / Hydrangeas / Carnations – South America All other flowers – California (predicted – in the process of ordering) • Estimated number of flowers used by type: Roses – Total: 11,500 Voodoo – 9000 stems Topaz – 500 stems Sweet Unique – 625 stems Esperance – 625 stems Polar Star – 750 stems Carnations – 5000 stems covering 121 sq ft Mums – 190 bunches covering 350 sq ft Gerber Daisies – 1200 stems Tulips – 600 stems Hydrangea – 160 stems Iris – 720 stems Phaelnopisis Orchids – 24 stems Dendrobium Orchids – 120 stems Stock Flowers – 100 stems Wax Flowers – 20 bunches

9000 Voodoo Roses make up 300 square feet of the book cover – Voodoo Roses were picked because of the large size of the flower and the beautiful color creating a beautiful orange base for our float.

Dried Bougainvillea Flowers are being used as the colored glass in our stain glass windows of the ship. (Bougainvillea has been hand-picked from all over So Pas and neighboring cities)


The float chassis typically takes a ride down Mission Street in the July 4th Festival of Balloons each year.

The South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Committee is a committee of the City. The all-volunteer organization receives only a portion of its funding through the local Chamber of Commerce, and relies on donations for over $100,000 each year to participate in the Tournament of Roses Parade. The City of South Pasadena holds the distinction of the oldest self-built float in the parade.

The City of South Pasadena builds this float with an all-volunteer construction and decorating crew. Planning starts 14 months in advance, overlapping with the previous year’s float. Construction and decorating begins September 1st and by New Year’s Eve just about everyone in town – and many from around the world – have had a hand in creating our float!

ANIMATION: The Spanish Galleon will list and fall much like a ship on the ocean does as the current passes under the vessel.

INNOVATION: The City of South Pasadena float runs on propane (since at least 1984) and hydraulically propelled (as opposed to a traditional transmission).

FLOAT RIDERS: More information to come. Our riders are the Sailor of the Year from the USS Pasadena (SSN 752) and his spouse.

Updated on: 1/1/2013 10:41:38 AM

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