The amazing thing at this years Rose Parade is that there is one float made with over 94 percent American grown flowers. "Bedtime Buccaneers" is the float to watch and to cheer for!
Do you know where the roses in the Rose Bowl come from? It may surprise you to learn that the roses adorning the floats are grown in South America, as are about 80 percent of all the cut flowers flowers sold in the United States.
I caught up with Kasey Cronquist, the CEO/Ambassador of the California Cut Flower Commission, to ask a few questions about the Rose Parade.
This is the 125th year of the Rose Bowl. When did we start to not see American grown flowers at the Rose Bowl?
I don't know if there is anyone that could really answer this definitively. The flowers on these floats are a lot like the bouquets you find in a grocery store. You see a sharp increase in imported flowers into the United States starting in 1991.
What floats should we be looking for on New Years Day?
As you know, I'm biased, so I'd say you have to watch for the Universities of Cal Poly's float, Bedtime Buccaneers. This is the only float in this year's parade that has been certified "CA Grown." Something we can all be proud of.
Who put these floats together?
Lots of volunteers. Whether the float is built by a community of volunteers or by professional float building companies, lots of volunteers are used to help complete the floats during "Deco Week."
I know the California flower farmers donate a lot of flowers, how many stems were donated from American farms this year?
Approximately 45,000 stems of California Grown Flowers have been donated to CalPoly.
Wow, What farms donated flowers?
California Floral Greens, California Pajarosa, Dramm & Echter, Eufloria Flowers, Green Valley Floral, Maximum Nursery, Mellano & Company, Myriad Flowers, Neve Roses, Ocean Breeze Farms, Ocean View Flowers, Pyramid Flowers, Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers, Sun Valley Floral Farms and Topstar Floral.
Are you going to the Parade? How will we recognize you?
I will be there. I'll be the guy cheering the loudest in the CalPoly student section on Colorado Blvd. on New Years morning.
This year's theme is "Dreams Come True" what dream would you like to see come true in 2014.
With my Rose Parade focus, I dream of a future parade that goes back to its roots and once again features the bounty of what makes this state so great. I have a dream to see more and more floats seeking "CA Grown" certification in the year's ahead.
To see pictures of the Bedtime Buccaneers float under construction and being decorated go to the Cal Poly Rose Float Facebook Page. To learn more about The California Cut Flower Commission's efforts at the Rose Parade see this article in the Perishable News.