Rose Bowl bound

Swift Cur­rent florist go­ing to Pasadena for Tour­na­ment of Roses Pa­rade

Medicine Hat News - - LIFESTYLES - RYAN DAHLMAN [email protected]

Pro­fes­sion­als of­ten like to ex­pe­ri­ence the big stage, feel the op­por­tu­nity to be part of some­thing fa­mous.

An ath­lete al­ways dreams of par­tic­i­pat­ing in the cham­pi­onship game or the Olympics.

An aca­demic wants to study or speak on an im­por­tant topic to fel­low aca­demics or stu­dents.

A coun­try singer wants to per­form­ing at the Grand Ole Opry.

As a florist, Swift Cur­rent’s Poppy Par­sons has the op­por­tu­nity to take part in one of the most fa­mous flower-dom­i­nant events in the world: The Tour­na­ment of Roses Pa­rade on New Year’s Day in Pasadena Calif.. She got con­fir­ma­tion a few weeks ago and is one of three florists on the team she is on.

“I adore parades! I have been watch­ing the Rose Pa­rade closely since 2007 when I bought Smart Flow­ers and have been dream­ing of this op­por­tu­nity since then,” Par­sons says. “I have been lucky enough to make great friends in the flower world and am ex­cited and hon­estly a bit ner­vous to see this live and help with the en­tire com­mit­tee.”

Since be­com­ing a mem­ber of AIFD Amer­i­can In­sti­tute of Flo­ral De­sign­ers, Par­sons has worked hard vol­un­teer­ing at their an­nual sym­po­sium. She made in­valu­able con­nec­tions — one of which was Wil Gon­za­lez in 2017 at the Seat­tle sym­po­sium. That year she was on the fresh pro­cure­ment team and he was one of two sym­po­sium chairs.

Gon­za­lez is a long-time vol­un­teer and a lead float dec­o­ra­tor with Fiesta Pa­rade Floats FPF. Par­sons says in their time to­gether she asked about the op­por­tu­nity and he in­vited her to join. Of­ten one needs to ap­ply for a po­si­tion like this but her his­tory of hard work and vol­un­teer­ing was well known.

In a me­dia re­lease, Par­sons ex­plained the float that she will be work­ing on will be the City of Tor­rance’s “The Power of Mu­sic” (as shown in the il­lus­tra­tion). It will be the city’s 64th en­try in the Rose Bowl Pa­rade #TheMelodyOfLife. Like Par­sons, their com­mit­tee and dec­o­ra­tors are com­pletely vol­un­teer.

“Ev­ery vis­i­ble inch of the floats are dec­o­rated with nat­u­ral or­ganic ma­te­ri­als that have not been dyed or painted. Grasses, seeds, nuts, beans, moss, bark, leaves, co­conut, spices, rice and of course flow­ers from around the world are used to cre­ate the dif­fer­ent col­ors and tex­tures. The float will fea­ture over 5,000 roses, with flax, sesame, onion and poppy seed, co­conut flakes and lots of flow­ers in­clud­ing cym­bid­ium, den­dro­bium and on­cid­ium orchids, spi­der mums, di­anthus for­sythia and more.”

Par­sons says be­sides be­ing a part of the Tour­na­ment of Roses, AIFD is like a big flo­ral fam­ily and she gets to spend a week with them so it will be that much more fun adding “to con­nect and share with them keeps my pas­sion alive.”

Par­sons also cov­ets the op­por­tu­nity to vol­un­teer, some­thing else she loves to do. It will be hard work as she was told it will be 12-16-hour days.

“Giv­ing back, show­ing the beauty and artistry of flo­ral de­sign ... mis­sions of AIFD is to learn, teach and share the love of flow­ers within our in­dus­try and to the pub­lic. This is one of many things I have and can do to grow and learn and share,” she ex­plains. “Vol­un­teer­ing has al­ways been im­por­tant to me and I was so happy to be a part of the City of Tor­rance pa­rade float. They have an en­tire com­mit­tee of vol­un­teers and are big pro­mot­ers of their com­mu­nity with vol­un­teers from four to over 90 years old.”

Christ­mas will be a lit­tle dif­fer­ent this year as she will cel­e­brate with fam­ily early as she departs on Dec. 26. She gets right into it upon ar­rival.

“I get an op­por­tu­nity when I ar­rive in L.A. and the Pasedena area to tour the fa­cil­ity, 70,000 sq.-ft. ware­house,” Par­sons says. “They say I will be ‘blown away’ ... I can't imag­ine. Ten semis of fresh flow­ers ar­rive (Dec.) 26th and 27th. There is a team meet­ing (Dec.) 27th and dec­o­rat­ing til the wee hours of the 30th and 31st. Judg­ing is (Dec.) 31st and we rest.”

All vol­un­teers were given tick­ets and re­served seat­ing to watch the pa­rade on New Year's Day. She flies home on Jan. 2.

The Swift Cur­rent na­tive is also ex­cited about show­ing the rest of the world her home and pro­mot­ing Saskatchewan while she is there.

“I will be wear­ing dif­fer­ent #SaskMade lo­cal T shirts ev­ery day and my Bron­cos gear on the 31st and my Riders jersey on pa­rade day!”

“I adore parades! I have been watch­ing the Rose Pa­rade closely since 2007 ... and have been dream­ing of this op­por­tu­nity since then.”


This is an artist’s il­lus­tra­tion of the pro­posed float for the Rose Bowl pa­rade to be cre­ated by Poppy Par­sons.

Poppy Par­sons

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