Popular Swift Current professional florist and business owner going to be a part of the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena
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 Ol' Opry.
As a florist, Swift Current's Poppy Parsons has the opportunity to take part in one of the most famous flower-dominate events in the world: the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year's Day in Pasadena California. 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 with 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 & 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 LA and the Pasedena area to tour the facility, 70,000 sq. foot warehouse," Parsons says. "They say I will be 'blown away' ... I can't imagine. 10 semis of fresh flowers arrive on the 26th and 27th. There is a team meeting 27th and decorating til the wee hours of the 30th and 31st. Judging 31st and we rest.
They 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 everyday and my Broncos gear on the 31st and my Rider jersey on parade day!"
Artists’ illustration of the float the team Poppy Parsons is on will be helping to create.