If camels were 30 feet tall, this is what they would look like. Paradiso Parade Floats created two stunningly life-like camels for the Donate Life Rose Parade float, “Treasure Life’s Journeys.” It won the Isabella Coleman Trophy for best presentation of color and color harmony through floral use in the 127th Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 1, 2016. The trademark of Donate Life floats, 60 floragraphs of deceased organ donors, were strewn among the rose carpet on the deck of the float like jeweled cameos. The float was designed by Charles Meier.
The 2016 entry was the 13th for OneLegacy Foundation and its sponsors, which produces the float, and the organization’s first year with Paradiso. It has become the most visible campaign for the organization, which seeks to inspire donations of organs and tissue that can save and improve lives. One donor can save up to eight lives and enhance the lives of up to 50 more. The design, camels resting in a desert oasis filled with jewels and golden treasures, reminded parade viewers that every human life is a treasure.
“Treasure Life’s Journey” featured some 100,000 flowers, including oncidium, mokara and phalaenopsis orchids, Asiatic lilies, Sexy Pink heliconia and an array of anthurium. Monstera leaves and palm fronds provide accents. An unusual technique using cinnamon-dusted sheet moss to create the rough fur of the camels was employed. For photos, see the list below. The turning of the camels’ heads from side to side can be seen from picture to picture and in the video.
The theme of the 127th Rose Parade and 102nd Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2016 was “Find Your Adventure.” If you have a question or would like a reply to your comment, please post on Facebook at All Things Rose Parade or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Treasure Life’s Journey
Twelve living donors were outwalkers with the Donate Life 2016 Rose Parade float, and 24 transplant recipients rode. The deck was carpeted with pink “Shocking Versilia” roses and coral “Movie Star” roses, with a trim of white cattleya orchids.
These are probably the prettiest and best-smelling camels one will ever see. No spitting, either. Camel blankets were flowered with Bizet, Tiepolo, Moonlite and Cinderella carnations as well as golden strawflower petals and tangerines. Tassels of beautiful purple orchids hung from the halters. There were 109 tassels on this float. How many can you find?
The arch at the rear of the Donate Life float rose to 24 feet and hydraulically lowered to pass under power lines and overpasses. The magenta flowering vine that twined around the arch set off the pristine white and gold.
Sixty memorial gold medallions displayed the faces of deceased organ donors. The float sponsors hold hundreds of events nationwide where families and finish the memorial floragraph portraits. This touching tradition reminds viewers of those who have given life to others.
Some of the many living donors who have given organs or tissue to lengthen another’s life walked beside the float. The flower-filled provision baskets they carried symbolized the gifts of life. Gary Foxen, the lung recipient whose idea led to Donate Life’s Rose Parade participation, wore a straw hat like the ones seen on the walkers and riders.
Button chrysanthemums, strawflower petals, flax seed and millet created the golden treasures on the float. Giant vessels placed throughout overflowed with lavish floral displays. The riders, all organ or tissue recipients, held photos of their donors.
Large oval jewels were filled with deep pink Hot Princess and coral Wow roses. Each one held 10 dozen roses placed by hand, and every rose bore the name of a loved one touched by organ or tissue donation.
Creating camel fur 1
Down at the Brookside Pavilion for a Singpoli event in mid-December, we saw the first step in creating the rough fur on the Donate Life camels. More than 300 square feet of carefully trimmed sheet moss was glued onto the surface of the huge sculptures.
Creating camel fur 2
Here seen two days before the Rose Parade, the moss on the camels has been sprayed with glue and brushed with more than 60 pounds of powdered cinnamon to add color to the texture. Yes, it did smell terrific in the decorating tent.
At the post-Rose Parade Showcase of Floats, the camels’ heads on the Donate Life float, “Treasure Life’s Journey,” could be seen moving side-to-side. The float was designed by Charles Meier and built by Paradiso Parade Floats.