For the Shriners Hospitals for Children, which opened its first hospital 1922 in Shreveport, La. to care for polio victims, the adventure is helping children to fight disease and injury. The organization’s Rose Parade spokesman is the cuddly plush bear, Fezzy, a toy kids love. The float, “Fezzy Races to Adventure,” won the Tournament Volunteers Trophy for best floral design of parade theme for floats under 35 feet in the 2016 Tournament of Roses Parade. The float was designed by Michelle Lofthouse for Phoenix Decorating Company.
It depicts Fezzy driving a fire truck on a road paved with hearts, an icon that was reflected in the giant heart behind the truck and throughout the float. to the yellow heart were several floragraphs depicting Shriners Hospitals patients playing various sports. Fezzy’s head tilted side-to-side as he drove a truck full of people. For years, the Shriners entered clown cars in the parade, but in 2011, the organization turned to floats. The first was a giant clown car. Bears appeared in 2012 and 2013, and Fezzy came along in 2014. Links to these floats are in the “Suggested Links” list below.
The float used almost 11,000 flowers, which are detailed below. Riders were Shriners leaders and hospital patients: NASCAR driver David Ragan and Jerry Gantt, Lisa Gantt, Charles “Tad” Claypool, Kay Claypool, Katharine Koonce, Clint Crain, Kelsea McKinley, Omar Hernandez, Brock Waidmann and Jacob Robinson. The float reflects the willingness of Shriners to go the extra mile and encourage patients to “race to the adventures” that the future will bring.
The mission of Shriners Hospitals for Children is to provide the highest quality care to children within a compassionate, family-centered environment; to provide for the education of physicians and other health care professionals; and to conduct research. The mission is carried out without regard to race, color, creed, sex, sect, national origin or ability of a patient or family to pay.
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.
Racing to adventure
Nearly 11,000 flowers were used on the Shriners Hospitals for Children float, in addition to dry materials on the floragraphs and fire truck details. The deck was covered in roses in orange, lavender, pinks and white; orange gerbera, and white carnations and gypsophila. Floral arrangements included cymbidiums, mums, mokaras, Queen Anne’s Lace and roses in white; yellow gladiolas and cymbidiums, bronze mums and gold roses.
Hearts and healing
Hearts appeared in many places on the “Fezzy Races to Adventure.” How many can you spot in these photos? At the front, a green sod roadway is bordered with gypsophila and green mums, and inset with large hearts of pink and yellow carnations.
Three patients from Shriners Hospitals for Children ride in front of a wall of brilliantly-hued mums while a Dalmatian created with white rice and black seaweed perches on a chrysanthemum running board. Silverleaf rims are studded with hearts of black beans and cranberry hubcaps. The tires are covered with sheets of black seaweed, which must be carefully overlapped because it shrinks as it dries out.
Just tooling along
Fezzy sports a jaunty fez of red and yellow strawflower with onion seed and black bean outlines. The fluffy plush bear is created with a body of gold mums and nose of cardoon puffs and seaweed. The open heart is yellow and white mums and yellow strawflower. Floragraphs, which are photos recreated in botanical materials, depict patients engaged in sporting activities. Materials statice, cornmeal, rice, pepper, lettuce seed, poppy seed, parsley flakes, split peas, walnut shell, onion powder, strawflower, coffee and spices in shades of blue, white, gray, black, green, yellow, bronze and red.
Slow ride in a red machine
NASCAR race car driver David Ragan sat right behind Fezzy in his trip down Colorado Blvd. The fire truck was covered in red mums and strawflower, with silverleaf chrome, headlights in various seeds and rice and kumquat running lights. Tans paper bark was used for the ladders and steering wheel. Even though the inside of the truck can’t be seen by most viewers, Tournament of Roses rules require that every bit of the float be covered in botanical materials, including the passenger compartment.