Since 1992, Lions Clubs International has had a float in the New Year’s Day Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California. Two of our entries, in 1993 and 1994, won awards for the most beautiful floats in the parade. But all entries have been winners, presenting Lions an opportunity to promote our service activities to people worldwide who watch the float each year.
The Rose Parade is seen by an estimated 400 million people in 85 countries worldwide. The parade is covered by several hundred domestic and international newspapers. Every major newswire service features related stories before, during and after the parade.
Lions Float, Inc., a non-profit corporation, was formed in 1994 to direct the preparation and funding of the Lions float in the Rose Parade. This is a year-round activity involving the designing, fundraising and coordinating of volunteer decoration of the float in December.
Lions Clubs International in Oak Brook, Illinois has provided approximately half of the funds; the remainder is raised by the Lions of Multiple District Four (California).
The “floragraph” depiction of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan is created with ground onion seed, light lettuce seed, poppy seed and powdered rice; its gold frame and the lion’s head are covered with strawflower, clover seed and ground white rice.
The cane features red strawflower and ground white rice.
The glasses are decorated with silverleaf, and the books are covered with orange lentil, red strawflower and parsley seed – the pages are created with ground rice and poppy seed.
The base of the float is bedecked with roses, daisies and carnations in a mix of orange, gold, pink, lavender, yellow and gold.