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Globally telecast, Southern California’s New Year’s Day tradition, the Rose Parade was another success this year. And right there, along with 23 other floats, the 2018 Torrance Rose Parade float, designed by West High School student Irene Say, traveled the parade’s five-and-a-half mile a winner as millions around the world watched.

“Protecting Nature – The Madrona Marsh Preserve” was honored with the Mayor Trophy (Most outstanding float from a participating city) and was an amazingly beautiful ode to the city’s nature preserve.

But the parade wouldn’t be possible without the thousands of volunteers that place each piece of flower and other natural materials that make their float come to life. Let’s take a look at the week of decorating activities that preceded the Rose Parade.

The clock was ticking as volunteers worked diligently to cover the 2018 Torrance Rose Parade float depicting life on the Madrona Marsh Preserve. The float was 16-feet tall and 35-feet wide.

During decorating week and two dry days, more than 280 volunteers worked to cut, glue and paste a wide range of flowers and other dry materials to make their float.  Madrona Marsh is a gem in the city and has the only vernal pool habitat existing in Southern California.

The Torrance Rose Parade float showcased butterflies fluttering over a large arched tree branch decorated in oak cork and mosses.

One of the float’s highlights this year included the large egrets, consisting of white coconut flakes with Dendrobium orchid florets with beaks of yellow split peas, individually applied.

Eventually, more than 8,000 roses made up the deck of the float, including a special rose named in honor of the City of Torrance by the American Rose Society.

Decorators between the ages of 13 and 90 years old assembled what turned out to be an award-winning float.

For the first time, American Rose Society members also helped decorate the float and its president and an ARS member rode on the float. The ARS is also celebrating the 125th anniversary of the organization.