UGA fans get personal look at floats in the Parade of Roses

PASADENA, CA (WTOC) - There's a lot more going on in Pasadena than the Rose Bowl Game.

The "Parade of Roses" is a big event, and you can tell it takes a ton of work. There are hundreds of volunteers, thousands of hours of work to get all of these floats prepared for the rose parade.

University of Georgia fans here for the first time say it's a once in a lifetime experience to see floats getting made.

As soon as the Dawgs found out they were coming to Pasadena, Lynn and Scott Beasley from Dublin say there was no question they'd be here too.

"We had to come. It was my life's dream to come to the Rose Bowl and see the parade and also see the game," Beasley said.

They were two of hundreds of people getting a behind the scenes look Friday at how those floats are made,

"For these flowers to look their best, they need to be put on at the last minute, and we've got 250,000 flowers per float in this particular float barn. It takes a herculean effort of volunteers," said Jason Melillo, chairman of the Rose Parade decorating places.

Melillo says giving people a chance to see the fluffing and gluing that goes into these floats favorite part of his job, especially for first-time attendees like the Beasley's.

Organic materials are required for rose parade floats.

"We love when we have either first-time guests or somebody who hasn't been in the Rose Bowl in a long time and their fans are coming here and getting to experience this for the first time in their lives and seeing it up close, and maybe they've watched it their whole life on TV and all of a sudden, they're getting to experience it live and in person," Melillo said.

"It's so exciting to see these floats being made and all the hype. There's lots of Georgia hype here. Most everybody that we've seen has had on a red or a black shirt," Beasley said.

And that Georgia fan energy is following Melillo home too.

"I've got house guests right now who flew in last night, and they're over-the-top excited, so it's a lot of fun," Melillo said.

The floats aren't finished when the stop rolling in the rose parade. They actually have to stay in good shape for weeks afterward to do their own parade float show, and that makes the work that they're doing Friday even more important to keep those flowers looking crisp.

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