Because the Downey Rose Parade float is financed and built entirely by volunteers, fundraising has to be a constant focus, and it starts immediately after the parade ends. One estimate that I heard is that the budget for the float is typically around $50,000.
While this year's float is on display at the Embassy Suites parking lot, you can stop by and purchase flowers off of the float. You can also buy a variety of merchandise, such as Rose Float Association sweatshirts, crocheted scarves, and other odds and ends. Later in the year, the association mans a fireworks booth for the Fourth of July, and sells snacks at the summer Concerts in the Park series, just to name a couple of their fundraising events.
In addition, other kinds of contributions occur during the year. For example:
- The City of Downey contributes by providing the police escort for the trip back and forth between Downey and Pasadena, free of charge.
- Local businesses contribute grain for decorating, and foam and other materials for construction.
- A carpenter from Knott's donated his time to build the house, above, in this year's float.