Once again, Downey won the Founder's Award for this float, "Exploring the Everglades." I went to see the float up close yesterday afternoon, before it started its slow trip from Downey to Pasadena for the parade this morning.
The float is built entirely by volunteer labor. (See Humans of Downey - Alexis and Kelley.) The core team from the Downey Rose Float Association works on the float all year long, but the most frenzied activity takes place during the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve, when any and all are welcome to come help.
I arrived too early yesterday to see the full Downey court seeing the float off. But there were still plenty of volunteers there, proudly getting their pictures taken in front of their work.
Maybe it's just because I love animals, but I think this is my favorite float yet. There are three panthers and five blue herons.
The float will be parked at the Embassy Suites Hotel starting Monday. You can see the float up close and purchase flowers.