Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tournament of Roses Parade - Final Day!

Alyson Roth, Ms. Wheelchair California, and Erika Bogan, Ms. Wheelchair America helped put the final touches on the Kiwanis Rose Float this afternoon. What a beautiful float we have!

Here I am in front of our float. It really is beautiful with all those thousands of flowers!

Erika, Alexis Ostrander, and me on our bench on the front right of the float. Look for us waving at you tomorrow! We weren't allowed to wear our crown and sashes for judging, but we will have them on for the Rose Parade. When the judges came to score us, we had to cheer, wave, and act like we were on Colorado Blvd. in the parade! It was rather odd shouting "Happy New Year!" to no one, but I was loud and smiled and waved!

Below are the rest of some of the beautifully decorated floats that will be featured in tomorrow's New Year's Day Tournament of Rose's Parade down Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, California. I love my state!

The Rotary Float

The City of Anaheim float

The Bayer Float

Trader Joe's float (way cool by the way!)

The Boy Scouts of America's float

Honda's Float (this is the most amazing as it shoots canons and fireworks out of it!)
The FFA Today float

And finally, the Rose Bowl stadium where Ohio and Oregon will duke it out for the title!

On our way home from decorating and judging, there were already people lined up on Colorado Blvd, ready to spend the night to get a prime viewing spot in the parade route. Technically, they are allowed to start setting up camp at 12 noon, but we saw people already there at 10am this morning! Insane!!

And finally, a beautiful sunset over Los Angeles and Burbank to round out 2009. Happy New Year to everyone, and may 2010 bring you many blessings! Can't wait to wave to you all tomorrow on television. Again, it begins at 8am PST/11am EST, and we are on the Kiwanis float (front right). We are number 85 of 91, so we'll be towards the end of the parade.

Happy New Year!

Tournament of Roses Parade Preparation Day!

I had such an amazing day today despite the drizzly and cold rain that set in about 9am or so. This truly is one of the most spectacular things I've ever seen. Watching the Rose Parade on tv does not do any justice to what the floats are actually like up close and in person. Each is intricately designed, shaped, and created so uniquely, and the aroma in the Rose Pavilion is simply breathtaking with all the flowers! The Ms. Wheelchair California/America Program is so blessed to be in partnership with the Kiwanis to be on their float.

Below is the float I will be on called "A Cut Above the Rest." Erika Bogan, Ms. Wheelchair America, and I will be sitting to the right of the tree in the front (almost directly behind where the lady in the green jacket is.) Out of 91 floats, we are number 85.

It was so much fun decorating the float. It was truly miraculous to be there from 8am to the evening and see the transformation happen right before my eyes at how marvelous it is turning out. I really is magical, and everything... EVERYTHING... is made out of flowers, seeds, or natural products like straw or wood.
Alyson Roth, Ms. Wheelchair California 2009

After helping to decorate the float, I had a wonderful luncheon with the Kiwanis and was able to meet the International Kiwanis President, Paul Palazzolo, and his family (above).

Another treat was meeting Ms. Wheelchair 2005 Juliette Rizzo, who flew all the way from Washington DC for today's preparations. She is an amazing woman!

Erika Bogan, Ms. Wheelchair America 2010, and Alyson Roth, Ms. Wheelchair California 2009 at the Tournament of Roses House. We were waiting to meet the Rose Queen and Court along with Stephanie Edwards, the official host of the Tournament of Roses Parade, along with Bob Sullivan.

The Rose Queen and Court along with Stephanie, Erika, and myself.

Finally, a last picture with Stephanie Edwards herself. She is a truly blessed and remarkable lady. I had such a lovely conversation with her and truly has a genuine spirit and love of Jesus.

Today was an amazing day and totally nothing of what I expected. I can't wait for tomorrow and the judging of the floats. Everyone is so energetic and there are literally thousands of people here touring the facilities to see the progress of the floats. I'm a extremely honored to have been here today and look forward to the rest of the time as we bring in 2010!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Getting Ready for the Tournament of Roses Parade

On January 1, 2010, I will be a part of the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena on New Years Day for Ms. Wheelchair CA in conjunction with the Kiwanis Club. I am very excited about this opportunity and memory. I’ve never been to the parade before, so to jump forward and actually be ON it is thrilling! Wednesday and Thursday, I’ll be busy helping with the final preparations of the float, putting the final flowers on, doing media interviews, photo ops, luncheons, dinners, etc. It will be a very busy week for sure.

Here is the link to the Rose Float that I’ll be on with the Kiwanis Club. The parade starts at 8am PST, but there is no guarantee that our float will be televised. Nonetheless, it will be an exciting and memorable experience. I’ll be supposedly sitting on a park bench on the very front of the float. I’ll wave to you all on television! The Grand Marshall for the parade is Captain Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger , the heroic pilot who masterfully landed US Airways Flight 1549 into the Hudson.

I'll update the blog on Wednesday evening once I find out more about the schedule along with pictures from the day. Be sure to set your DVR's for this amazing day as we bring in 2010 together!