Riverside Sets Opportunities to Volunteer on Rose Parade Float Effort

Published: 10/12/2017




Oct. 12, 2017



Phil Pitchford

Communications Officer


[email protected]



Riverside Sets Opportunities to Volunteer on Rose Parade Float Effort

Volunteers can sign up at RiversideFestivalOfLights.com

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – People who want to volunteer to help construct Riverside’s 2018 Rose Parade float that will be part of the Jan. 1 festivities in Pasadena are encouraged to sign up for work shifts at the Irwindale float construction facility through the website RiversideFestivalOfLights.com.

“Riverside residents have expressed great interest in helping to build the first float from Riverside in nearly 60 years,” Mayor Rusty Bailey said. “It’s an exciting time for our city, and I encourage anyone who wants to be a part of this amazing process to go to the website and secure their spot in this great group of volunteers.”

Dry decorating days are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18 and Sunday, Nov. 19 in Irwindale, about 40 miles away, near Pasadena. Floral decorating days are from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. from Tuesday, Dec. 26 to Saturday, Dec. 30 in Irwindale. A final shift on Dec. 30 starts at 10:30 p.m. and continues until the float is completed, including, if necessary, into the morning of Dec. 31.

Shifts on dry decorating days are four hours long, and shifts on floral decorating days are eight hours long in the morning/afternoon and 6.5 hours in the afternoon/evening. The final shift on Dec. 30 that starts at 10:30 p.m. will continue until the float is completed, regardless of the hour. Volunteers are responsible for their own transportation and must bring a pair of scissors.

People who want to have a role in the float’s development but cannot travel to Irwindale will be able to play a part as well. The City of Riverside will provide an opportunity on the Main Street Mall during the Festival of Lights for people to honor a person who has made a difference in their lives by writing a message on a plastic tube that will contain flowers that are placed on the Riverside Rose Parade float, bringing the float to life.

This effort, which includes a suggested $5 donation, enables local people to know that their message is part of the float as they watch the Jan. 1 parade, either in person or on television. A booth will be available to the public on Main Street Mall between Ninth Street and Mission Inn Avenue in downtown Riverside Thursdays-Sundays from Nov. 24 to Dec. 17. The booth will be open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays, and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Funds from this effort will be used to defray the cost of the float effort, which has been funded by private donations.

Riverside’s 2018 float celebrates 25 years of The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa putting on the annual Festival of Lights, which has drawn millions of people to Riverside. The float also is designed to thank Duane and Kelly Roberts, Keepers of the Inn, who have invested so much in the historic hotel and the Festival of Lights and helped promote Riverside as a destination.

More than 500,000 people visit Riverside each year during the six-week event, including 75,000 at the annual switch-on ceremony the day after Thanksgiving. The Festival of Lights has been recognized as the best holiday lights show in the U.S., according to the readers of USA Today. The same readers named the Festival of Lights the best holiday festival in the country.

Volunteers who want to participate in the float decorating are required to be at least 10 years old on dry decorating days and at least 12 years old on floral decorating days. Volunteers must sign a waiver form before beginning work. Float builders suggest volunteers dress appropriately and recognize that float decorating can result in getting glue, paint or dirt on your clothes or shoes. Volunteers should wear closed-toed shoes and bring a jacket in case temperatures drop during a shift.

“The Rose Parade is an internationally known event, so it’s thrilling to know our city is going to be represented with such an amazing float,” Mayor Pro Tem Jim Perry said. “It’s especially gratifying to know that our residents will have an opportunity to help make the float a reality.”

The $300,000+ needed to prepare the float and pay for assorted other expenses was raised by the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce Foundation. No City of Riverside funds were spent on the float.