2011 Rotary Rose Bowl Float
2011 Rotary Rose Parade Float
Since 1890, the Tournament of Roses has been ushering in the new year with a parade of spectacular floats and enthusiastic marching bands down the streets of Pasadena, California, USA.
Rotary became a part of the pageantry in 1923, when the Rotary Club of Pasadena entered a float in the 34th annual Rose Parade.
The club participated in three more Rose Parades – 1927, 1946, and 1966 – before making it an annual tradition in 1980. That year, recognizing the parade's potential for promoting Rotary to an audience of millions worldwide, clubs in the western United States decided to sponsor a float in honor of the organization's 75th anniversary. The Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee was later formed and continues to coordinate the fundraising for and construction of the float today.
Putting together a float is an ambitious undertaking, not least because parade rules dictate that the entire surface be covered with organic materials such as flowers, fruits and vegetables, or seeds. Hundreds of Rotary, Rotaract, and Interact club members from the United States, as well as Canada and Mexico, donate their time to build and decorate the float.
Float themes have reflected Rotary's efforts to eradicate polio, its commitment to service, and its humanitarian programs. The theme of the 1998 float, "Bringing the World Together," celebrated the 50th anniversary of Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarships and highlighted the Foundation's work to build peace.
The 2001 theme, "Recognizing Tomorrow's Leaders," celebrated the many young people Rotary has channeled into positive leadership roles through the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards program.
On 1 January, the Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee will celebrate 32 consecutive years in the parade with a float proclaiming the 2010-11 RI theme, Building Communities -- Bridging Continents .
Rotary International does not fund the float;
the Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee receives donations from individual
clubs and Rotarians.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Rotary International pay for the float? No. Rotary International endorses the Rotary Rose Float, but Rotarians in the United States and Canada donate all of the money to pay for the float. See the Contributions page for more information.
How are the contributions used? Approximately ninety three percent of the money raised goes directly into building, decorating and entering the float in the parade. The other seven percent pays for raising the money. None of the money raised for float construction is spent on professional staff or committee perks.
Why do we enter a float in the Rose Parade? Paul Harris said, "In the promotion of Rotary, it is important to reach large numbers and you cannot reach them privately." When Rotary International's directors approved the first entry in the parade over 20 years ago, they saw in it an unrivaled opportunity to bring Rotary's name into public view. They reasoned that an eye-catching float would capture the interest of network commentators and remind the world, of Rotary's good works. And so it has! Again, last year the Rose Parade scored a new record viewing audience; over 100 million in the United States and another 300 million around the world in more than 100 countries. For the 24th consecutive year Rotary again proudly presents its float to North America and the world .And each year, more Rotary clubs enthusiastically contribute financial support to this most important Rotary public relations project.
Where can I get information about the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game? Visit the Tournament of Roses website: www.tournamentofroses.com Can I see the float during decoration? See the Viewing the Float page for information. Each year, over 100,000 people view the float under construction.
Can I help decorate the float? Yes. See the Decoration Schedule page on this website.
How are floats selected for entry into the Rose Parade? The Tournament of Roses selects applications for Rose Parade Floats carefully. There are about 60 floats in the Tournament of Roses Parade each year. Floats are sponsored by municipalities, community volunteer organizations and commercial sector. Rotary International is fortunate to be one the three service clubs invited to appear in the parade. We are very proud to be a part of the prestigious Tournament of Roses New Year's Day Parade.
When did Rotary first enter a float in the Rose Parade? While watching the 1979 Pasadena Rose Parade on Television, Jack Gilbert, who was President of the Wilshire Rotary Club, in Los Angeles, California, and subsequently chairman of the Float Committee, had an idea. Rotary would be celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 1980. Jack believed that by entering a float in the 1980 New Year's Day Rose Parade, Rotary could communicate its message, "Service Above Self" to millions of people worldwide. Jack shared his vision with other Rotarians, who supported the idea. Seven Governors in Southern California agreed to underwrite the cost of the float and make up any shortfall not covered by Club contributions. Fortunately, the Clubs contributed $35,000 which covered the full cost of the original float. This first Tournament of Roses experience lead to the formation of the Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee which now receives contributions each year from approximately 3,000 Rotary Clubs to fund the Rotary International float. Rotary has entered a float every year since 1980.
How many people will
see the Rotary float? Over 425 million people see the Rose Parade
New Year's Day. The Rose Parade is seen by an estimated U.S.
audience of 40 million people and an estimated international audience
of more than 300 million in over 150 countries. The Pasadena Police
Department estimates that approximately one million spectators view
the Rose Parade in person. Another 200,000 visit the Post Parade
Float Viewing Area where the floats are on display for several days.
Following the parade is the Rose Bowl Football Game, the "Granddaddy
of all Bowl Games," which is viewed by about 1/3 of those who
viewed the parade. This means that your Rotary International float
is seen more than the Rose Bowl is! The A.C. Nielsen Company's combined
national rating for the Tournament of Roses Parade as broadcast
by the three major US networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) was 16.5 for
a share of 37.
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