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Bonsall Rotary helps decorate Rose Parade float

The Rotary Club of Bonsall helped decorate the Rotary International float in the 2024 Tournament of Roses Parade.

Ten chapter members traveled to Pasadena on Dec. 30 to help decorate the Rotary float. The theme of this year's Rose Parade was "Celebrating a World of Music" and the Rotary International float was titled "Clean Water – the Music of Life."

"It was really cool. We were honored to be able to help," said Rotary Club of Bonsall president Joseph Clevenger.

Rotary International has had a float in the Rose Parade since 1980. The Rotary Club of Bonsall was chartered in 1991. Members of the Bonsall Rotary chapter helped decorate the Rotary International float in the club's early years, but the chapter had not participated in the recent past.

"This is the first time in a while," Clevenger said.

The Rotary Club of Bonsall, which meets on Thursday mornings, has approximately 30 members. "We have an amazing community that truly embodies service above self, and we're thrilled to have participated in the Rose Parade this year," Clevenger said.

"Service Above Self" is the motto of Rotary International. The Rotary International float at the 2024 Tournament of Roses Parade focused on Rotary's project to bring clean water and the associated hygiene improvements to communities throughout the world. Four large ducks holding umbrellas danced on a piano keyboard.

All Rose Parade floats must be covered entirely with organic material. The bodies of the ducks utilized white fuzzy cut everlasting. Black seaweed and white rice was used for the ducks' eyes. Orange ground lentil was used for the feet of the ducks and also for their beaks along with orange fine cut strawflower and hot pink fine cut statice.

The Rotary International float also included flowers, including those added by the 10 Rotary Club of Bonsall members. "We added by hand 10,000 roses and carnations that evening," Clevenger said. "It was quite the feat over the course of eight hours."

The flowers the Bonsall Rotarians added consisted of approximately 7,000 roses and 3,000 carnations.

The Tournament of Roses Parade honors 24 floats for excellence in various categories and specifications. The Rotary International float received the Leishman Public Spirit Award for the most outstanding floral presentation by a non-commercial participant.

The Bonsall Rotary members were not at the Rose Parade itself. Clevenger, who was raised in Vista, attended a Rose Parade during his youth but has not seen the Tournament of Roses Parade in person as an adult.

Clevenger had also not previously helped to decorate a Rose Parade float. "It was an incredible experience," he said.

Author Bio

Joe Naiman, Writer

Joe Naiman has been writing for the Village News since 2001


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