Another Year, Another Tiki on a Rose Parade Float

The Bachelor float at the 2016 Rose Parade

If you watched the 2016 Rose Parade in Pasadena, you might have noticed that there were a couple tikis on the float “Love is the Greatest Journey” for the romantic reality show “The Bachelor.”

Hot tub on The Bachelor float at the 2016 Rose Parade

Granted, they might have been easy to miss since the tikis were next to a hot tub filled with girls in bikinis. The new Bachelor himself, Ben Higgins, was sitting up on a lifeguard stand nearby. According to the official description, the setting is supposed to reflect “the most anticipated highlight of the season — the romantic fantasy adventure date on an exotic tropical beach.” (Out of curiosity, I took a look at some of the upcoming season’s spoiler speculations on RealitySteve.com and it sounds like they actually went to the Caribbean, not Polynesia.)

Tiki on The Bachelor float

Anyway, my boyfriend is of the opinion that “if you’ve seen one (float), you’ve seen ’em all.” I have to admit that this year, he may have a point. When we went to the post-parade float viewing, I noticed that the tikis were quite similar to the ones from last year’s Dole float, Rhythm of Hawaii.

Tikis on 2016 Rose Parade float

Both floats were produced by the company Fiesta Parade Floats, so it’s not that surprising. There are some slight differences in the mouths and headdresses, but it seems obvious that they reused the molds or base.

2016 Rose Parade float

That wasn’t the only moment of deja vu, though. It looks like they also reproduced the water effect from last year, right down to the white onions in the waves. I wonder if we’ll see the tikis again next year?

Related Posts:
Tikis on Dole’s 2015 Rose Parade Float “Rhythm of Hawaii”
The City of Downey’s 2012 Tiki Float “Enchanted Paradise”

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Tikis on Dole’s 2015 Rose Parade Float: Rhythm of Hawaii

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For the past five years, Dole Packaged Foods has presented tropical and exotic themed floats in Pasadena’s annual Rose Parade. Naturally, I was pleased to see some tikis on their 2015 entry, “Rhythm of Hawaii.”

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The design also featured two towering volcanoes with “lava” made with thousands of orange roses. To top it all off, it even erupted with real fire and mist. I was lucky enough to be able to see the effect in person as this was one of the few floats chosen to showcase their animation during the post-parade viewing.

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For the fifth consecutive year, Dole’s float won the Sweepstakes Trophy, awarded to the “Most Beautiful Entry with Outstanding Floral Presentation and Design.” All the floats in the parade must covered with natural materials like flowers, grasses, seeds, bark or even fruits and vegetables. And since this was a Dole float, the company provided their own pineapples, bananas, mangoes and papayas.

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Towards the front of the float was a double-hulled canoe wrapped in mahogany ti leaves and strung with leis of tuberose, globe amaranth, crown flowers (said to have been a favorite of Queen Lili’uokalani), dendrobium orchids and clover blossoms — all flowers native to Hawaii.

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Swimming alongside it were dolphins and sea turtles. The latter were covered with individually placed mung beans and split pea beans.

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I love spotting unexpected produce, like these onions placed among the blue irises, agapanthus, white roses and carnations simulating water. The parade volunteers were very amused to point out that these were Maui onions.

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Of course, I also had to ask what was put on those two tikis. The answer: flax seed and pinto beans. Hopefully there will be more tikis on Dole floats in the future — it’s only fitting considering they sponsor Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland.

Related Post:
The City of Downey’s 2012 tiki float “Enchanted Paradise”

City of Downey’s Tiki Float – Rose Parade 2012

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Happy New Year! Every year on January 1st (or January 2nd in this case), we go check out the post-parade viewing of the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena. Two years ago I blogged about an under-the-sea themed float with a neat school of pufferfish, but this go-round there was a bonafide tiki float!

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The City of Downey’s float was called “Enchanted Paradise” and it won the Founders’ Award, which is given to the most beautiful entry built by volunteers (as opposed to the professional float-building companies that make most of them).

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The float featured a volcano that actually erupted fire, three tikis, a thatch and bamboo hut with tapa-style designs, parrots, palm trees and giant orchids.

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I loved the flowers on the volcano, especially the garlands of orange mini orchids and the “lava” flowing down from the top. The audio tour said it was covered with sheet moss, Spanish moss and reindeer moss, and that the rest of the float had thousands of roses, anthuriums, carnations and ginger.

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There was also a waterslide built into the volcano, but you couldn’t really see from the ground or even on the TV coverage, so I don’t really know what the point of it was. I guess it was fun for the people riding it…

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All the floats have to be covered with natural materials, so this “cockatoo” was coated with white and yellow rose petals, and onion seed for the beak.

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During the parade this tiki moved its arms, playing the drum. According to Stephanie Edwards on KTLA, the tikis were covered with bark, barley, mum, walnut and strawflower.

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This sleepy-looking tiki was spewing out smoke during the parade. I love the “tiki torches” next to it — bamboo poles with whole pineapples, pink carnations and heliconia for fire.

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One of the volunteers said that all the tropical flowers (i.e. not the roses or the mosses) had been flown in from Hawaii the previous week.

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It’s interesting to me how they make something — like a palm tree — out of something else — corn husks and orchids. Palm fronds instead made it on to this tiki, giving it a cool texture.

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I liked that the float designers “carved” tiki masks into the support poles of the hut, using squash seeds for some of the white details. That’s a pretty nice bamboo bar they have up there, too — only thing missing is the rum!

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Riding on the float was the beauty queen Miss Downey and her entourage, a few local float association bigwigs, and author and retro slideshowist extraordinaire Charles Phoenix. (Someday I hope to try some of his kitschy Test Kitchen creations like Frosty the Cheeseball Man and the Astro Weenie Christmas Tree.)

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In case you missed it on TV, you can see video of the City of Downey’s tiki float and all its moving parts on the KTLA web site (around the 2:45 mark). Milestone Products is also selling Rose Parade pins featuring the drumming tiki for $6. Check out more of my photos of the float over on Flickr.