Frequently Asked Questions

Does Rotary International pay for the float?

Rotarians, Clubs and Districts in the United States and Canada donate the majority of the money to pay for the float.  The RRPFC also receives monies from corporate sponsors and individual sponsors which varies from year to year.  Rotary International paid in 2020 for 2 rider positions the same amount as other riders and will do so again in 2022 and 2023.   The current Budget for the 2022 Float is $143,655.00.  With an audience of over 71 million, including live audience and pre and post live viewing and television and streaming broadcasts that amounts to about .2 cents per viewer.  Even if only the live viewers are counted the cost per viewer is $.20 cents per viewer.

How are the contributions used?

Approximately 64% of the money raised goes to costs directly into building, decorating and entering the float in the parade. The balance of the funds raised pay for business, banking, insurance and other miscellaneous costs related to the float and hosting the RI President while attending the parade and other related activities. 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.”

Statistics have proven that when Rotary International and/or the Rotary Foundation creates public relations events and promotes Rotary membership increases as well as general knowledge of Rotary. By supporting the Float you can assist in a public relations effort to do BOTH!

When Rotary International’s directors approved the first entry in the parade over 41 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!

Last year the Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee had a viewing audience of 41 million households in the United States and 28 million households around the world in more than 243 countries/ territories  (2017 Tournament Statistics). The Tournament estimates that more than 700,000 are present live on the parade route, over 22,000 view the floats as they are decorated; and almost 122,000 view the post-parade floats.

For the 38th consecutive year the Committee again proudly presents its float to North America and the world. And each year, more 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 21,400 people view the float under construction and 67,000 people view the float in the Post Parade area.

Can I help decorate the float?

Yes. See the Decoration Schedule and Signup pages on this website. You will be able to volunteer on-line to decorate the float starting in the fall each year. Approximately 800 Rotary Family Volunteers help prepare and/or apply the organic materials to the float.

All volunteers must be at least 14 years of age and be a member of the Rotary family. The suggested donation to decorate is $10.00.

Decoration signups for the 2021 float begin at 8:00AM on Saturday, September 12, 2020.

How are floats selected for entry into the Rose Parade?

The Tournament of Roses selects applications for Rose Parade Floats carefully. There are about 40 floats in the Tournament of Roses Parade each year. Floats are sponsored by municipalities, community volunteer organizations and commercial sector.

All floats must be designed within the theme of the Rose Parade which for 2020 is “The Power of Hope”. The Tournament of Roses must approve all float designs.

We are fortunate to be to appear in the parade and are very proud to be a part of the prestigious Tournament of Roses New Year’s Day Parade.

When did the Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee 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 Rotary Rose Parade 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 8 Rotary Districts and an additional 700 Individual Rotary Clubs to fund the float. The Committee has entered a float every year since 1980. See the History page for pictures and descriptions of previous floats.

How many people will see the float?

Nearly 70 million households see the Rose Parade, this year held on Wednesday, January 1, 2010.

The Rose Parade is seen by an estimated U.S. audience of almost 37 million households and an estimated international audience of 28 million households in over 243 territories.  (2017 Tournament Statistics).  The Pasadena Police Department estimates that approximately 700,000 spectators view the Rose Parade in person. Another 89,000 visit the Parade Float Decorating Sites and/or the Post Parade Float Viewing Area where the floats are on display for two days.

See the Viewing the Float and Parade page for additional information about viewing the float being decorated, in person on January 2 and on television

How can I contact the Rotary Float Committee?
Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee, Inc.
P.O. Box 92502
Pasadena, CA 91109-2502
chair@rotaryfloat.org