Volunteers spent months crafting the Battle Ground Rose Float, which was included in the Grand Floral Parade in Portland on June 11.
Volunteer Barbara Rowe was excited to unveil the float.
“The Portland parade’s theme is ‘Rose City Reunion’ because of course we’ve been without a Rose Parade for two years,” Rowe said. “The last one was in 2019, and the theme for the Battle Ground float is royal rendezvous because it’s a reunion of past princesses of Battle Ground royalty.”
She said the float also contains past critters that were featured on previous floats, like bees, bluebirds, owls, and snakes. Rowe said the construction crew who built the float decided to downsize this year to a 9 foot by 27 foot float. In the past, the float was 35 feet by 12 feet.
“We made it a little smaller hoping we can fit it into an existing building or somebody’s garage. We’re building it in a barn off of 132nd Avenue,” she said.
Princesses from past parades who represent Battle Ground also attended the parade.
“For (the princesses), this will be a treat because they’ll get to ride on the float. Last time, they had to walk the route and it was twice as long as it is this year,” Rowe said.
The princesses are girls who attend or have attended Battle Ground Public Schools.
Rowe said the building process was unusual this year due to the unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic. They began construction on the float in January.
“We didn’t know for some time that there was even going to be a parade this year,” she said. “We had to find out for sure that there was going to be a parade, and we didn’t find out until the end of last year, so we lost a few months there (to build the float). Because our construction team wanted to tear it down to a workable size, they have been working on it and making it smaller to try and improve on the chase design. They ended up working on it a lot longer than they intended.”
Rowe added that the decorating crew didn’t get to work on it until the beginning of May.
“Fortunately, we had another place where some of us could work on certain aspects of the float,” Rowe said. “We’re a rather close-knit group because we’ve done this for many years. One of our people has done it for over 30 years. … I’ve only done it for 17.”
Part of the float is made of foam panels that the Battle Ground Rose Float group would have used to craft its float in 2020, although plans for that one were canceled due to the pandemic. Rowe said the panels are made to look like brick walls. The float also included a cab on top with a lattice that was made of wheat bran and flaxseed.
She said the Grand Floral Parade celebrates the Pacific Northwest and its communities.
“Battle Ground has contributed a float as the only al volunteer made float representing the community. There’s a lot of floats from commercial entities, but there are also others from communities,” Rowe said.
Battle Ground Rose Float has operated since 1955.
More information can be found online at battlegroun drosefloat.com.
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