The 2023 Tournament of Roses Parade will be featuring Canadian and Saskatchewan representation from one Swift Current resident.
Poppy Parsons, owner of Smart Flowers, will once again be decorating a float in the parade for the national organization Donate Life, her fourth time with the event.
“It really is a high impact float,” Parsons said. “It gives them an opportunity to honor recipients, honour donors, honour people that have given their lives and then donated to the organization and to people that need lifesaving blood tissue and organs. It's really quite an emotional thing to watch and to be involved in and it just sparks lots of talks for people to understand what it's about and create conversation to sign your donor card and help save lives.”
This year’s theme is Year of the Dragon, and folks watching from home can spot Parsons’ as the one with high energy organ donors and recipients walking alongside it and a flowing botanical dragon atop it.
Arriving in California on December 27, Parsons will join her team in building the floral creature for the January 2 parade down Colorado Boulevard in Los Angeles.
“Every inch of the float needs to be covered in something botanical,” she said. "You need to have really high-quality designs and high-quality flowers executed really well, because the goal is to win an award for the people we're decorating for.”
The 134th Rose Parade is set for 8 a.m. PST, with last year's turnout estimated at 700,000 folks watching in person and 45 million folks watching from home in the United States.
“I love to travel and experience different things in the floral industry and have created a lot of friends along the way,” Parsons said. "I call them my floral family. We all do because they're so uniquely connected and care about each other so much and have that connection that reaches across the miles, and then you get to spend time together even when you're working hard and working long hours it's still just such a great feeling to be with those people that you just love and cherish so much. Seeing the families of recipients and donors working alongside us on the float for my particular folks—that's the best. I create connections and talk with them and hear their stories. That's really the true gift of this opportunity that I have.”