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Previewing the rose parade floats ... or even pitching in.

Previewing the Rose Parade floats . . . or even pitching in

Bulging forms of chicken wire, color coded with paint and festooned with papier-mache, await their final adornment of fresh flowers. Jersey-wearing teen-agers paste dry flowers into place, while other volunteers measure letter spaces, sort out colors, and string wreaths. All seem calmly oblivious to the stream of visitors on the catwalk above them.

Such is the scene in Rosemont Pavilion a few days before Pasadena'a annual Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year's Day. Similar activity occurs at three other commercial float-decorating sites in Pasadena and Temple City, and at six noncommercial sites. At all of them, you can see final touches being added to dozens of floats for the 96th annual parade. At a warehouse in Downey, you can do some petal-pushing yourself.

On December 15 from 10 to 2, you can get a close-up preview of a half-dozen floats during their requisite road tests at Jubilee Floats, 120 N. Aspan Avenue in Azusa. You stand curbside while float-builders test-drive mostly undecorated creations. For times, call (818) 681-3724.

Here are commercial sites, west to east: Rosemont Pavilion, 700 Seco Street (at Rosemont Avenue), Pasadena. December 28 through 31 from 9 to 9. See 14 floats. Heading west on the Ventura Freeway (State 134), take the Holly Street turnoff to Linda Vista Avenue; go north 1/2 mile to Seco. Heading east on State 134, take the Colorado Boulevard turnoff; turn north onto Orange Grove Boulevard, then west on Holly to Linda Vista.

Serrurier & Associates, 61 W. Mountain Street, Pasadena. December 27 to 31 from 10 to 10. Three floats. From State 134, go north on Fair Oaks Avenue past Orange Grove Boulevard to Mountain Street; turn west and look for the sign on your left.

Rose Palace, 835 S. Raymond Avenue, Pasadena. December 28 through 31 from 10 to 10. Catwalk views of 12 floats. From the north end of the Pasadena Freeway (State 110), go west on Glenarm Street, then north on Raymond; it's on your left.

Fiesta Floats, 9362 Lower Azusa Road, Temple City. December 26 through 30: 1 to 9 Wednesday and Thursday, 1 to 10 Friday, 10 to 10 Saturday and Sunday. Cost: $1 per person, free for ages 12 and under. See 14 floats. Group tours upon request. From the San Bernardino Freeway (Interstate 10), take Rosemead Boulevard north 1 1/4 miles past Mission Drive; turn east on Lower Azusa; it's on the right.

Other floats are sponsored and built by individual towns and organizations. Here are six locations you can visit, including one where you can help apply flowers.

Burbank. December 29, 30, and 31, from 10 to 10. Stop by the city yard of Burbank Electric Company, 320 N. Lake Street, to view that city's float. Enter from Lake and drive to the gate behind the main building; a guard will let you in.

Cal Poly Pomona. From December 8 through December 23, you can see the construction of the Cal Poly float 24 hours a day at the Rose Float Lab, 3801 W. Temple Avenue, Pomona. It's in the southeastern quad of the college near the agriculture and engineering facility. After December 23, the float will be in the Rosemont Pavilion (see first listing) for flower application.

Downey. If you want to help decorate a float, go to the Darnell Corporation warehouse, 12001 Regentview Avenue, from 9 A.M. to 10 P.M. December 27 through 30. At 7 P.M. on December 31, the completed float leaves for Pasadena. The public is invited to take part in the flower application and to view the sendoff.

La Canada Flintridge. Watch float decorating in the parking lot of Flintridge Prep School, corner of Foothill Boulevard and Hampton Road, December 26 through 30 from 8 A.M. to 10 P.M., and on December 31 from 8 to 6.

Sierra Madre. You can see this town's float being built in the big yellow building at Sierra Vista Park, 587 E. Sierra Madre Boulevard; look for signs to the city yard and reclamation center. From now through Christmas Day, you can visit on weekday evenings from 7 to 10, weekends from 9 to 5; during the last week of December, hours are 8 A.M. to 11 P.M.

South Pasadena. Now through Christmas Day, watch the building of this town's float weekday evenings from 7:30 to 10:30, weekends 10 to 4. From December 26 to December 31, you can see the application of flowers 24 hours a day. It's being built in a huge tent on the El Centro school grounds, 1100 block of El Centro Street.

Photo: Overseen by catwalk visitors, Rose Parade floats await finishing touches from volunteers in Pasadena's Rosemont Pavilion. Below, youthful "petal pushers' paste dry flowers and papier-mache details onto chicken wire
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Publication:Sunset
Date:Dec 1, 1984
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