Kiwanis International Website


  Date: December 2005
Title: Rose float history

The year 2006 will mark the 20th consecutive year Kiwanis has lined up a float in the Tournament of Roses Parade, but the organization's history with the Pasadena, California, spectacle goes back to 1965.

"The first Kiwanis float appeared in 1965 when the organization was granted a special permit because it was celebrating its 50th anniversary," reports Dave Wallach, president of the Rosefloat of Pasadena Kiwanis club. "It wasn't until 1986, however, that Kiwanis' application reached the top of a waiting list."


That's when Pasadena Kiwanian and tournament committee member Reid Allen helped establish Kiwanis' permanent position in the parade. Homer Maertz, a member of the Kiwanis Club of Lake Forest, California, raised money to pay for the 1986 float, which featured two large ostriches with their heads stuck in the sand.

Over the years, the Kiwanis family has offered volunteers to help decorate the Kiwanis float, as well as other entries designed by the Phoenix Decorating Company. More than 6,500 Kiwanians and sponsored youth program members are expected to work on as many as eight floats for the January 2, 2006, parade.

Titles for the Kiwanis float over the past 20 years have included:

1988-"School Days"
1989-"Singing in the Rain"
1990-"Something to Crow About"
1992-"Reach for the Stars"
1993-"Youth on Parade"
1994-"Children: Priority #1"
1995-"Special Olympics: Everybody Wins"
1996-"Planting for the Future"
1997-"Making Miracles Happen"
2000-"Ringing in the New Year"
2001-"Building a Family"
2002-"Bee Happy"
2004-"Our Family Tree"
2005-"We Are Family"
2006-"The Magic of Reading"

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