Silverleaf foliage from Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers in Rainbow was used in three Tournament of Roses Parade floats Jan. 1.
The silverleaf appeared on the Wisconsin football helmet, the China Airlines float “Cycling Through Paradise,” and the Disney float “Destination: Cars Land.” All three floats were created by Artistic Entertainment Services. “The blooms just come so nice and big, and they’re just so easy to work with,” said Artistic Entertainment Services floral consultant Andrea Zepeda.
Zepeda noted that leaves and flowers are placed in buckets of water before being glued onto the floats a few days before the Rose Parade itself. “It looks just as beautiful four or five days out of water,” Zepeda said of the silverleaf.
Artistic Entertainment Services (AES), which was once also known as Festival Artists Worldwide, has been working with Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers since 2008 during preparation for the 2009 floats. AES used Resendiz Brothers silverleaf on three of the four AES floats for the 2013 parade.
The Rose Bowl football game featured the University of Wisconsin and Stanford University, and AES created the helmet floats of both teams. Because Stanford opted for a red facemask, silverleaf was used only on the Wisconsin facemask.
Silverleaf was used in some of the arrangements of the China Airlines float, which promoted bicycle opportunities for travelers to Taiwan. The Cars Land float used silverleaf on the gas pump, on Luigi’s bumper, on the taillights, and on the pole of the Flo’s Cafe sign. “We used a lot,” Zepeda said.
The Cars Land gas pump is teal in the animated film “Cars” and the Disney theme park, but nothing teal would meet the Rose Parade requirements that floats be covered only with organic material. “We always try to mix things, but it never works out right. I haven’t found anything teal in nature yet, and I’ve been doing this for 34 years,” said Zepeda, who has been with AES for the past 10 of those 34 years.
The Disney personnel accepted the change in gas pump pigment. “They were very pleased with how it looked with the silverleaf,” Zepeda said.
Silverleaf has a shiny side and a dull side. “For the gas pump you put it on the shiny side and it just looked perfect,” Zepeda said. “You just see the shine.”
Although Disney does not have a Rose Parade float every year, AES has created other floats for Disney and has also worked with Disney on props. “We do things for Disney year-round,” Zepeda said. “We’re honored to be able to do the things we do for them and we enjoy it.”
The China Airlines float received the International award given to the most beautiful entry from outside the 50 U.S. states or the District of Columbia. A three-judge panel assigns scores to the floats based on creative design, floral craftsmanship, artistic merit, floral and color presentation, dramatic impact, and thematic interpretation. The theme for the 2013 Tournament of Roses Parade was “Oh, The Places You’ll Go”.
Silverleaf is actually a tree also known as silvertree and officially called Leucadendron argenteum. Festival Artists Worldwide/Artistic Entertainment Services began working with Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers after the previous silverleaf growers the float company used retired.
In each of the five years, at least one float with Resendiz Brothers silverleaf has won an award. The 2009 Jack in the Box “Jack-O-Licious” float, which used silverleaf petals for the spinning disco ball while silverleaf stems were placed elsewhere on that float, won the Extraordinaire award for the most spectacular entry over 55 feet in length. The 2010 China Airlines float “Taiwan’s Guardian – The Third Prince” used silverleaf petals on the prince’s spear and won the International award.
In 2011, Namco Bandai Games America’s “Pac-Man’s 30th Anniversary Party” float which had silverleaf petals on the plate holding Pac-Man’s birthday cake won the Judges’ Special award for the most spectacular float in showmanship and dramatic impact while the 2011 Quickrete Companies float “What America’s Made Of” had silverleaf in the mailbox and teapot and won the Bob Hope Humor Award for the most comical and amusing float.
The 2012 China Airlines float “Spirit of Prosperity and Harmony” with silverleaf on the dragon’s scales won last year’s