Two area floral designers prepare Rose Parade floats

Thousands of volunteers are hard at work now preparing floats for Saturday’s 2022 Tournament of Roses Parade in California, and this year, two of them are designers from a local flower shop.

Sandra Simpson and Michael Brown, designers at Flowers by Roger in Middletown, left Christmas day for California to begin work Monday on the mobile works of art that will be part of the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena.

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“Our designers are top-notch. We hire the best,” said Roger Conner, owner of Flowers by Roger on Manchester Avenue. “They volunteer to go out. They will be there the entire week.”

Despite giving up two designers in a busy holiday week, Conner said “We are just so excited and proud for them. What a jewel for their career, for their resume and just to say they did it is an accolade.”

Simpson, of Mason, and Brown, of Fairfield, were hard at work Monday as part of a team making the Reece’s University float come to life and will work on others in giant warehouses before the big day.

All parts of the floats covered with flowers or natural materials like leaves seeds and bark, Brown said.

For example, massive amounts of marigold seeds were used to create the coat of a giant dog. Brown said the dried products go on first then fresh flowers a parade day approaches.

While the work is volunteer, they will get to attend the parade and the game, a match up this year between Ohio State and Utah in the Rose Bowl, Conner said.

The parade is scheduled to air at 11 a.m. Saturday on ABC, NBC and the Hallmark Chanel.

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