The ‘Wins’ Really Stacked Up!

California Grown Flowers were front and center at the 2019 Rose Parade, earning recognition in many, many ways!

For starters, Cal Poly Universities’ Certified California Grown float – featuring over 91 percent of flowers from the Golden State – earned the Extraordinaire Award, the award that recognizes the most extraordinary entry in the entire parade!


With over 17,000 stems of California Grown Flowers, Cal Poly Universities’ float was once again an award winning success at this year’s Tournament of Roses, taking home the Extraordinaire Award for the most extraordinary float.  Photo by Tom Zasadzinski of Cal Poly Pomona


The 17,000 flowers that covered the award-winning float were donated by California flower farmers. In fact, over five years, California farmers have donated nearly $100,000 in flowers to the Cal Poly Rose Parade team.

For the past eight years, the California Cut Flower Commission has been working diligently to help bring the tradition of celebrating California Grown Flowers back to the Rose Parade.  Photo by Linda Blue Photography.


This year also set the record for the most parade entries to earn California Grown Certification. The certification recognizes entries decorated with more than 85 percent of cut flowers and greens from the Golden State. A total of nine entries were certified, including entries from:

  • Cal Poly Universities
  • Blue Diamond Almonds
  • FTD
  • University of Washington Team Float
  • City of Pasadena Police Department Motorcycles
  • Therapy Ponies
  • Wells Fargo
  • California Highway Patrol
  • Blue Shadow Equestrian Unit


CDFA Secretary Karen Ross with Tina Cao of Blue Diamond Almonds.  Photo by Linda Blue Photography.


This year Well Fargo’s equestrian parade entry was Certified California Grown.  Photo by Linda Blue Photography.


As word spreads, expect to see even more California Grown Certified entries next year!


Farm Ambassadors helped to hand out over 18,000 California Grown stickers to parade goers who spent time to see the floats being built prior to the parade.  Photo by Linda Blue Photography.


An amazing 28 farm ambassador volunteers helped engage the crowds of people who attend “deco week.” The ambassadors handed out over 18,000 CA Grown stickers to folks that came by to see the Cal Poly float being built and learn about how these massive floats come together.

These hardworking ambassadors touched thousands of people with stories and information about flower farming in California.

In another first, the California Cut Flower Commission recognized Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, with its first ever Public Service Award during a special reception Dec. 31 in Pasadena as part of festivities leading up to the 2019 Rose Parade.

The CCFC’s Public Service Award given to CDFA Secretary Karen Ross included a crystal vase and beautiful California Grown Flowers.  Photo by Linda Blue Photography.


Secretary Karen Ross received the first ever Public Service Award presented by the CCFC.  Photo by Linda Blue Photography.


For the past seven years, Ross has graciously bestowed California Grown Certification on Rose Parade entries. She’s also helped advance the California Grown program, including working on the development of a strategic plan and assisting with funding.

There’s no denying it. The Rose Parade is a premier opportunity to showcase the beauty and bounty from California’s flower farmers!

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