Downey sends their work afloat


Members of the Downey community volunteer time to create Enchanted Paradise, the city’s Rose Float, before the Pasadena Tournament of the Roses on Jan. 1, 2012. The city of Downey has been featured in the parade before, and even won awards for creativity, presentation, and concept.

Gustavo Ramirez, Opinions Editor

The Downey Rose Float Association garnered an award for the “Enchanted Paradise” float, constructed with the help of the community, on Jan. 1, 2012, at the 123rd Pasadena Tournament of Roses. Designed and constructed with the leadership of Kelley Roberts, the president and construction chairman of the DRFA, the craft was completed on time


“Enchanted Paradise” was modeled as a tropical, exotic island with waterfalls surrounding a massive volcano at the center. Palm trees, flowers, and other foliage covered the float, which gave the float an extra pop. There is no doubt at all why the craft was awarded the “most beautiful entry built and decorated by volunteers from a sponsoring community or organization” award. The DRFA has, so far, won four awards for their floats. With such an impressive track record, the association can only improve and continue to delight the inhabitants of Downey.


“What’s most important to me isn’t that [Enchanted Paradise] won an award,” Roberts said, “but the joy that is derived from designing it, building it, and showing it off.”


What should be highlighted and emphasized is the latter part of the award’s title: “decorated by volunteers from a sponsoring community or organization.” The float could not have been built without the support and passion from local residents, especially from students.


Various students—ranging from 7th to 12th grade—volunteered their time and energy to making the project come alive. What is astounding is the knowledge that they sacrificed parts of their winter vacation to volunteer.


“I mean, yeah, I came because it gave me something to do,” senior Laura Garcia said. “That isn’t the only reason why, though. I also like volunteering, and this was something fun to do.”


The payoff for spending precious and well deserved resting time on the float proved to be well worth it for senior Sophia Loumiotis.


“Knowing that your time and effort went into making something that won a prize is definitely gratifying,” Loumiotis said. “I don’t regret investing my time here at all. I had fun and encourage more people to come in the future.”


Those words ring out as true, for it has been proven time and time again that when Downey residents put their heart and mind into something, wondrous and magnificent accomplishments are a given.