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How Much Did a Rose Parade Float Cost in 1941?

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About $800 to $1000.   Accounting for inflation, that would be equal to about $16,000 in 2015 money. (Today a float cost upwards of $250,000)

The Altadena Chamber of Commerce sponsored the 1942 float and in 1941 raised funds directly from the community.  Most people gave between $1 and $5 dollars.  The largest donation was $100.

The Chamber kept a record of who gave how much.

This is how the Chamber described the float:  

“On an oval base 24 feet long and 12 feet wide, all in solid heather, will be placed a large shield with an open center, topped by a beautiful golden eagle with seven foot wing spread.  Directly below the eagle is a gorgeous flower ribbon bearing the words, “Lest we Forget”.

List of flowers:

  • 2500 sprays of heather
  • 500 red hot-house roses
  • 7500 Delphinium and corn flowers
  • 10,000 white pom-pom chrysanthemums
  • 18,000 white narcissus, maiden hair fern and other greens
  • 5,000 sweet pea flowers
  • 5,000 soleil d’or and yellow and bronze mums
  • Lily of Valley as funds allow 

 “America’s Heroes”

Today, Rose Parade floats cost upwards of a quarter million dollars.  Altadena was priced out of the pageant in the late 1960s when cost climbed to around $10,000. (That would be equal to $67,000 in today’s money.)

Visit AHS to see an exhibit featuring Altadena’s participation in the Rose Parade during the last seven decades.  We’re open Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, 9 am to 1 pm.

Our special hours are Saturdays from 2 pm to 4 pm through January 12, 2016.  That means you can come in January 2 if you’re looking for something fun for all those bored house guests.