Huntington 2020 Rose Parade float

Huntington Centennial Float Wins Award in the 2020 Rose Parade®

The Huntington's Rose Parade Float on ABC

Huntington Float Wins the Golden State Award for Most Outstanding Depiction of Life in California

For the first time in 50 years, The Huntington joined Pasadena’s world-famous Rose Parade® with a spectacular float, themed "Cultivating Curiosity," capturing the spirit of The Huntington's Centennial Celebration and winning  the Golden State Award for most outstanding depiction of life in California. The float highlighted the institution's rare research materials, inspiring art collections, and enchanting botanical gardens that have made it a beloved destination that welcomes 750,000 visitors each year. 

The Huntington's Rose Parade Float on KTLA

Float Facts

  • “Cultivating Curiosity" featured elements from the Chinese and Japanese Gardens, artworks including Mary Cassatt's "Breakfast in Bed," Edward Hopper's "The Long Leg," and the Ellesmere Chaucer, all in floral form, along with a few Corpse Flowers emitting a "stinkless" fog!
  • The float measured 23 ft. high, 18 ft. wide, and 55 ft. long
  • 59,617 flowers were used in its decoration, including petals, seeds, and items from The Huntington's botanical gardens along with materials grown at The Huntington, such as Golden Barrel Cacti
  • “Cultivating Curiosity” appeared in position 38 of 88 floats in the parade
  • The float is the culmination of almost a year’s work, and the product of nearly 1,000 volunteers from each part of The Huntington: its staff, volunteers (including our dedicated teen volunteers), Members, Fellows, and friends and family.
  • Designed and built by Phoenix Decorating Company in Irwindale 

Float Time Lapse

Float Riders

  • Two youth participants from The Huntington’s community partner programs with the Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA): Nana Ama Ampofo (age 17, downtown Los Angeles) and Giovanni Tellez (age 17, downtown Los Angeles)
  • Two youth participants from The Huntington’s community partner programs with the Pablove Foundation: Aaryan Andreev-Jain (age 13, Glendale) and Tessa Krause (age 15, Inglewood)
  • Huntington President Karen R. Lawrence
  • Two lucky staff members who won a staff-wide raffle: Alfred Torres and Javier Vasquez
  • Leadership donor and member of The Huntington’s Board of Governors Mei-Lee Ney

Float Walkers

Six walkers followed the float, including five of The Huntington’s teen volunteers and one adult supervisor:

  • Max Liu, Oak Avenue Intermediate School, Temple City, CA, Class of 2020
  • Ella Minton, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, La Cañada Flintridge, CA, Class of 2022
  • Claudio Reynoso, Marshall Fundamental School, Pasadena, CA, Class of 2020
  • Ava Slocum, San Marino High School, San Marino, CA, Class of 2020
  • Cameron Yu, Temple City High School, Temple City, CA, Class of 2023
  • Jenny Vidar, The Huntington’s volunteer programs coordinator

Students involved in The Huntington's teen volunteer program work weekly two-hour shifts in the gardens and galleries to learn about the collections as they work and interface with visitors. Teen Volunteers wrote letters to nominate themselves to walk alongside The Huntington’s float.

About the Float Riders:

Founded in 2008, the Pablove Foundation is a nationwide non-profit that teaches photography to children with cancer and funds innovative cancer research. Pablove Shutterbugs, the signature art-education program of the Pablove Foundation, teaches kids and teens living with cancer to develop their creative voice through the art of photography. Students learn from caring professionals who help spark their creativity and foster a sense of discovery and accomplishment. Since 2017, The Huntington has hosted Pablove Shutterbugs courses, in which the botanical gardens and art collections serve as inspiration for the participants’ exploration of photography.

Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) provides underserved youth with free programs in academics, arts, and athletics in a nurturing environment. HOLA’s success is founded on safe environments, nurtured by a “no-wrong-door” approach, amplified by world-renowned partners, and perpetuated by students who become productive, caring, and responsible citizens. HOLA’s staff have attended pedagogical leadership retreats at The Huntington, which are an ongoing part of their Saturday Museum Club curriculum and include arts-based workshops inspired by The Huntington’s collections. In partnership with HOLA’s Visual Arts Department, The Huntington will serve as inspiration for HOLA’s 2020 student art show, which focuses on botanical themes.

Karen R. Lawrence, President, The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens
Karen R. Lawrence is the ninth president of The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens. Before joining The Huntington in September 2018, she served for a decade as president at Sarah Lawrence College, a small, highly regarded liberal arts college in Yonkers, New York. “The Huntington’s incomparable collections have had an extensive reach over the past century, and we expect them to continue to inspire visitors, new and old, for the next 100 years in powerful and unpredictable ways,” said Lawrence. “We welcome the national and international exposure that this celebrated parade provides and look forward to this joyful moment during our Centennial as a way of sharing our treasures with audiences the world over.”

Javier Vasquez, Huntington Staff Raffle Winner
Javier Vasquez has worked at The Huntington for 11 years and is currently a special events custodian. His father worked as a gardener at The Huntington for 40 years. “I love The Huntington. With all the different plants and gardens from all over the globe, you can travel the world in one day instead of 80,” said Vasquez.

Alfred Torres, Huntington Staff Raffle Winner
Alfred Torres joined The Huntington in March 2019 as a security officer. “Earlier this year, when I moved to Los Angeles from Connecticut and joined The Huntington, I felt excited and grateful to be a part of an amazing institution. Upon learning that I would be a rider on the Rose Parade float, I had similar feelings: happy and grateful to be a part of The Huntington,” said Torres.

Mei-Lee Ney, Board of Governors, The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens
Mei-Lee Ney was born in Shanghai and came to the United States when she was two years old. She is president of Richard Ney & Associates Asset Management, Inc., Pasadena, a member of The Huntington’s Board of Governors, a leadership donor for The Huntington’s Chinese Garden, and a major supporter of the parade float. She also is active in a range of non-profit organizations in Southern California, including Caltech Associates, Huntington Hospital, L.A. Opera, the Music Center, the Pasadena Educational Foundation, Pasadena Heritage, the Pasadena Senior Center, and the University of Southern California. Her additional community service includes serving as director on the board of the Valley Hunt Club, Pasadena, and as past president of the Town Club, Pasadena.

Karen Lawrence at podium
President Karen R. Lawrence presents opening remarks at The Huntington's Centennial Celebration



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