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Award-winning float creator dropped by Tournament of Roses

Award-winning float builder dropped by Tournament of Roses
Award-winning float builder dropped by Tournament of Roses 02:24

An award-winning float builder was dropped by the Tournament of Roses on Monday after they failed to stand up to the set of standards expected of the New Year's Day competitors. 

Fiesta Parade Floats, which is one of just three approved commercial float builders, will not be participating in the 2025 Rose Parade after the association's announcement. 

Now, the Phoenix Decorating Company in Irwindale is getting ready to take on even more floats than usual, 10 of which are already in the works. 

"It's sad news," said Chris Lofthouse, the President and CEO of Phoenix Decorating. "This is a small industry, it's a tight knit industry. It's sad, it's a tough industry."

In response, they're now working on finishing their smaller projects so they can get ready to take on more work, including projects that were already commissioned out to Fiesta Parade Floats. 

David Eads, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses CEO, says that it was a difficult decision to make after working with the company for more than 40 years. 

"We have float builder criteria that are required of all of our commercial builders," Eads said. "Fiesta was no longer in compliance with our criteria for commercial builders."

Some of that criteria includes having the financial capacity to continue creating floats, which Lofthouse says has been a challenge for all of the companies. 

"We are still recovering from it, now we are fighting the inflation side of it," Lofthouse said, noting that the price for things like materials and insurance have skyrocketed. "It's three-fold of what it was prior to COVID."

Floats can cost between $150,000 and $500,000 to make. 

Lofthouse says that 20 years ago there were six commercial builders that worked with the parade. 

The owner of Fiesta Floats has not been available for comment upon request from KCAL News. 

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