Millions of Americans are familiar with the Rose Parade, the storied Pasadena pageant whose flower-covered floats have dazzled viewers for more than a century.
What's less known is that most of those rolling creations are produced by a trio of local firms that labor in obscurity most of the year to prepare for a single day in January.
Phoenix Decorating Co. in Pasadena, Fiesta Parade Floats in Irwindale and Artistic Entertainment Services in Azusa are the Rose Parade's Big Three.
With the Jan. 2 showtime fast approaching, the companies are putting the finishing touches on floats that took months to design and build. On average, each craft costs more than a typical U.S. home.
-- Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
Photo: Volunteers help with the Western Asset float. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times