GAHANNA, Ohio — The 108th Rose Bowl was the best of both worlds for an Ohio florist who got to work on parade floats and cheer on the Buckeyes in California.
Jody Brown-Spivey is the owner of Expressions Floral Design Studio in the Columbus suburb of Gahanna, but she spends one week every year designing in California.
"It’s kind of like the super bowl of floral designing,” said Brown-Spivey.
She’s talking about the Rose Bowl Parade, and she’s been designing the flowers that go on the floats since 2002.
“Mostly what we do is kind of softening or disguising places on the floats where mechanics would show if we weren't putting bigger florals on the float,” said Brown-Spivey.
She said of all the factors involved, weather plays the biggest role in the flowers on the floats. She said it gets down to the 40s at night in Pasadena which helps preserve them.
“They’re covered. We do them in covered buildings ... but the temperature really helps,” said Brown-Spivey.
As she worked on the floats for this year, ‘The Bachelor’, ‘Wetzel’s Pretzels’ and ‘Reese’s University, Brown-Spivey said helping create these works of art has a very special meaning.
“The company we worked for, we did the VFW float and my dad was a veteran,” she said. “(We) stayed up all night with the floats and then we went to the very front of the parade because that's where the VFW float was … it had won an award.”