Broward County is pulling out all the stops to show off in front of the world.
On Thursday its tourism arm unveiled the float they’ll use at the 135th Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif. on Jan. 1.
On tap: An estimated 45,000 flowers, including 1,000 varieties of “fragrant and colorful” roses, paired with flax seeds, brussels sprouts, sesame seeds, blue statice, heliconia, cymbidium orchids and more. There will be life-sized alligators with waving tails, friendly manatees and sea turtles emerging from the sands, “offering a glimpse of Greater Fort Lauderdale’s magical ecosystem spanning from the Everglades to the Atlantic Ocean,” according to the agency.
And landmarks will include the wave wall along Fort Lauderdale beach and an architectural replica of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel that is shaped like a guitar.
“We love it,” Stacy Ritter, president and CEO of Visit Lauderdale, said of the design. “It’s an opportunity for us to get in front of 24 million households, and many more internationally.”
Ritter said the piece of art will “translate the beauty of this destination; our vision will get translated into this floral splendor.
“We’re looking forward to showing it to the world.”
Details about the entertainment and float riders will come later.
In August, Broward County signed off on a budget up to $790,000 for the Rose Parade parade, the iconic New Year’s tradition, as part of a massive advertising effort to bring tourists to the region to eat, sleep, shop and play. The money for the float will come from Broward’s tourist “bed tax,” the extra 6% charged at hotels.
Thursday’s announcement from the county comes the same day Gov. Ron DeSantis took to X, formerly Twitter, to say that from July to September, Florida had 35.1 million visitors, “which is a record for the third quarter and puts our state on pace for another a record-setting year.”
Broward officials have previously bemoaned the loss of tourists as conventions pulled their reservations, citing the state’s culture wars.
Broward’s float will be 24 feet long by 18 feet wide and 55 feet high. It is expected to take more than 25,000 hours for designers at a fabrication company to put it together.
Lisa J. Huriash can be reached at email@example.com. Follow on X, formerly Twitter, @LisaHuriash