If ever there was a country whose splendors should be displayed in a Rose Parade float, it seems Indonesia would be it—at least from the description the Ministry of Tourism & Creative Economy, which sponsored “Wonderful Indonesia” in the 2013 Rose Parade.
For two years in a row, “Wonderful Indonesia,” created by Fiesta Parade Floats, has won the President’s Trophy for “Most Effective Floral Use and Presentation.” The two-part float was a stunner, with extravagant use of flowers and tropical materials. The brilliantly colored costumes of the outwalkers, vibrant purple umbrellas on the main float and gigantic wayang golek (wood puppets), and a gamelan orchestra from Central Java on the satellite enticed viewers to make Indonesia one of the places they would like to go.
The front float featured a 16-foot-high gamelan gong and two domed stupas that are reminders of the Buddhist monument at Borobudur near the Central Java City of Solo. The orchestra was seated among large tropical flora, used in its natural state, such as anthurium, heliconia, King protea and leucadendron.
Three puppets dominated the second float, with turning heads and arms operated by puppeteers. Such puppets, representing Krishna, Arjuna and Gatot Kaca, are used in Indonesia to act out The Mahabarata, an ancient Sanskrit epic poem. Four eye-popping, 24-foot-high umbrellas were created using purple sinuata statice, with poles of gold strawflower and tassels of individual crown flowers.
For links to articles on award-winning floats as they are posted, bookmark “2013 Rose Parade floats: Award-winners, articles, and photos”
In choosing the botanicals for wayang golek, Fiesta Parade Floats floral designer Jim Hynd looked for materials that would closely match the traditional colors of the puppets. He used whole red carnations, white coconut chips, cranberries, kumquats, sinuata statice and pearl onions. Glossy black seaweed was used for accents and yellow strawflower for adornment. Black represents nature and yellow represents the greatness of Indonesia.
Both pods were surrounded by sculpted orchids blossoms mirroring cattleya, cymbidium, and the national flower phalaenopsis.
The float was accompanied by dancers in dazzling costumes that celebrated the art of batik in stylized designs and colors. The costumes are featured in the annual Solo Batik Carnival. Batik is a wax-resist dying process with intricate patterns, some of which were recreated on the float.
The two-art float reflected Indonesia’s ongoing preservation, respect and care for the arts, and its rich cultural heritage. The Republic of Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world, with 17,504 large and small tropical islands straddling the equator and stretching from Malaysia to New Guinea. It is the world’s 16th largest country by land mass and third largest democracy, and is home to more than 300 ethnic groups.
The theme of the 124th Rose Parade and 99th Rose Bowl Game was “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” The 125th Rose Parade and 100th Rose Bowl Game will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. The Tournament of Roses is a celebration that lasts several weeks in the fall and winter.
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