A float by China Airlines (CAL), one of Taiwan's leading carriers, will be taking part in the annual Rose Parade in Los Angeles on New Year's Day after the 2021 event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since 1987, CAL has participated in the parade held annually to mark the start of the Rose Bowl, one of American college football's biggest annual postseason games.
The theme of this year's float by the Taiwanese carrier is "Biking around Taiwan," which features a cycling family setting out to experience the sights, smells, tastes, and beauty of Taiwan. It is decorated with colorful Tung blossoms, ornate orchids, cherry blossoms, and models of the country's cuisine such as braised pork rice and boba tea.
Nearly 50 volunteers from the Formosa Association of Student Culture Ambassadors (FASCA) were invited to help with the preparation of this year's CAL float.
Initiated by the Overseas Community Affairs Council in 2011, FASCA aims to build up connections between Taiwan and overseas youths of Taiwanese descent through various educational training courses. It is based both in the United States and Canada.
"The Rose Parade is a huge deal here in Pasadena and it is actually nice to see that there is a China Airlines float here," said Sarah, one of the volunteers helping to prepare the float.
"I think it is a very colorful representation of Taiwan, like everything is bright-colored, [which] makes Taiwan look very happy, exciting and a very nice place to be," another volunteer Matthew said, adding that the model food on display looked quite accurate.
Sebastian, who hails from Chino Hill, said "the float highlights a lot of things we know about Taiwan such as boba being a Taiwanese invention."
Besides FASCA, there were several other volunteers such as Randy Winship helping to decorate the CAL float.
Winship, who has volunteered for the prep work for CAL's float over the past 16 years, said his connection to Taiwan dated back to a long time ago as he had worked in the country before.
"That was an important moment for me. I have been all over Asia and I love working in Taiwan," he explained.
According to the parade's organizer, it is estimated that more than 700,000 people will attend the 133rd Rose Parade in person while around 50 million people around the U.S. will watch it live on TV.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel