Dole Packaged Foods 2016 Rose Parade Entry| @DolePackaged #DoleRose

First Look at Dole’s 2016 Rose Parade Entry!

By Monica & Erin

The other weekend we joined the Dole Family Fun Day Event to help decorate the float that will be displayed at the Rose Parade. We arrived early at Fiesta Floats, a company that specializes on building floats. They are located inside a huge warehouse and every year they have volunteers join the fun by getting crafty with glue, ladders and flowers.

Dole Float 2016

It was really interesting to learn that the production of the floats start early in the year with the designers and creative team. Then as the event gets closer seeds, moss and even fresh flowers are added to the floats.

Dole Rose Parade 2016 Flowers

We got a preview of the New Years Day Rose Parade Float while we enjoyed an afternoon full of fun activities for everyone in the family such as face painting, balloons twisted into awesome creations and even some Latin music dancing.

Dole Rose Parade Float Concept

This Years Theme

Dole Packaged Food’s 2016 float, “Soaring Over Paradise,” explores the world’s precious rainforests where more than 30 million species of plants and animals make their homes. The float includes four fresh waterfalls, a zip-line that will allow a rider to travel through the lush rainforest canopy, and a flock of brilliantly colored sculptured Macaws that appear to take flight over the dense floral floor of the float. The Macaws are a special tribute to famed float designer Raul R. Rodriguez, who designed DOLE’s winning 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 Rose Parade floats, all with his pet Macaw, Sebastian, right by his side. Rodriguez designed 528 floats during his 38-year long career, 31 of which were Sweepstakes Trophy winners in the Rose Parade.

Dole-Float-Rose-Parade-2016

Interesting Facts

Throughout its participation in the prestigious Rose Parade, Dole has explored various countries and cultures where DOLE fruit is grown. Raul R. Rodriguez brought the stories of the destinations to life with stunning floral displays, along with fresh fruit grown by DOLE for use on each float.

“Raul was a member of the Dole Packaged Foods family and helped us not only create vibrant, colorful and exotic floats, but also to tell the stories of our heritage and the many cultures that contribute to our mission of inspiring healthy lifestyles,” said Dave Spare, Vice President of Marketing, Dole Packaged Foods. “This year we are honoring our friend by dedicating our 2016 Rose Parade float entry to him, and expanding DOLE’s presence with activities the week prior to the Rose Parade.”

To further honor Rodriguez, Dole is making a monetary donation in the designers’ name to California State University Long Beach, where he is a distinguished alumni. As a CSULB alumni myself, I am glad to see Dole making such a generous contribution in honor of such an amazing man.

Dole Rose Parade

A few years ago when we first started attending this special Dole Family Day, we had the honor to meet with and chat with Raul Rodriguez. As a lifelong fan of the Tournament of Roses Parade and watching since I was a child, driving up with family to Pasadena after the Parade to get to see the floats up close and personal while they were on display, I have always admired and have been awestruck by the beauty and artistry of his designs. It was exciting to be able to meet him, and I am so glad we had that opportunity.

The 2016 Dole Packaged Foods float also highlights Dole’s environmental practices, respect for natural resources and commitment to non-GMO packaged fruit through its vibrant depiction. Featured throughout the float are fresh, non-GMO fruits and vegetables grown by DOLE, including bananas, pineapples and mangoes.

In addition to the fresh fruits and vegetables being displayed on the float, Dole will have a major presence at the first “Live on Green” event in Downtown Pasadena.  The three day event, Dec. 29 – 31, at the Pasadena Convention Center will have a special memoriam for Raul R. Rodriguez. Dole will also have live food and beverage demos with Dole California Cook-Off champion Ally Phillips from Allys Kitchen throughout the event, as well as the Dole Bistro, that will be serving up exotic, healthy and fun food and drinks.

To kick off the final road to the 2016 Rose Parade, Dole is launching a sweepstakes in which one lucky winner and a guest will get to travel to a rainforest paradise. The sweepstakes will be running through midnight on December 31, 2015, fans can enter for a chance to win a grand prize Hawaiian vacation, including hotel and airfare. For more information about the sweepstakes, and to enter, visit  Dole’s Facebook page.

Product Samples

During the Family Day we also got to sample some of the newest Dole products.  Dole Dippers are delicious fresh frozen banana slices covered in dark chocolate. They also had Fruitocracy, a very yummy fruit pouch made from straight-up, delicious, all natural fruit.

Dole Products 2016

For more information about the Rose Parade visit their Website.

Dole Floats in the 2013 Rose Parade

Dole Floats in the 2013 Rose Parade

By Erin

Earlier this month, my friend Jamie from Minnesota Girl In LA invited me out with her to go check out the Dole Floats that were in the making for the 2013 Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade. The Rose Parade has always been something I have looked forward to watching every January 1st, so of course I had to jump at this amazing opportunity. The theme of this years parade is “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” Being a Dr. Seuss fan, I LOVE the theme they have going on for this year!! Here was the schedule of events for the day:

The floats are located at Fiesta Floats in Irwindale and while there we also were able to meet the designer Raul Rodriguez, have some delicious food, and just relax and enjoy the festive environment while trying out some Dole products. The theme of this years float is “Dreaming of Paradise.”  That sure is a place I’d love to go! 😉

As the two-time reigning Sweepstakes award winner, DOLE is vying to become the only company to win the Sweepstakes award every year they have entered.  They are striving for a three-peat! I have every faith that they will be able to accomplish this. The float is breath-taking to say the least!

The Queen and her Royal court were also present, and of course, us SoCal Lady Bloggers had to get a picture together! (Jen from Toddler Trails, Jill from Sandy Toes and Popsicles, Myself, Jamie from Minnesota Girl In LA and Mary from Lets Play OC!)

We also just had to get a picture with the designer:

Jamie, Raul, and Myself

Here’s a little more information about Dole’s float for the parade! The float will feature a 26-foot massive volcano which will erupt with smoke, steam and fire shooting 20 feet into the sky over a vibrant and lush tropical rain forest of Latin America teaming with prowling tigers, fluttering butterflies, chimpanzees, parrots, and dragonflies. Incredible parrots are going to be fashioned in floral feathers of blue iris, red poinsettia, carnations and Pee Wee anthuriums accented with Kermit button mums. Lava of 8,000 vivid fluorescent orange roses majestically will flow over the volcano surface decorated in black lichen moss. Three waterfalls feature over 1,000 gallons of cascading recycled water as well as a misting system  to add to the tropical mood. Throughout the float are fresh and healthy fruits, including bananas, pineapples, mangoes, papayas, peaches, strawberries and blueberries that were grown by DOLE just for this use on the float. Traditional Costa Rican folk music will be played with performers dancing on the street on both sides of the float. I don’t know about you, but this sounds like a marvelous tropical paradise!

 The playful chimpanzees have fur fashioned in dehydrated cranberry foliage with highlights of pampas and pharmitas grass.

Just look at the amazing detail of the butterflies on this float! Orange marigold and yellow strawflower petals are detailed with black onion seed and white sweet rice.

Let me show you some of the oh so delectable treats that DOLE has available now. We had a little taste of paradise with these yummy (and healthy) treats!  The new frozen DOLE Smoothie Shaker is a paradise for your taste buds (I tried the Peach-Mango flavor).  No blender required!!  You can create a perfect frozen smoothie with real yogurt and fruit just by shaking the DOLE Peach Mango Smoothie Shaker with juice for 30 seconds and enjoy! Made with all natural fruit and real yogurt, DOLE Shakers are a good source of calcium and are nutritionally fortified with an extra boost of protein, each 11 oz serving is under 200 calories.

Another treat that you and especially those with kids will think is a little bit of snacking paradise is the new Squishems!  A squeezable fruit snack that kids will love to squish!  Squish’ems! is real fruit sauce in a great squeezable pouch with a fun resealable cap. No need for a spoon, just pop the cap, squeeze and enjoy!  Each Squish’ems! pouch contains 1 full serving of fruit that is made locally in the US with all natural fruit, has only 70 calories and contains 100% daily value of vitamin C.

We also sampled Trio Granola Bars filled with tasty and nutritious fruits and nuts.  My absolute favorite though, was the Dole Dippers!!  Small bites of frozen bananas covered in dark chocolate, a true taste of paradise for your senses. At only 100 calories a serving, that truly is paradise! I was enjoying these snacks so much, they were demolished before I was able to get a picture of them! Oppps!! 😉

I just had to include  a couple of pictures of the yummy food that we graciously were able to indulge in for lunch! They had a food truck that featured Central American Inspired Tapas called VCHOS. It tasted just as good as it looks! I will definitely be coming back for more. The fried plantains and tacos were a piece of heaven, very fresh and flavorful.

Of course you can never go wrong with In-N-Out!! I just had to have a burger as well, even though I was stuffed from the VCHOS truck and the DOLE samples!

Decorating of the Dole float has resumed this weekend and will be adorned with fresh roses for us to enjoy.  I cannot wait until Tuesday morning to see the finished product, and will be looking forward to heading up to Pasadena after the parade to view the floats (another New Year’s tradition that I have enjoyed ever since I was a little girl). Enjoy and Happy New Year 2013!!!