AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson“I like those (tasks) best because they are detailed,” Boyd said as she carefully brushed lettuce seed onto the wheel of the mock Mars Science Laboratory aboard the JPL float. “I can just focus on one little patch and zone everything else out,” she said. On Thursday, the barn – one of two buildings housing the Phoenix Decorating Company’s 19 floats – was buzzing with noise and activity. Blenders ran nonstop to produce a shimmering powder of dried strawflower petals in red, pink, white and yellow. Volunteers chatted, and the crew chiefs overseeing each float called out suggestions and advice, keeping an eye on quality control. “A lot is cheerleading,” said Mike Thompson, a crew chief of 20 years, as he watched volunteers swarm over the bright hot-air balloons on his float. PASADENA – In a large barn across the street from the Rose Bowl, a year’s worth of work is coming to an end as volunteers apply the famous details to the Rose Parade floats. On top of the floats’ steel skeletons, their chicken wire features and their fabric skin, thousands of volunteers are applying the seeds, leaves and flowers that bring the floats to life. “It’s fun, it’s interesting – it’s hard to really appreciate the floats until you see them up close,” said Vicki Boyd, a 63-year-old resident of St. Louis, Mo. Each year, Boyd and her friends travel from Missouri, Michigan and Maine to join teams of volunteers working seven- and eight-hour shifts to apply the elaborate decorations, sometimes one lentil at a time. A light rain of purple flower petals drifted down from above as a crew member, perched on the balloons’ steel exoskeleton of scaffolding, brushed them onto the float’s broad side with a sponge. “It’s nerve-wracking,” said Jerian Yap about decorating the floats from high above. The 17-year-old, a senior at Eagle Rock High, stood atop the city of St. Louis float as it wobbled gently beneath her. But despite the heights, “it’s really fun, and it’s really rewarding,” Yap said. Seeing it later on television, she said, will allow her to say, “I worked on that float, I helped create it.” During the first days of decorating, which start on weekends in December and get going in earnest the day after Christmas, crews focus on applying the dried, sturdiest details of the floats. At one distribution station, an employee filled volunteers’ buckets from boxes and garbage bins overflowing with straw flowers, cabbage seed, lentils, split peas and a rainbow of beans: red, kidney, brown, white, black, lima and mung. All the work must be completed before Monday, when the judges arrive to pore over the rainbow-colored results. firstname.lastname@example.org (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4451160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!