Floral float with a musical theme, inspired by the national franchise’s support for future small business owners, took home the Bob Hope Humor award

The UPS Store Rose Parade float, “The Beat of Achievement” received the Bob Hope Humor award for most whimsical and amusing entry on Monday, Jan. 1, 2024 in Pasadena, Calif. The 35-foot-tall animated crocodile float highlights the company’s support of the next generation of entrepreneurs with Junior Achievement USA. For more information on The UPS Store at the Rose Parade, visit theupsstore.com.
(Jordan Strauss/AP Images for The UPS Store®)

2024 is already off to a big start as The UPS Store, Inc. won the Bob Hope Humor award for its float at the annual Rose Parade presented by Honda. Themed “The Beat of Achievement,” the float featured a musical crocodile surrounded by a posse of flamingos and birds, adorned with roses and whimsy. The float aimed to showcase the national retailer’s Start Small, Grow Big program with Junior Achievement USA in support of the next generation of entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Each year, the Rose Parade bestows awards for categories such as float design, float presentation, entertainment value, and more. The Bob Hope Humor award is given to floats that showcase the most whimsical and amusing entry. This marks the fifth time that a The UPS Store float was recognized with an award from the Tournament of ­Roses.

“On behalf of our franchise network of more than 5,200 locations, The UPS Store is honored to receive the Bob Hope Humor award at the 2024 Rose Parade®, and be among other community partners who celebrate this delightful New Year’s Day tradition,” said Sarah Casalan Bittle, president of The UPS Store, Inc. “This award would not have been possible without the talents and time of so many individuals who helped elevate the importance of youth entrepreneurship to the national stage in such a visually stunning and playful way.”

This year’s float was a dynamic vision featuring an animated 35-foot-tall crocodile making his way through Pasadena to “The Beat of Achievement.” His posse of pink flamingos and colorful tropical bird friends cheered him on. The crocodile’s vibrant puffer vest was decorated with custom-grown marigolds that complemented the croc’s scaly green complexion. The surrounding tropical paradise overflowed with more than 10,000 Pink Floyd roses and a dazzling display of orchids, bromeliads, anthurium, and heliconia. The cleverly massive speakers allowed the crocodile to loudly share his hip-hop flow with the crowd.

Designed by Charles Meier and built by Fiesta Parade Floats, the vision behind the float was to inspire students to pursue their career dreams as aspiring entrepreneurs and small business leaders. The artistic direc­tion of this year’s float reflected the 135th Rose Parade musical theme, “Celebrating a World of Music: The Universal Language.”

The ornate floral design and top-of-line engineering made this year’s highly animated float truly stand out from the rest. The float weighed an impressive 24 tons, featured several moving parts, and was meticulously decorated with tens of thousands of flowers, fruits, and vegetables to bring the concept to life. The hydraulic pressure was powered by a separate six-cylinder industrial engine, providing the energy to drive the hydraulic pump that powers the complex animations.

Decorating the float in the days leading up to the parade were many volunteers, including students from local Junior Achievement programs, employees from The UPS Store, and the two winners of the Start Small, Grow Big Rose Parade Contest. The two winners were selected based on their video submissions about entrepreneurialism and included a 13-year-old boy from North Carolina and a 15-year-old girl from Georgia who, together with their families, enjoyed the Rose Parade and float festivities for their very first time.

In collaboration with Junior Achievement, The UPS Store locations have collected more than $4 million in customer donations since the Start Small, Grow Big program began in August 2022. The program provides students with lessons in financial literacy, work and career readiness, and entrepreneurship. The funds go toward Junior Achievement programs in the communities in which they are collected. For more information visit https://www.theups store.com/about/start-small-grow-big.

The local UPS Store and Chamber member is located at 820 S. Monaco Pkwy. in Denver (Monaco & Leetsdale, in King Soopers Shopping Center). Visit locations.theupsstore.com/co/denver/820-s-monaco-pkwy-4-b for more information.