PASADENA, CALIF. (WCIA) — An Enjoy Illinois float took part in the 134th Tournament of Roses Parade along the streets of Pasadena, Calif. on Monday.

Part of the Illinois Office of Tourism and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Enjoy Illinois’ float showcased the state’s award-winning tourism campaign, “Illinois. The Middle of Everything.”

The float featured 30,000 flowers and many aspects of the State of Illinois, including an Abraham Lincoln bust, a Route 66 sign, and the Garden of the Gods. The 24-foot-tall float took four months to build and nearly 22,000 volunteer hours to create.

“Growing up in the Midwest, our family enjoyed many trips to Illinois and marveled in the beauty of the state,” said Amy Wainscott, 2023 Pasadena Tournament of Roses President. “Welcoming Enjoy Illinois to the parade has brought up cherished family memories. Having the state that meant so much to me as a child be a part of this most amazing time in my adult life exemplifies why the Rose Parade is so special.”

The parade’s theme, “Turning the Corner,” celebrated the unlimited potential that comes with each new year. Illinois Tourism said this aligned seamlessly with Enjoy Illinois’ float theme: Middle of Everything.

Troy Gilmore, Assistant Site Superintendent for Illinois State Historic Sites, works much of the time at the Lincoln Tomb in Springfield. He enjoyed watching his home state be represented on a grand scale from the comfort of his home.

“It was pretty cool,” said Gilmore, who has been watching the Rose Parade with his family for many years. “People in California may have wondered why Illinois is represented. It was a unique promotional tool for the state.”

American Idol finalist and Illinois native Grace Kinstler also performed her new song, “Leo,” on the float.

“I’m honored to represent my home state and get the chance of a lifetime to perform at the iconic Rose Parade,” said Kinstler. “This is a great opportunity to kick off the new year in a way that makes me feel like I’m back in sweet home Chicago.”

Enjoy Illinois features many attractions scattered throughout the state for Illinoisians and visitors alike. Notable attractions include the Willis Tower in Chicago, Illinois Amish Country in Arthur, Superman’s hometown in Metropolis, and much more.

Photo courtesy: Illinois Tourism