Doris Dickmyer and her husband watch the Rose Parade on television every year.
But on New Year's Day, they saw the 124th annual parade -- held in Pasadena, Calif. -- from a different perspective.
"We were seated very close to the parade and we could see the intricate flowers up close and how much work was put into those things," she said.
Dickmyer, 76, said she and her husband, Fred, experienced the hard work as volunteer float decorators for the parade.
The couple helped decorate HGTV's "Oh, the Places You'll Go" float, which featured a castle, igloo and other dwelling places with roofs made of cornhusks attached by Fred Dickmyer.
The float also had straw flowers that were ground up by Doris Dickmyer. This was their first time doing float work.
The program: She said they became volunteer float decorators through a national Petal Pushers program -- based in Mission Viejo, Calif. -- that recruits and organizes volunteers to help complete floats for the parade.
They headed to California on Dec. 27, volunteering eight hours on the HGTV float the next day.
"The (other volunteers) were really friendly," Doris Dickmyer said. "There were teenagers and people in their middle years and old people. We got a chance to see some of the other floats being done."
She and her husband returned to York Friday.
Also helping out: Like the Dickmyers, Vincent and Linda Joslin volunteered through the Petal Pushers program to do some float decoration for the parade.
The Joslins, of Newberry Township, worked on the "Jesus is the Way to Heaven" float done by Lutheran Hour Ministries, based in St. Louis, Mo.
The float was the only Christian-themed presentation done by a religious group that participates in the parade annually, according to the Joslins and a news release by Lutheran Hour Ministries.
The Joslins said they worked with black onion powder to create lines for the float's stained-glass window presentation, which included images of a cross and a star.
Linda Joslin, 65, said they did not know that another York County couple were working on a float in Pasadena. However, like Doris Dickmyer, the Joslins said their volunteer experiences helped them see the parade in a new way.
"It's my favorite parade with the flowers and colors," Vincent Joslin, 66, said. "We got to see what goes into it and the labor. We found out the hard work."
The Joslins did their eight-hour volunteer effort on Dec. 27. They were already in Venice, Calif., to celebrate Christmas with their daughter, Crystal Joslin-Mikels, and her family, including her new baby girl.
The Joslins returned to York Dec. 31 and watched the parade on television at home. Linda Joslin said she was excited to see -- for a few seconds -- the float they worked on.
The couple said they are glad they followed their daughter's encouragement to do float volunteer work.
"It was a very relaxed atmosphere, and we met all kinds of people there," she said. "The (parade and float organizers) were so organized."
--Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at firstname.lastname@example.org.