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Garden of the Gods - Southern Illinois

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Dec 22, 2022

Illinois Office of Tourism “Enjoy Illinois” Reveals “The Middle of Everything” Float for 134th Rose Parade

Float highlights the state's latest tourism campaign and the diversity of Illinois as a premier travel destination with a live performance from “American Idol” finalist and Illinois native, Grace Kinstler

PASADENA, Calif. –The Illinois Office of Tourism (Enjoy Illinois) will make its first-ever float appearance at the 134th Rose Parade® presented by Honda on Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Pasadena, California, as part of America’s New Year Celebration®

The Enjoy Illinois float brings the state's award-winning tourism campaign, "Illinois. The Middle of Everything," to life by showcasing the state’s incredible attractions and unique destinations. The Enjoy Illinois float will also feature a live musical performance from “American Idol” finalist and Illinois native, Grace Kinstler, who will perform her original song, “Leo."

On one end, the float features a replica of the bronze bust of Abraham Lincoln from Lincoln’s Tomb, a historic Route 66 sign and a striking recreation of the iconic Centennial Wheel at Chicago’s Navy Pier. The opposite end showcases the stunning Garden of the Gods in Southern Illinois’ Shawnee National Forest, including a real waterfall with flowing water and towering trees sporting fall colors. Balloons will float above the trees, representing the many hot air balloon festivals that can be found throughout the state. In the center of the float, parade watchers will see Chicago skyscrapers and Cloud Gate (aka “The Bean”) surrounded by violets, the state’s official flower. 

The 24-foot-tall float took four months to build, features nearly 30,000 flowers, and took nearly 22,000 volunteer hours to create.

To view a rendering of Enjoy Illinois’s Middle of Everything float, click here

“Growing up in the Midwest, our family enjoyed many trips to Illinois and marveled in the beauty of the state. Welcoming Enjoy Illinois to the parade has brought up cherished family memories,” said Amy Wainscott, 2023 Pasadena Tournament of Roses President. “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 2023 Pasadena Tournament of Roses theme “Turning the Corner” celebrates the unlimited potential that each new year brings — aligning seamlessly with the Enjoy Illinois Middle of Everything float.

“I’m honored to represent my home state and get the chance of a lifetime to perform at the iconic Rose Parade,” said American Idol finalist and Illinois native Grace 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.”

The Enjoy Illinois Middle of Everything float will be available for viewing post-parade on Jan. 3 during Float Fest accompanied by a special appearance from Big Lincoln. Promotional materials from the Illinois Office of Tourism and Rose Parade will be distributed while supplies last.

To learn more about Illinois and to plan an Illinois getaway, visit


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