We Heart: The Rose Parade Float Celebrating the 2020 Suffrage Centennial

On June 4, 1919, after four hours of grueling debate and even some filibustering on the floor of the U.S. Senate, the Nineteenth Amendment was officially approved by Congress. It would take another year for Tennessee to satisfy the necessary three-fourths state agreement for ratification, but on August 26, 1920, Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby’s certification changed the face of the American electorate and the fate of women’s lives.

That gives feminists much to celebrate in 2020—and the 100th anniversary of women’s rights to vote will kick off in true suffrage style during the New Year’s Day Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif. next year.

(Years of Hope. Years of Courage, by Pasadena Celebrates 2020)

During the “Power of Hope”-themed event, a float will announce the city’s celebration of the Votes for Women Centennial, offering “an exceptional and unprecedented opportunity to commemorate this political victory and to remember that this victory was won by a 72-year long struggle and campaign for the vote.” 

The float will feature a 30-foot Statue of Liberty, a symbol of enlightenment, holding the tablet of the 19th amendment and dressed in the suffrage sash. Riders on the float will include the “Bouquet of Suffrage Descendants”—descendants of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Ida B. Wells, Frederick Douglass and other key advocates.

The float will be covered in yellow roses, a symbol during the suffrage movement of support for Women’s Right to Vote, and 100 people will have the rare chance to march five miles down Colorado Boulevard as part of the event—”out-marchers” dressed in all-white wearing historic suffrage sashes.

With the 2020 election looming larger than ever, the float will act as “a symbol of inspiration and a reminder for all Americans to recognize the responsibility and the power to vote.”

To get involved by donating floral vials, click here. If you’re interested in becoming an out-walker, click here.


Jonathan Chang is an editorial intern at Ms.