Shreveport floral designer Sharon Johnson heads to the Tournament of Roses Parade

At 11 years old, Sharon Johnson would decorate and create flowers from construction paper. “As I grew older, my passion for flowers continued to grow. It’s kind of in my DNA to be attracted to flowers,” said the Shreveport native. This passion led her into project management, event planning, and decoration projects for large business events as well as smaller projects for individuals.

In January, her passion and creative talents will lead her through “the Holy Grail for floral designers” as she joins the Tournament of Roses design team in Pasadena, California.

“My goal is to showcase my talent and to show that the skills I have been able to perfect over numerous years can stand up against the best of the best. I have watched the Tournament of Roses Parade for years and it has been a dream of mine to one day get an opportunity to participate,” Johnson told The Shreveport Sun.

Last month, she accepted an invitation from event planner Scot Wedgeworth to join senior members of next year’s floral design team in creating floats using flowers and other natural materials. Together, they will design crafted floats around the theme “Dream. Believe. Achieve” for Honda, China Airlines, Reese’s, Blue Diamond Almonds, and other brands. According to Johnson, she is the first Black woman to serve on the design team.

“I look at this opportunity as a gift from God. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that many others in this field will not be able to experience,” she said.

She will leave for the parade on Christmas Day and meet the other artists from around the country.

“Being from Shreveport will give me an opportunity to show that talented people come from all parts of the world,” she said.

The 133rd Tournament of Roses Parade and annual Rose Bowl College Football Game will be held January 1, 2022. The Grand Marshall will be LeVar Burton, the former host and executive producer of PBS’s “Reading Rainbow;” starring actor as Kunta Kinte in the acclaimed television mini-series “Roots” and as Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” television series. More than 900 volunteers will help in the production of the two-hour parade that will feature floral floats, marching bands, and high stepping equestrians along a five-and-a-half-mile parade route.

By Candace J. Semien

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