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Wetzel’s Pretzels Selects Pacific Park Employee To Accompany Their Rose Bowl Float

Published on December 28, 2021

Pacific Park team member Johana Ventura will ride along in the Rose Parade aboard the Wetzel’s Pretzels float celebrating Rout 66.

On a day like no other, one of the world’s most famous parades will feature a float from one of the world’s most famous pretzel companies with an employee from one of the world’s most famous amusement parks on a pier – as Johana Ventura, a team member at the Wetzel’s Pretzels inside Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier, participates in the 133rd Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, Calif., on Saturday, Jan. 1 starting at 8 a.m.
The 2022 Rose Parade Theme is “Dream. Believe. Achieve.” that celebrates education’s ability to open doors, open minds and change lives.

According to a statement by Wetzel’s Pretzels, “We’re proud to be part of the 2022 Rose Parade, as its theme of “Dream. Believe. Achieve.” really resonates with us. Starting with a dream of enhancing the snack category in a fresh, fun way, our founders followed their entrepreneurial passion, launching the company in 1994. Our first-ever Rose Parade entry celebrates this dream coming full circle, from its humble beginnings here in Pasadena, to a national brand that supports hundreds of entrepreneurs achieving their dreams of business ownership.”

Wetzel’s Pretzels float, “California Cruisin,’” shares Wetzel’s fun, light-hearted spirit and cool, SoCal vibes that inspire its fresh take on soft pretzels. In appreciation of the many individuals who contribute to the continued success of Wetzel’s Pretzels, the float will feature front-line crewmembers, general managers, franchise partners and support staff from around the world, along with its founders who started it all.

“Dream. Believe. Achieve.” also resonates with Johana Ventura, as she has always dreamed of participating in a Rose Bowl parade, so she continued to believe it could happen, and now she will achieve her goal, “This is an unbelievable opportunity that I will forever be grateful to Wetzel’s Pretzels and Pacific Park.” Ventura adds, “I am so excited to celebrate the New Year in such a unique and thrilling way while taking part in the Rose Bowl tradition and accompanying the Wetzel’s Pretzels float on the parade route.”

Wetzel’s float combines a classic California road trip and beach party, the float features a custom-painted convertible that’s cruisin’ to the upbeat tunes pulsing from a boom box, with surfboards in tow. Palm trees, “gram-worthy” snacks, and iconic road signs—Route 66 and Pacific Coast Highway’s Route 1 among them—round out the scene. Partnering with Artistic Entertainment Services, the masterpiece will be constructed using natural materials in its design. Covering an 18’ wide x 55’ long footprint, a wire frame provides the foundation of the float. Then, 3D structures are sculpted and painted, before the final step of adhering over 200,000 florals and seeds.

The Route 66 theme is a perfect tie-in to Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier’s reconcepted steel roller coaster that races 55 feet above the Santa Monica Pier and provides unparalleled views of the Southern California coastline. Pacific Park began reimagining their classic West Coaster roller coaster in 2020 with all-new theming to celebrate Route 66. Guests to the Santa Monica Pier can look forward to a celebration for the Route 66 West Coaster in Summer 2022.

The Route 66 West Coaster roller coaster’s loading station is enhanced by an automotive décor with oldtime gas pumps, license plates and maps of Route 66, and specialty memorabilia. The all-new roller coaster has been designed from the wheels up as the new ride cars feature design elements of classic American touring cars that harken back to a bygone era of automotive excellence and beauty.

Embodying the Rose Parade’s theme of “Dream. Believe. Achieve.” the Wetzel’s float represents the ideals of the American Dream and how driven individuals can achieve ambitious, life-changing goals. Starting with a dream of enhancing the snack category in a fresh, fun way, founders Bill Phelps and Rick Wetzel followed their entrepreneurial passion, launching the company in their hometown of Pasadena and opening their first bakery in Redondo Beach in 1994. Success quickly followed, leading to the creation of a fast-growing, in-demand franchise concept.


For millions of people around the world, the Rose Parade is an iconic New Year’s Day tradition. The Rose Parade travels 5 ½ miles down Colorado Blvd. and features four types of entries: floral-decorated floats entered by a participating corporation, non-profit organization or municipality, equestrian units, bands, and Tournament Entries. Rose Parade participants have long histories with the Tournament of Roses and keep the traditions alive. The earliest Tournament of Roses welcomed 3,000 spectators to its first parade filled with beautiful, horse-drawn carriages covered in flowers. More than a century later, the parade floats are a marvel of state of the art technology, all tucked away beneath flowers and other all-natural materials.

About Wetzel’s Pretzels

Providing a fun, fresh take on soft pretzels, Wetzel’s Pretzels was founded in 1994 by Bill Phelps and Rick Wetzel. Drawing fans to its mouth-watering, portable snacks that are hand-rolled, baked fresh and served hot from the oven, word quickly spread about the delicious West Coast brand. Today, Wetzel’s Pretzels has grown to more than 340 bakeries, including premier locations like Disney Springs® at Walt Disney World® Resort, Downtown Disney® District at Disneyland® Resort and Universal CityWalk,™ continuing to cultivate fanatics around the world with its SoCal vibes and “gram-worthy” snacks. It’s cult-like following includes famous fans like Ben Affleck , Billie Eilish , Jimmy Kimmel and Kim Kardashian . As the nation’s leading pretzel chain, the franchise has received numerous accolades, most recently being named to the 2021 Top Food Franchises and the Culture100 by Franchise Business Review.