First published in the Dec. 16 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.
Pasadena-based brand Wetzel’s Pretzels will be cruisin’ into 2022 with its inaugural float entry — “California Cruisin’” — in the 2022 Rose Parade. Through its debut, the hometown brand will celebrate its rich heritage while joining a New Year’s Day tradition cherished by millions of families worldwide.
The brand’s float “shares Wetzel’s fun, light-hearted spirit and cool, SoCal vibes that inspire its fresh take on soft pretzels,” according to a company statement. “Combining 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 float will be constructed using hundreds of thousands of florals and natural materials in its design.
“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.”
“As a hometown, Pasadena-based brand, we’ve watched the parade pass right by our headquarters’ office in Old Town. We’re thrilled to be a participant this year as the theme “Dream. Believe. Achieve.” connects deeply with our mission and is something I find so meaningful and motivating about leading a franchise organization,” said Jennifer Schuler, CEO of Wetzel’s Pretzels.
“We’re proud to have established a profitable business model which enables our franchisees to achieve their dreams of not only building a successful business, but also creating generational wealth for their families. In many cases, our franchisees are first-time business owners or first-generation Americans and when they take a chance on their dreams, they create vibrant local businesses that serve the community with pretzels and create jobs,” Schuler continued.
“Our first-ever entry into the Rose Parade celebrates this dream coming full circle, from its humble beginnings here in Pasadena where our founders started that dream, to a national brand that supports hundreds of entrepreneurs achieving their dreams of business ownership.”
In appreciation of the many individuals who contribute to the success of Wetzel’s Pretzels, the float will feature front-line crew members, general managers, franchise partners and support staff from around the world, along with its founders who started it all.
Beginning Dec. 20 to celebrate its parade debut, guests who enter code “Parade” in the Wetzel’s app will receive a free pretzel reward to be redeemed in the new year and will be entered for a chance to win exclusive Wetzel’s Rose Parade merchandise and free pretzels for a year.
“At Wetzel’s, we strive to be that delightful moment in someone’s day, giving them the opportunity to relax, recharge and connect with others while enjoying a scratch-made pretzel straight from the oven,” said Wetzel’s Pretzels Chief Marketing Officer Kim Freer. “As we turn the calendar page, it seems fitting that California Cruisin’ provides a welcome reminder that it’s not about the destination, but rather, enjoying the journey.”