Rose Float Team Prepares for Final Stretch

Members of the Cal Poly Universities Rose Float team are working hard to prepare for the annual Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year's Day.
Members of the Cal Poly Universities Rose Float team work jointly every year to design and build the only student-made float in the annual Tournament of Roses Parade, viewed by millions on New Year's Day.
The Cal Poly Universities float will be seen by millions on New Year's Day
The Cal Poly Universities float is a joint effort between Cal Poly and Cal Poly Pomona. In October, students from Cal Poly took their portion to Pomona, where the two halves were paired. Here the float is seen in Pomona.

The cow is almost ready to launch.

For the past several weeks, members of Cal Poly’s Rose Float team have been making regular treks to Pomona, where students from both Cal Poly campuses have been working on this year’s entry to the Tournament of Roses Parade.

This year’s Cal Poly Universities float, Stargrazers, brings to life a scene from the nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle, Diddle,” including a cow jumping over a moon.

“I really like the design this year,” said Regina Chapuis, a computer engineering student and president of the Cal Poly float team. “The moon is looking really good. It’s larger than life.”

This year’s design incorporated elements from last year’s float, which wasn’t built due to the pandemic. After several months of design and manufacturing, students from Cal Poly took their portion of the float to Cal Poly Pomona in October. They have been traveling to Southern California every weekend since.

After Christmas, students from both campuses will work diligently the entire week, finishing the float and adding the thousands of flower pedals that are the trademark of the event.

On New Year’s Day, the team will wake up at 5 a.m. After judging, most of them will be in the audience with the other spectators as their float travels down Colorado Avenue before millions of viewer worldwide.

“We have to spend a whole week there and getting very little sleep,” Chapuis said. “So when it comes to parade day, we cheer very loudly when the Cal Poly’s float comes by, and then maybe half the people are asleep on the stands the rest of the day.”

The photos here, from Pomona, were provided by Tom Zasadzinski, university photographer at Cal Poly Pomona, who captured the two teams working as one.

The Cal Poly College of Engineering understands there has been an enormous amount of turmoil and transition due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). As we continue offering support to our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends, we also continue providing critical updates as well as college highlights. Ours is a college full of creative and bright engineers and staff. For more information on COVID-19 visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. For more information on how Cal Poly is responding to COVID-19, visit the Cal Poly Coronavirus website Coronavirus website.


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