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Yesterday we took Little T to Pasadena so he could watch the students at Cal Poly work on the Rose Float. Cal Poly has participated in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade every year since 1949. In fact, my relationship with Big T blossomed as we worked on a project for the rose float together. Aw, mush!

For the students, building the Rose Float is an intense year long process, but the fun for the masses begins the week before the Rose Parade when Cal Poly asks volunteers to head over to Pasadena and help out!

The float theme this year (designed by Cal Poly SLO student Kelsey Christoffels) is “To The Rescue”, and features superheroes catching a train that has fallen off a track to help save the day.

The theme relates to Cal Poly students because they go to school to make their community a better place, whether it is through engineering, communication, teaching or landscape architecture. Their hope is to someday be superheroes to their community.

Volunteer Information: 

More than 1000 volunteers come together between Christmas and New Year’s to decorate the Cal Poly float. The program is run completely by student volunteers from both campuses and they’d love to see you and your family there!

  • Free Parking
  • 1 dollar to volunteer
  • Must commit to four hours of volunteer work

Fun Float Facts: 

  • The float will have a moving train, a breaking bridge, a waterfall, and a helicopter with smoke and a spinning rotor. Cool!
  • This will be one of Cal Poly’s tallest floats.
  • It’s the first time that Cal Poly will have a synchronized show.  
  • Approximately 2000 roses will be used the train and capital building.
  • Approximately 2000 mums will be used for the train station and capital building.
  • More than 20 pounds of rice will be used for the float.

If you can’t volunteer, you can still come and see the floats: 

  • Free parking
  • Cost is 10 dollars to visit all three locations
  • Suitable for all ages
  • Tours and Guides to answer all your rose float questions
  • They have pretzels and snack food for sale

Little T loved walking around and seeing the floats. Everyone showed us the flowers they were using and answered our questions. In one of the exhibit rooms, we walked across a scaffold and got to see everyone building from above. The room was full of colors and beautiful floats.

Here’s a few more pictures from the day, we can’t wait to see how the float turns out this year on the day of the parade.