The Cal Poly Universities Tournament of Roses Parade Float or Cal Poly Rose Float is a yearly program which builds a rose float that is displayed on the morning of every January 1 during the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. Two public universities sponsor this joint venture, the California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo) located in San Luis Obispo and the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) in Pomona. These two institutions have continuously participated in the tournament since 1949; winning the Award of Merit in their first year. The Cal Poly floats have led in introducing technology to the Parade, including the first use of hydraulics for animation in 1968, the first use of computer-controlled animation in 1978, and the first use of fiber optics in the 1982 entry. As of January 1, 2014, the floats have won 49 awards. This program is one of the longest consecutive running self-built entries in the parade, as well as the only "self built" float designed and constructed entirely by students year-round on both campuses. They compete against professional float builders who manufacture entries for their sponsors, many of them with development budgets approaching $1 million. This tradition continues today and marks the partnership between the two campuses.
Road & Track magazine did a road test of the Cal Poly Universities Rose Float as part of their annual April issue of unusual vehicles.