Cal Poly Universities Rose Float
Every year Cal Poly Pomona and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo jointly build and enter a floral entry (aka float) into the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Rose Parade. These two institutions have continuously participated in the parade 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, the first use of fiber optics in 1982, and animated deco in 2014. As of January 1, 2016, the floats have won 56 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 two campuses. They compete against professional float builders who manufacture entries for sponsors, many of them with development budgets approaching $1 million. This tradition continues today and marks the partnership between the two campuses.
Information on how the Cal Poly Universities were first invited to the parade can be found on the Special Collections History page (see External Link Section below). Stories and pictures of the Cal Poly student adventures can be found on our unofficial documentary site (see External Link Section below). Road & Track magazine did a road test of the Cal Poly Universities Rose Float as part of their annual April issue of unusual vehicles.
List of Cal Poly Rose Floats
Since 1949 the floats have won 56 trophies.
|Trophy||Trophy Description||Wins||Winning Years|
|Award of Merit||Depicting the highest level of Merit||1||1949|
|Bob Hope Humor Trophy & Humor Trophy||Most comical and amusing, Best display of Humor||4||1991, 2000, 2010, 2013|
|Crown City Innovation Trophy||Best Use of Imagination & Innovation to Advance the Art of Float Design||1||2014|
|Fantasy Trophy||Most Outstanding Display of Fantasy & Imagination||2||2008, 2011|
|Founder's Trophy||Most outstanding self-decorated entry.||9||1976, 1980, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2004|
|Judges' Special||Most Spectacular in Showmanship & Dramatic Impact||2||1966, 1971|
|Lathrop K. Leishman Trophy||Most beautiful non-commercial float||2||2015, 2016|
|Mayor's Trophy||Best display of Originality||2||1967, 1972|
|Princess Award||Best Display of Animation (until 1984)||8||1968, 1969, 1970, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1982, 1983|
|Theme Prize||Most fitting presentation of theme||4||1957, 1959, 1974, 2003|
|Viewers' Choice Trophy & KTLA Favorite Float Award||Viewers favorite Rose Parade float poll (KTLA)||4||2009, 2010, 2011, 2012|
|1st Class H||1st Place - Educational division||13||1951, 1952, 1954, 1956, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978, 1981|
|2nd Class H||2nd Place - Educational division||2||1955, 1958|
|3rd Class H||3rd Place - Educational division||2||1950, 1953|
|4th Class H||4th Place - Educational division||0|
- Ahrens, Ronald (December 25, 2011). "Even Parade Floats Aren’t Exempt From Regulations". The New York Times. p. AU12. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
- "Cal Poly Rose Parade Float: Answer to the transportation requirements of the future". Road & Track: 123. April 1975.