Cal Poly’s rose float took home the Past Presidents Trophy at the 129th Rose Parade held Monday in Pasadena. The trophy recognizes innovation in use of floral and non-floral elements.
Making its 70th Rose Parade appearance, Cal Poly put on display titled “Dreams Take Flight,” an 18 foot by 54 foot float with multiple animal-piloted planes. The largest element of the student-built float was a plane being piloted by Paula the Koala.
The float contained thousands of flowers, including 10,000 roses, 10,000 Gerbera daisies, 1,000 irises, 12,000 chrysanthemums, 7,500 yellow button mums, 3,000 green button mums, 1,000 orange cushion mums and 500 purple cushion mums. For the seventh consecutive year, the Cal Poly float received the “California Grown” designation, recognizing at least 85 percent of its cut flowers and plant materials came from the Golden State.
Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong said “Dreams Take Flight” is another example of what Cal Poly students offer: “creativity, technical know-how, a proven work ethic and a love of life.”
“This year’s float flies high on a history built on learn by doing stretching back seven decades,” Armstrong said. “While all Cal Poly alumni, family and fans revel in its beauty, the real treasure is not as obvious. It lies in the effort each individual brings to this yearlong endeavor and a fierce Mustang pride in its venerable heritage by our best and brightest students.”
Following Monday’s Tournament of Roses, Cal Poly has the sixth highest number of appearances in the Rose Parade, trailing only the city of Los Angeles at 120, South Pasadena at 108, Alhambra at 90 and Burbank and Sierra Madre 86.