Student builders of the Cal Poly Universities Rose Float won’t have to worry about running out of California-grown floral decorations for the 2016 entry in the annual New Year’s Day parade.
Cal Poly Pomona President Soraya M. Coley, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo President Jeffrey Armstrong and the California Cut Flower Commission signed an inaugural Memorandum of Understanding on July 20 that will ensure a steady stream of state-grown blooms for the Rose Float team.
The 2015 Rose Parade entry, “Soaring Stories,” was the fourth consecutive entry certified as “California Grown,” which means at least 85 percent of the plant decorations were grown in the state. “Soaring Stories” also earned the Lathrop K. Leishman award for Most Beautiful Non-Commercial Float.
The Rose Float team last year had to scramble in the days leading up to the parade to find enough California-grown flowers for decorations. The agreement will help alleviate this situation.
The biggest benefit of the agreement is a timetable that outlines the floral needs of the Rose Float builders and the ability of farmers to harvest specific flowers.
“This takes a lot of pressure off of our students because finding and getting the right flowers for the float is a major job,” says Janetta McDowell, the Rose Float’s interim director. “This partnership with the California Cut Flower Commission will help us meet our floral decorations goal and will give us the tools needed to continue to compete to win an award.”
“Sweet Shenanigans” is the entry for the 127th Tournament of Roses Parade, which has the theme “Find Your Adventure.” This will be the 68th entry from the Cal Poly Pomona and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo campuses, which have earned 55 awards. Since 1949, the Rose Float entry has been the only student-built float in the parade.
In “Sweet Shenanigans,” planned animation includes a gummy bear throwing snowball-like projectiles on the float, towering gummy bears teetering on a s’mores sled, and other bears that are ice skating, waving and ice-fishing. Waffle-cone mountains, a lollipop forest and oversized berries complete the scenery.