The on-campus lab that housed construction of the last 30 Cal Poly Rose Floats continued in that great tradition Monday night.
With champagne from the bottle traditionally broken on the float the night it leaves for Pasadena still glistening on the floor, the float pulled out of the building nestled next to the Cal Poly Pomona orange groves. Construction of a $3.7 million Rose Float Lab is planned for 2018, and the university continues to raise private support from alumni and friends for a new Lab and Design Complex.
President Soraya M. Coley led a celebration of the departure of Cal Poly Universities’ 70th Rose Float, “Dreams Take Flight,” before the 54-foot long, 27-foot high and 15-foot wide vehicle made the journey to Pasadena in advance of Deco Week.
The celebratory gathering of students, alumni, faculty and staff at the lab was highlighted by an unexpected $25,000 donation toward the new Rose Float Lab and Design Complex from Rose Float Alumni President Heather Hanson, her husband Steve Acheson and parents Kenneth and Linda Hanson. Hanson, a 1994 alumna, and her family made the gift in honor of the 1992 Rose Float committee.
With a look of surprise still on her face, President Coley embraced Hanson after the unanticipated announcement of the gift. Cal Poly Pomona is several hundred thousand dollars from reaching its fundraising goal for the new Rose Float lab.
Just before 10 p.m., the float pulled out of the lab and onto South Campus Drive, where it was hitched to a truck that towed it to Pasadena with a police escort. The convoy arrived at Rosemont Pavilion in Pasadena at 3:36 a.m.
After working around the clock for two weeks in advance of the move out, a brief respite for the students will be followed by Deco Week from Dec. 26 to 30. More than 55,000 fresh flowers and a range of other plant material will be added to the float before the 129th annual Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2018.