Rose Float Volunteers Welcome

Rose Float Volunteers Welcome
Many volunteers like this one are needed to decorate the rose float.
Volunteers work hard on the rose float during final decorating in Pasadena in 2003.
Decorating the rose float can be a family affair.

To complete the Cal Poly Universities' Tournament of Roses float each year, about 800 to 1,000 community volunteers lend a hand in covering every inch of the float with natural materials, such as flowers, leaves, seeds or bark.

With the New Year's Day parade fast approaching, students from the Cal Poly Universities are inviting the surrounding community to join in the distinctly Southern California tradition of decorating the Rose Float. Experience is not necessary.

“Putting together a float takes a lot of work throughout the year,” says Janetta McDowell, senior coordinator of the Rose Float. “By the end of the year, it's crunch time, and the students really appreciate help from the community.”

Between Dec. 13-22, volunteers can help prepare the float at the Cal Poly Pomona Rose Float Lab before its move to Pasadena. Work includes painting the float and processing the decoration materials. Rose Float Lab hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Decorations Week runs from Dec. 26-31, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., at the Brookside Pavilion in Pasadena.

Volunteers can assist by preparing the natural materials, decorating the float, working in the food tent for volunteers, cleaning up, as well as helping with volunteer check-in.

The 2007 Cal Poly Universities' float, “Arctic Antics,” marks the 59th consecutive time students from the Pomona and San Luis Obispo campuses will provide an entry in the Tournament of Roses Parade. “Arctic Antics” depicts a group of polar bears and penguins brightening up their snowy surroundings by hosting a Hawaiian-themed party.

Onion seeds will be used on the body of the penguins to create a natural black skin color. The hula dancing bear will be decorated with red bard and its clothes will be accented with tea leaves. The bear located in the front of the float will be decorated in white mums and pampas grass. Its shirt and hat will be decorated with green mums and birds of paradise encircled with black beans. Student float builders estimate that 17,000 roses will be used, along with 550 bunches of mums and 300 bunches of carnations.

Volunteers who wish to decorate the float do not have to sign up. If they arrive and space is available, they will be admitted. However, groups of 10 or more and individuals who wish to assist in areas other than decorations are asked to call (909) 869-3642 in advance.

The Cal Poly Pomona Rose Float Lab is located in Building 64 off Citrus Lane, near the 10 Freeways Kellogg Drive exit. The Brookside Pavilion is in Pasadena, south of the Rose Bowl Stadium. Volunteers can park in Lot I next to the tent and proceed to the Cal Poly Universities' check-in table on the northeast corner of Brookside Tent.

For more information about volunteering to decorate the Cal Poly Universities 2007 Tournament of Roses Float, please contact Janetta McDowell, senior coordinator of the Rose Float, at (909) 869-3642. A volunteer information packet is also available online at: