Rose Float Volunteers Welcome

Rose Float Volunteers Welcome
Anna Camacho looks over gerbera daisies that for the 2007 Cal Poly Universities' Rose Float.
Cindy Barnes, an Animal Science student, paints a penguin on late year's float.
Student volunteers attach a skirt to a penguin on the 2007 float.

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

Between Dec. 8-21, 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.

“Putting together a float takes a lot of work throughout the year,” said 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.”

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 2008 Cal Poly Universities float, “Guardians of Harmony,” marks the 60th consecutive time students from the Pomona and San Luis Obispo campuses will provide an entry in the Tournament of Roses Parade. The float depicts the watchful duo of a dragon and phoenix and other traditional Chinese elements such as the Great Wall, a pagoda, cherry blossoms and carp. The float design is in line with the theme of the 119th Rose Parade theme, “Passport to the World's Celebrations.”

The decoration material for the float will feature a range of flowers, seeds and bark. Float watchers will also find split river cane, palm bark, orchids, poppy, Spanish moss, blue corn, sweet rice, flax seed, kumquat, kidney beans, cranberries, and orange slices throughout the float. The look of fur on the dragon's head and body will be achieved with yellow and orange fire celosia, blended bird of paradise and ornamental pepper. Its claws will be lunaria. Other materials on the dragon include red anthurim, yellow strawflower, orange lentil and lemon peel. The phoenix's wings will be blended bird of paradise, yellow strawflower and red carnations. Its tail includes the use of red ginger flower, and its feathers will be accented with blue statice.

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 available at