2009 Rose Float Unveiled

2009 Rose Float Unveiled
“Seaside Amusement” will ride down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena on Jan. 1, 2009.

The Cal Poly universities in Pomona and San Luis Obispo will warm up New Year's Day with beach fun and games in “Seaside Amusement,” the universities' 61st entry for the 120th Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena.

The two universities recently unveiled the rendering, which is the brainchild of Cal Poly SLO student Shawna Swanson, the campus' Rose Float design leader. A fifth year art and design student, Swanson will receive $1000 as a cash prize for her idea.

Her design was chosen among 80 entries from the February 2008 contest. Students from both campus' Rose Float committees met to review and vote on all of the submitted entries. The design was a hit among the committee because of its fun nature and its level of creativity and difficulty.

A fun, lively and whimsical seaside boardwalk featuring an assortment of amusement rides and attractions will represent the sister universities' Rose Float in the 2009 parade themed “Hats Off to Entertainment.” The float will include a rollercoaster, Ferris wheel, parachute drop, game, food and ticket booths, carousel horses and bumper cars.

Several elements of this year's float are planned to be animated, including the roller coaster, Ferris wheel and parachute drop. Other exciting elements include an old-fashioned organ at the rear of the float that will shoot bursts of smoke and bubbles. Additionally, a playlist of songs will emanate from the organ to amuse parade goers.

The entry will also incorporate satellite vehicles in which two bumper cars circling the float will be driven by students from both campuses.

Swanson's inspiration for “Seaside Amusement” stems from her love of amusement parks, especially the ones that once lined the Pacific coast.

“Spending a day by the beach in the sun, eating fried foods and riding roller coasters is my idea of entertainment,” says the Concord resident. “The message behind [this entry] is the importance of taking time out for a little fun in the sun.”

She adds that the design is reflective of the history of boardwalk parks and the fact that many people still enjoy them today.

Rose Float committee students from both campuses were so compelled by the design that they took a road trip to Santa Cruz to research the elements of classic West Coast boardwalks.

Construction on some of the larger elements, such as the Ferris wheel and parachute drop, is under way. A majority of framing and construction will be done during the summer months.

This year's theme, “Hats Off to Entertainment,” was conjured by Ronald “Corky” Conzonire, the 2009 president of the Tournament of Roses Parade.

Students from the Cal Poly Universities have designed, constructed, decorated and financed entries in the Tournament of Roses Parade every year since 1949. Over the years, the floats have received 45 awards, including nine Founder's trophies for the best volunteer-built float.

For more information on the Rose Float project, or to become a volunteer, visit www.cpprosefloat.org, or contact Marla Franco at (909) 869-3642.

To view a larger version of the “Seaside Amusement” rendering, click here.