“A New Leaf,” Cal Poly Universities’ 2017 Rose Float, won the Founders’ Trophy in the 128th Rose Parade, which was held on Jan. 2.
The Founder’s Trophy honors the most beautiful float built and decorated by volunteers from a community or organization. The Cal Poly Universities entry is the only one that is built entirely by students.
Covered in more than 60,000 fresh flowers, the 52-foot long float featured three giant chameleons exploring their tropical world, paying homage to the value of family in creating individual success.
To give the huge chameleons their bumpy texture, the team used 20,000 button mums, a variety of citrus and red onion. To achieve the detail on the eyes, the team used a mixture of dried materials. For the purple chameleon, it included blue corn, yellow split pea, cranberry seed, mung beans, red and white millet, Bougainvillea petals and ground statice.
The tiered base held more than 10,000 roses intermingled with more than 8,000 gerbera daisies. Other flowers include carnations, snapdragons, tulips, marigolds and orchids. Approximately 94 percent of the flowers on the float are California grown.
“A New Leaf” is the 69th Rose Parade entry from Cal Poly Pomona and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, whose successful partnership has now won 57 awards.
Driving the float down the parade route was Cal Poly Pomona’s Ryan Martin, chair of the Pomona construction team and a senior majoring in electrical engineering.