The treasured Rose Float program at Cal Poly Pomona is taking its first step in returning to normal with a pilot reopening on July 10. Both the newly completed Rose Float Lab and Rose Float R&D Lab have been approved to have up to 30 students at each site.
Under current guidelines, students will be socially distanced, complete the daily health screener, and wear face masks unless welding. Additionally, modifications are being made to ensure safety, including serving pre-packaged meals, electrostatic disinfecting between lab days and thorough tool cleaning.
“Our plan is to continue to work through the summer, on Saturdays primarily, until the fall, when we hope the guidelines become less restrictive,” said Cary Khatab, director of the program.
The program’s new student leadership team, elected in February, has tried to work virtually and prepare for what comes next, including working out details of the float rendering and construction plans for an upcoming tournament design variance meeting – a key step in the annual process.
“It has been hard to stay busy because practically all of our work is hands-on. But Deco has Zoom meetings every so often and we have had a few joint meetings with the SLO campus to discuss what potential elements may look like,” said Katherine Garcia, chair of decorations on the leadership team.
“I’m incredibly excited to return to a sense of normalcy with my team, for one, and to be fully working with plants and materials,” she added.
Currently, the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena is expected to return in 2022, with last year’s parade theme of “Dream. Believe. Achieve” [ECT1] carrying over – a celebration of education’s ability to open doors, open minds, and change lives. As a result, the Cal Poly Universities’ float theme is expected to remain largely the same, and the full name and rendering is expected to be released closer to fall.
“I am most eager to return to in-person float design and work from the long hiatus of online Zooming. It’s great to have real, face-to-face interactions, even if behind a mask and 6 feet apart,” said Christopher Nares, president of the leadership team.