Every year Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly Pomona come together to create a float for the Rose Parade in Pasadena.

This year the rose float teams are diving in with the theme “Aquatic Aspirations.” Industrial engineering senior and president of the Rose Float program Sydney Strong said she hopes to carry last year’s momentum and bring out another innovative float. In the 130th anniversary of the parade last year, the two schools took home the Extraordinaire Award with the space-themed float “Far Out Frequencies.” 

“With ‘Aquatic Aspirations’ we are leaning towards a more elegant style than what Cal Poly is typically known for, which is fun and different,” Strong wrote in an email to Mustang News.

This year will mark Strong’s fourth year as a part of the Rose Float Program and her first year as its president after acting as decorations chairman last year.

“I am really hoping to facilitate a smooth year with a lot of fun for our team in addition to having a wonderful float,” Strong wrote.

From designing the structure to putting the final touches on the flowers, the entire process takes about 15 months, according to Strong.

“With our underwater scene this year, it’s going to be challenging to get the floating effect of undersea life,” Strong wrote.

Working with Cal Poly Pomona has proved to be a great experience, according to Strong.

“This is a really positive experience in getting different perspectives and learning how to communicate remotely,” Strong wrote. “It is so much fun having a network of friends at another university, and I think it’s part of what makes our program so unique.”

In the case of the now married couple Debbie and Vince Maichrowicz, the experience would prove to be life-changing.

Debbie Maichrowicz, formally Debbie Mansur, attended Cal Poly Pomona from 1974 to 1978, joining the Rose Float program her sophomore year in 1975. Maichrowicz got involved in Rose Float when the program was mostly made up of men.

“We [women] welded, we drilled, we carried the I-beam,” Maichrowicz said. “We did all the things that the men could do.”

Vince Maichrowicz transferred to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1975 to finish his last two years and joined the Rose Float program his junior year.

The first time they met, her name badge fell to the floor next to him. 

“He always says that I purposely dropped it next to him,” Maichrowicz said.

Since meeting in December 1975, according to the two, the Maichrowiczs’ have been together for 43 years and married for 41.

“I think the best thing about being involved in all of that, is that we ha’ve made lifelong friends,” Maichrowicz said. “There were many marriages that came out of Rose Float and many good friendships.”

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