Ryan Chartrand

The 2007 Cal Poly Rose Float, titled “Arctic Antics,” will be viewed around the world via satellite TV on the morning of Jan. 1, 2007. The float will depict a group of penguins and polar bears ringing in the New Year with a luau, a scene that celebrates the Rose Parade theme of “In Our Good Nature.”

Students at Cal Poly and Pomona worked year-round to produce the float for the annual Tournament of Roses parade, held annually on New Year’s Day in Pasadena. The Cal Poly float is the only parade entry completely designed, built, decorated and financed by students.

A good portion of the work done on the float is performed by the Cal Poly Rose Float Club, which supports the Rose Float program by hosting fundraisers and assisting with the float’s design and physical construction. The club also provides many social opportunities to its members, such as movie nights, trips and game nights.

“We could always use more help,” said Andrew Brooks, the Rose Float Club’s senior construction leader. “We really appreciate all our volunteers, but we could still always use more.”

Brooks is a four-year Rose Float veteran, but he stresses that students of any experience level and major can help out by calling or visiting the Rose Float office in UU room 209.

Since San Luis Obispo and Pomona are 225 miles apart, both universities build portions of the float on their separate campuses. On Oct. 21, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo shipped the drive mechanism south to Pomona, where the float animation is now taking place.

A dedicated group of San Luis Obispo students commutes to Cal Poly Pomona every weekend to work on the float. They leave at 6 a.m. on Saturdays and spend the day in the Pomona workshop.

“There are usually five to 10 people who make the trip down (to Pomona),” said James Gibbs, the Rose Float Club’s design leader. “It’s a long drive, so we carpool. It’s worth it, though.” Gibbs added that on some nights, the crew winds up spending the night in Pomona.

In mid-December, the float will be moved from Pomona to Pasadena, where the final stages of construction come together.

Materials processing and painting will take place at the Rose Float Lab in Pomona from Dec. 12 to 23 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Volunteers can sign up for two-hour shifts during that time.

The 2007 Cal Poly Rose Float Decorations Week will then be held Dec. 26 to 31. At this event, guests are invited to join the crew just days before the parade as flowers are affixed to the float. The decorators will be asked to work anytime between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. at the Brookside Tent in Pasadena. Anyone wanting to be a part of this longstanding tradition is asked to contact or visit the Rose Float office in the UU soon because space is limited.

This marks the 59th consecutive entry in the parade for Cal Poly and its sister campus Pomona, which was originally a part of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo before it became a separate CSU campus in the 1970s. Cal Poly students have won more than 40 awards in the 59 years since they started building floats for the parade.

More information about the Cal Poly Rose Float and the Cal Poly Rose Float Club is available by calling 756-1268 or by logging onto www.asi.calpoly.edu/rosefloat.

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