For the second year in a row, Cal Poly universities’ Rose Parade float has won the the Lathrop K. Leishman Trophy for the most beautiful noncommercial entry.
The 18-by-55-foot float, “Sweet Shenanigans,” was designed and built by teams of students from Cal Poly and California State Polytechnic University in Pomona for the 127th Tournament of Roses Parade held New Year’s Day in Pasadena, according to a news release from Cal Poly.
The float features a group of larger-than-life gummy bears enjoying a snow day in a multi-flavored ice cream wonderland of cones, lollipops and sundaes. It was one of 44 entries in Friday’s parade.
“We’re thrilled and overjoyed,” said Josh D’Acquisto, Cal Poly’s Rose Parade float adviser. “A year’s worth of hard work has paid off. We’ve got some super-excited students.”
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Awards were announced at 6 a.m. Friday. The schools were also honored for their commitment to California’s flower farmers, earning the “California Grown” designation from the California Cut Flower Commission for the fifth consecutive year. The commission recognizes an entry decorated with at least 85 percent cut flowers and plant materials from the Golden State.
“Sweet Shenanigans” is decorated in hundreds of thousands of flowers — roses, Gerbera daisies and chrysanthemums — as well as thousands of seeds, spices, fruits, vegetables, tree bark, seaweed and crushed nutshells.
The float has six animated elements and eight gummy bears, from 5- to 8-feet tall, decorated in red, yellow and orange mums.
Since 1949, students from Cal Poly and Cal Poly Pomona have come together to produce the only student-built float — and one of only a handful of self-built entries — for Pasadena’s signature event, according to Cal Poly. The process now takes a year from concept to creation; construction on “Sweet Shenanigans” started last summer.
Over the past 68 years, the students have received more than 50 awards, including trophies for animation, decorations, fantasy, humor, originality, theme and viewers’ choice, according to the news release.
This is the fourth straight year that Cal Poly universities’ entry has earned a Rose Parade trophy, including the Leishman Trophy. It was named in honor of the former president and grand marshal of the Tournament of Roses, who was often called “Mr. Rose Bowl” or “Mr. Pasadena.”