Cal Poly students begin harvesting flowers to decorate school’s 2019 Rose Parade float

Construction on the Cal Poly Rose Parade float is well underway. But this past week, work got started on another — perhaps more subtle — aspect of the float: harvesting the flowers that will decorate this year’s entry.

Students grow and harvest a portion of the plants from the on-campus Rose Float flower fields. These include marigolds, strawflower and statice, which will be used as colorful decorations.

The entries over the years reveal a commitment to California’s flower farmers. The 2018 entry marked the seventh consecutive year that their float earned the “California Grown” designation from the California Cut Flower Commission, which recognizes an entry decorated with at least 85 percent of cut flowers and plant materials from the Golden State.

“Far Out Frequencies” will be the theme of this year’s float for the 130th Tournament of Roses Parade, which features a pair of astronauts and alien friends on another planet communicating through music.

The concept was chosen from 150 entries submitted by the Cal Poly Rose Float team and their counterparts at Cal Poly Pomona, according to a school news release.

“Throughout the years, our campuses have united to design, construct and decorate to achieve a common goal: our float,” said Sara Novell, president of Cal Poly SLO Rose Float. “This idea of unity is also shown in our float, in how the astronauts and aliens join together to create a common language.”

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