Education

Cal Poly ready to bring 2019 Rose Parade float to life with thousands of blossoms

The days between Christmas and New Year will be frenetic for Cal Poly students and volunteers as they bring their 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade float, “Far Out Frequencies,” into full bloom.

The float, which marks Cal Poly’s 71st appearance in the parade, features a pair of astronauts — named Morgan and Sally — and alien friends communicating through music — using animation. In addition to the main tableau, the float will feature “a unique water feature”: an alien flower will squirt water to another location on the float, the university said in a news release.

It’s the fourth time a Cal Poly float has featured a space-related design, according to the release.

The float, which is the only student-built entry in the parade, is 48 feet by 18 feet and stands 23 feet tall.

It’s one of 44 floats in this year’s parade, according to the release. The theme of this year’s parade is “The Melody of Life.”

From Dec. 26 through Dec. 31, students and volunteers will participate in Deco Week, where the float will be adorned with thousands of flowers. About 90 percent of the flowers were grown in California, including blooms grown by students on both San Luis Obispo and Pomona campuses, Cal Poly said.

The flowers consist of 7,000 roses, 7,200 Gerbera daisies, 3,200 irises and 200 red cabbages, as well as white cushion mums and button mums, the university said.

Construction of the float began on the San Luis Obispo campus in July and continued through mid-October, when SLO’s half of the chassis and other float parts was taken to Pomona.

The two universities have won more than 50 awards since 1949. Last year’s float, “Dreams Take Flight,” received the Past President Award for most outstanding innovation in the use of floral and non-floral materials.

The Tournament of Roses Parade takes place Jan. 1, 2019, in Pasadena.

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