Seaside Amusement’ wins over crowd at Rose Parade

By Cielestia Calbay

The Cal Poly Universities’ float, “Seaside Amusement,” was
certainly a hit among the thousands of spectators at the 120th
Tournament of Roses Parade as it won KTLA’s inaugural Viewer’s
Choice Award for being the favorite entry among the crowds.

The student-built float won 3,219 votes out of the 10,618 votes
casted on on Jan. 1 after the parade.

Corky Conzonire, Tournament of Roses President, announced the
winner live from the Post Parade Showcase of Floats via the KTLA
Morning News on Jan. 2.

The float featured a seaside boardwalk filled with amusement
rides and attractions such as a roller coaster, Ferris wheel,
parachute drop, carousel horses, bumper cars, and game, food and
ticket booths. Several elements were animated, including an
old-fashioned organ that played a collection of songs and shot
bursts of smoke and bubbles.

This is the sister universities’ 61st consecutive entry in the
annual Tournament of Roses Parade.

More than 10,000 paradegoers gathered from near and far to usher
in the New Year on a vibrant day as the parade kicked off 2009 with
a cheerful outlook.

This year’s theme, “Hats Off to Entertainment,” allowed
participants to channel their inner star in the float entries.

Though temperatures in the low 50’s started off the morning,
warm sunshine soon welcomed the gatherers on Colorado Blvd. for a
lineup of 46 bright entries from major companies and organizations,
as well as local communities and cities.

The crowd was treated to Broadway dancers, 21 marching bands, 18
equestrian units and other spectacles along the five and a
half-mile route.

This year’s grand marshal was 82-year-old actress Cloris
Leachman who was most recently a contestant on “Dancing with the

Several other famous faces also joined Leachman in the

“Sex and the City’s” Cynthia Nixon was nestled into a buttercup
stand on the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer float “Hope
Grows.” The float featured a vivid garden scene with Vera Bradley
handbags popping from the flowers.

Veteran animal show personality Jack Hanna was among his closest
furry friends as they rode on the irrigation firm Rain Bird’s
Safari-themed entry, “Entertainment Expedition,” which won the
prestigious Sweepstakes Trophy for most beautiful float.

The biggest surprise came from Honda Motor Co.’s float when
fireworks and streamers shot out of their 49-foot-tall mechanical
man, Asimo, as he tipped his top hat.

The concept for the Cal Poly Universities’ float, “Seaside
Amusement,” was first conjured in February 2008 during an annual
design contest.

It is the brainchild of Shawna Swanson, a fifth-year art and
design student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, who received a $1,000
cash prize for her design. Swanson’s idea was chosen among 80
entries from the contest. The two universities unveiled the
rendering in July 2008.

Construction on the float began during the summer, and
decoration was completed during the last week of December by
several volunteers at the Brookside Pavillion near the Rose Bowl in

The Cal Poly Universites have been constructing, designing and
financing their float entries into the Tournament of Roses since

Reach Cielestia Calbay

Seaside Amusement

Brandon Tan/Poly Post

Seaside Amusement’ wins over crowd at Rose Parade

Seaside Amusement

Gustav Deutsch

Seaside Amusement’ wins over crowd at Rose Parade

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