By Lesly Velasco Guerra, Sept. 28, 2021

The Cal Poly Rose Float team unveiled its final design for the 2022 Rose Parade on Sept. 17. Titled “Stargazers,” the float will showcase Cal Poly Pomona and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s joint effort in tackling the parade’s theme: “Dream. Believe. Achieve.”

The design references the nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle,” with one of the float’s main components featuring a cow jet-packing over a crescent moon at the float’s rear. The rest of the float displays two more cows — one testing another jet pack and the other welding — as well as a cat at mission control and a dog gazing through a telescope.

(Courtesy of Cal Poly Rose Float)

“Tournament of Roses was really pushing us to represent our school in this so that’s why we have a lot of the cows welding; because it’s not just the dream, believe, achieve, it’s the actual achieving part,” said Katherine Garcia, CPP decorations chair. “We were super happy that we could put our own Cal Poly Pomona and SLO hands-on aspect on it because, I mean, we build all the time.”

Design planning began in 2020 before the parade was cancelled due to COVID-19. The design has remained essentially the same with the exception that the back section, where the clouds and the moon are located, was originally planned to be built on the front.

“We pretty much have the same story back then, but the float was arranged differently,” said Mike Sturman, CPP’s design assistant chair. “So, in the change from the old design team to the new design team, because we have some seniors who graduated and had to leave, everything kind of got shifted around ….  We would still be paying homage to the designs that came before us while still being able to keep the designs our own and keeping it innovating forward.”

With the design finalized, the Pomona team has begun constructing the float’s front, including mechanics, hydraulics and decorations. For Garcia and her decoration team, one of her main focuses is the usage of the flowers. Both schools keep flower fields on campus to grow flowers to use as their dry material. Meanwhile, fresh flowers are obtained through donations at a later date.

Flower fields are typically prepared for planting in May and sowed over the summer, so the flowers are ready to harvest around October and November. However, this year, due to delays from COVID-19 and field availability, the flowers were planted later and are expected to be ready by late November or early December.

San Luis Obispo, meanwhile, is working on the back half and is expected to drive down their section mid-October. Additionally, volunteers began working with the team as of Sept. 25 and will continue to do so up until the day of the parade.

Although San Luis Obispo is in charge of constructing the back part of the float, certain elements are being worked on by CPP team members. Design Lead Shreyas Surana explained he is overseeing the moon element and its details. Meanwhile, Sturman is in charge of the cow that is flying over the moon.

Surana also explained that while the team has a couple more months before the parade and a lot left to do, they feel confident they will have an outstanding product.

“The whole team is in love with the idea; the whole team really likes the direction where it’s going to and I think it’s a really cool moment for all of us,” said Surana. “We really all like the float; we really all like what we’re building and are having fun every week to try and accomplish this goal.”


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