Campus: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo -- January 03, 2003

Cal Poly 'Sundae Afternoon' Rose Float Wins 'Theme' Trophy

The Rose Parade float designed and built by students at Cal Poly and Cal Poly Pomona won the Theme Award for best realization of this year's parade theme, "Children's Dreams, Wishes and Imagination."

Titled "A Sundae Afternoon," the Cal Poly float depicted a carnival-like scene of sweets and fun rides. It included a working Ferris wheel and roller coaster plus a spinning ice cream sundae, twirling lollipops, gingerbread men and other confections.

It was the fourth time the two Cal Polys have won the Theme Award in the 55 consecutive years the two schools have entered Pasadena's New Year's Day event. It's one of the half dozen most-coveted awards among the 20-some major honors presented. The Cal Poly float once again was the only student-built float in the 55-float parade.

Cal Poly floats have won a total of 44 awards in their half century of participation in the internationally known affair.

Students at the two campuses (which are separate universities within the California State University system) spend almost a full year designing and building the float, taking it from a sketch on a cocktail napkin through steel-frame construction to last-minute gluing on of flower petals and other finishing decoration.

Each Cal Poly builds half the frame. The parts are joined at the Pomona campus about a month before the parade, and then finishing work takes place in Pasadena in the week before New Year's Day.

"All the credit goes to the students," said Amie Moberg, Rose Float Program coordinator for Associated Students Inc. at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. "This award is extremely impressive; it's something the professional float builders hope for. Given the distance between the two universities and the fact that all the students do this on their own time, it's especially impressive."

"We're thrilled with the award," said Ron Simons, associate vice president of development at Cal Poly Pomona, who serves as the two campuses' liaison to the Tournament of Roses Parade. "This is one of the parade's highest honors. After the sweepstakes award, this is one of the most coveted awards."

"The first time I saw the judges look at it, I knew," said Will Kratt, Cal Poly Pomona's associate director of the Office of Student Life and Cultural Centers. "They were glowing and smiling, like little kids watching it. It was like they were kids again. That's how good it was."

Contact: Bob Anderson, (805) 756-1511

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