This week, more than 80 UCLA students completed work on their 2022 Rose Parade before heading to Pasadena.
The annual tradition of both public polytechnic schools – Cal Poly Pomona and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo – to work together to enter the Pasadena Rose Tournament Parade will celebrate 73 years in 2022. Both schools began developing their own float concepts in the spring. 2020, but in January 2021, the parade went virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Stargazers’ 2022 float is a reimagined scene from the classic Mother Goose nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle” featuring a cat, violin and cow.
Unlike the poem, the float will have a 600-pound flying cow with a jetpack hovering over a 15-foot moon and the cat will control the operation. The engineering turn is an ode to the polytechnic education of universities and their response to the theme of the 2022 parade: “Dream. Believe. Achieve.”
With the parade returning to Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena just two weeks later, students and volunteers were busy welding, paneling, gluing, and foaming their entrance to the 133rd Rose Parade last week.
The ship departs Cal Poly for Pasadena on Sunday, December 19. Traveling through city streets takes about five hours – the float can only reach speeds of up to 5 miles per hour.
“After the Christmas holidays, things will get better again,” said Sr. Samuel Linkhorst, head of the Floating Department at Cal Poly Pomona. All floral decorations will be completed in Pasadena a week before the parade, he said.
“Things are really going their way now,” Linkhorst said this week. “One of the key points is that we have to prepare the fleet, without finishing materials.”
Linkorst said Don Miller and Ron Simons’ new $ 5.5 million university float lab made a huge impact last week. This is due to the laboratory’s heating system, which is very different from an open-air warehouse where students have worked on floating platforms for over 30 years.
“It was such a strong morale for everyone who works here. We used to have very cold nights. You walked into an old lab and it was all covered in 4 inches of water that morning. So this is a complete change, ”Linkhorst said.
The facility includes 14,000 square feet of work and storage space.
“People are really happy this year, which is not what we’re used to at Design Week,” added Linkhorst.
Students from both campuses completed their final exams, and many of them worked hours in the lab to prepare the float for the trip west. Christopher Nares, president of the Cal Poly Pomona team, said he slept roughly five hours a night last week.
“From the moment the team wakes up to the moment they go to bed, you can just feel the energy here,” Nares said.
Students at California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, separated by more than 200 miles, managed to come to work on a float every weekend, said Carolyn Flitch, professor of float design at the university.
“We drove four hours in the morning and then four hours ago at night. So it’s pretty boring, ”Flitch said. “But you know, it’s worth it because we are all passionate about swimming.”
In October, San Luis Obispo students sent their half of the float to Pomona in a semi-trailer.
This year, the group of fellow students included about 15 high school students, many of whom, due to the pandemic, had to wait almost two years to get a chance to take part in the Rose Parade. This includes Linkkorst, who will be driving the float in his final year with the Cal Poly team.
“This is what I have been doing all my years in California Poly, so what am I going to do now? Linkhorst asked. “There is no other school to do this, and there is only one Rose Parade, so now that it finally comes to an end, it’s crazy.”
The Cal Poly float is the only entrance to the parade designed and manufactured by students. It will travel 5.5 miles, first heading north on Orange Grove Boulevard and then turning east onto Colorado Boulevard when the parade kicks off at 8am on January 1.