CELEBRATING 75 YEARS
For more than seven decades, students from Cal Poly Pomona have designed, built, and decorated fabulous Rose Parade floats for the Rose Parade, which is televised in multiple languages to millions of viewers around the world. The journey began in 1949 when student Don Miller spearheaded the construction of the first float in 90 days. Today, this unique, learn-by-doing program is one of the finest examples of our Polytechnic Advantage, one that highlights the creativity, versatility, and the skills of our students. The new lab will be named after two Rose Float alumni — the late Don Miller (’52, horticulture), who got the Rose Float program started in 1948, and Ron Simons (’64, agronomy; ’69, food marketing and agribusiness management), who kept it going and ensured that it thrived.
2023 will be Cal Poly Rose Float's 75th Anniversary, and we are partnering with Bronco Launchpad now to make it a very special year.
Students from Cal Poly Pomona and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo partner to create fantastic floats, beginning with a unique design concept and carried through construction and decoration with thousands of flowers. Throughout the process, hundreds of students have the opportunity to advance their team-building and problem-solving skills, learn floral design or computer-controlled animation, while others acquire skills in engineering, welding, engine maintenance, marketing, hydraulics, and much more.
VISION FOR THE FUTURE
The new Rose Float Lab and Design Complex, located near the 10 Freeway exit at Kellogg Drive, is expected to complete construction by early 2021. This new lab will provide future Rose Float students a space to build beautiful, creative, and innovative floats. The Complex will provide about 14,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor workspace, including a fully enclosed float construction bay with 7,200 square feet, design workspace, storage facilities, and a courtyard to host large numbers of volunteers.