Digital News Report- The 120th annual Tournament of Roses Parade will take place bright and early on the morning of January 1st, 2009, but this year there is an extra incentive for Santa Cruz residents to tune in for the show. This year’s theme is “Hats Off to Entertainment” and will feature a float with elements from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. The float features a working roller coaster based on The Giant Dipper. Cal Poly also had a working roller coaster on their 2003 float, which one them the theme prize for that year.
The float is sponsored by Cal Poly Pomona and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and will highlight coastal amusement parks all up and down the California coast. The students on the Rose Float Committee took a special trip up to Santa Cruz to search for inspiration for their float design. Jennifer Woo, the media relations chair of the Cal Poly Pomona Rose Float Club told the San Jose Mercury news, “we learned a lot about how to design the float… We took a lot of notes on how things work, styles and colors that we wanted to use.”
The Rose Parade began in 1890 and features equestrian units, bands, and floats that are decorated entirely with organic materials such as flowers and seeds. The parade also has a royal court and grand marshals. The parade follows a 5 ½ mile segment of historic Route 66 through Pasadena in southern California and is usually attended by over a million people lined up along the route.
The Cal Poly Universities have participated in the parade since 1949 and have won 45 awards. The float is the only self-built float that is constructed entirely by students and volunteers at both of the Cal Poly campuses. They compete against floats designed by professionals who build floats for different sponsors such as Honda and Wrigley, which can cost almost $1 million.
The Rose Parade is broadcast live on ABC, NBC, HGTV, Tribune, Univision, Telemundo, Travel Channel, Discovery HD Theater, Sky Link TV. Some networks will replay the parade throughout the day. Check your local listings.