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Cal Poly seeks design ideas for next Rose Parade entry 

2024 Rose-Parade Cal Poly SLO

Cal Poly University’s “Shock n’ Roll: Powering the Musical Current” float which depicted electric eels powering musical implements in a colorful undersea environment with massive manta rays, received the Crown City Innovator Award at this year’s Rose Parade held this Jan. 1. It was the program’s 63rd honor in 75 parade appearances stretching back to 1949.
Photo by Tom Zasadzinski — Cal Poly University

2025 parade theme is ‘Best Day Ever!’

– Cal Poly Rose Float is calling for design proposals for its entry in the 136th Rose Parade® in 2026 — the 76th float in Cal Poly’s program.

The winner of the 2025 Rose Float Concept Contest will see their design come to life as a 55-foot-long animated mechanical wonder, every visible surface covered in fresh and dried flowers, colorful vegetables and fruit as well as other organics, including tiny seeds and exotic floral material from land and sea.

The float will be showcased before a crowd of 700,000 Pasadena parade goers and an international TV audience in the tens of millions. The winner also can choose between two tickets to the 111th Rose Bowl Game or $500.

Deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7. The float will roll down the 5-1/2-mile parade route Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2025, and then will be on display at FloatFest, the 2-mile showcase, at Sierra Madre and Washington Boulevards, along with the other Rose Parade floats where the creativity and detail of each magnificent display can be appreciated up close.

The theme of next year’s Rose Parade — “Best Day Ever!” — was announced Jan. 18 by Ed Morales, president of 2025 Pasadena Tournament of Roses.

“The 2025 theme celebrates life’s best moments — those unexpected times that bring a smile, warm our hearts and fill us with joy,” said Morales, a longtime Tournament of Roses volunteer and Pasadena resident. “From a once-in-a-lifetime experience to the simplest pleasures, each is indelibly etched into our memory. Together, we celebrate where we’ve been and what we look forward to. It’s about family, friends, and community, and what we have to celebrate — and to be thankful for.”

Email submissions with the subject line “2025 Concept” to calpolyrosefloat1949@gmail.com. Sketches can be in color or black and white and should be no larger than 11 inches by 17 inches. Entries must include the applicant’s name, phone number and email. There is no limit to the number of entries an individual can submit.

Students on the Rose Float leadership teams from Cal Poly and California State Polytechnic University in Pomona will review the submissions and vote on the winning concept, which will provide the basis for the final design.

The Cal Poly Rose Float is the only student-built float in the Rose Parade.

Cal Poly universities’ “Shock n’ Roll: Powering the Musical Current” float that depicted electric eels powering musical implements in a colorful undersea environment with massive manta rays, received the Crown City Innovator Award at this year’s Rose Parade®, held Jan. 1. The float was festooned with about 20,000 flowers and a variety of other natural materials provide texture and “techni-colored materials” to bring the rocking underwater world to life.

It was the program’s 63rd honor in 75 parade appearances stretching back to 1949. The 2021 parade was canceled due to the pandemic.

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The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at info@pasoroblesdailynews.com.