The Cal Poly Universities Rose Float is a joint entry of a rose float into the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association's annual Rose Parade by both Cal Poly Pomona and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo universities. Cal Poly Pomona and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo are part of the California State University System, a public university system in California with 23 campuses and eight off-campus centers enrolling 484,300 students with 26,858 faculty and 25,305 staff, CSU is the largest four-year public university system in the United States. These two institutions have continuously participated in the parade since 1949; winning the Award of Merit in their first year. The Cal Poly floats have led in introducing technology to the Parade, including the first use of hydraulics for animation in 1968, the first use of computer-controlled animation in 1978, the first use of fiber optics in 1982, animated deco in 2014, and the first to create a color changing floral effect in 2017. As of January 1, 2019, the floats have won 59 awards. This program is one of the longest consecutive running self-built entries in the parade, as well as the only "self built" float designed and constructed entirely by students year-round on two campuses. They compete against professional float builders who manufacture entries for sponsors, many of them with development budgets approaching $1 million. This tradition continues today and marks the partnership between the two campuses.

Road & Track magazine did a road test of the Cal Poly Universities Rose Float as part of their annual April issue of unusual vehicles.

Learn how California State University students from different campuses and majors worked together over a 13-month span to create an award-winning 70th entry in the 2018 Rose Parade Tournament of Roses, an annual affair that attracted millions of worldwide spectators.

Parade Theme


The 2020 theme, “The Power of Hope,” celebrates the influence of optimism and hope.

The belief that what is wanted can be attained. From the struggles of those who came before us to dreams yet fulfilled, hope is more than simply the possibility of fulfillment. Hope is dignity and respect, joy and happiness, aspiration and achievement. Hope never, ever quits. Through hope, we can aspire to be our best and in turn inspire those around us to reach higher.

With hope – anything, in fact, everything is possible