Every year Cal Poly Pomona and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo jointly build and enter a floral entry (aka float) into the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Rose Parade. 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 1983, first to use pneumatics in 1985 and animated deco in 2014. As of January 1, 2018, 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.

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