What could be sweeter than a gaggle of gummy bears sledding on s’mores and gamboling among scoops of ice cream and lollipops (and roses)? Cal Poly Universities’ 68th float was another winner, with masses of floral material and whimsical animation for the 127th Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 1, 2016. “Sweet Shenanigans,” built by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly Pomona, won the Lathrop K. Leishman Trophy for most beautiful non-commercial float. It was also awarded California Grown certification for the fifth year in a row, meaning at least 85 percent of the florals are grown in state.
The design was chosen from more than 100 submissions to the float club to illustrate the parade theme, “Find Your Adventure,” with a day out in the snow. The ice cream landscape included sledding, snowball fights, tire swings, ice skating, and ice fishing. The Cal Poly float starts out in two parts, with the rear being worked on in SLO and the front in Pomona. In October, the rear is moved to the southern campus where all the work except flowering is finished.
Students visited Central California farms over the summer to meet with farmers who have continuously donated to the program. More than 10,000 stems of roses, 17,000 stems of gerbera daisies, 6,000 mums and 2,500 marigolds were used. Photos of the float and more about the flowering and animation are in the list below. Keep an eye on the brown ice skating bear as it twirls around the pond.
The theme of the 127th Rose Parade and 102nd Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2016 was “Find Your Adventure.” If you have a question or would like a reply to your comment, please post on Facebook at All Things Rose Parade or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A scoop of vanilla ice cream is) drizzled with a seaweed chocolate sauce hides the float observer. Five Cal Poly students worked under the float to drive, observe, and operate animation. Barely visible on the offside behind a raspberry of strawflowers is a bear with a fishing pole, reeling in a letter from the Cal Poly Universities name. Lettering on the front of the float is spider mums and seaweed; bears are covered in mums and marigolds; scoops of ice cream are gerbera and roses. Keep an eye on the skating bear from photo to photo!
Snowball fight and sledding on s’mores
A snowball fight with free-flying projectiles was a first for the Rose Parade. A launch mechanism at the back threw snowballs into a catch basin in the ice cream scoop at the front. Inside the float, an automated mechanism, designed to avoid rubbing off the powered rice covering the snowballs, returned and reloaded them. It appeared not to be operating at the corner of Orange Grove and Colorado where Examiner was stationed, but Cal Poly put together a great video that shows the flying snowballs, the mechanism, off camera side animation, views from inside the float, and the control panel.
The little brown bear (front right corner) moved up and down while waving at the crowd. Next to him, wafers of melaleuca bark and crushed walnut add a little crunch to the ice cream. Behind, two bears teetered on a s’mores sled with Graham crackers of blended golden flax seed, seaweed chocolate bar and statice marshmallow.
Lollipops and roses
Purple and pink lollipops of strawflower, marigolds and button mums with sticks of powdered rice poked up from a lemon ice cream cone. Cones were covered in walnut shells and toasted sesame seed. Flurries of snow shot from machines in two places on the float.
Pirouetting on the pond
This little guy had a complex mechanism to create the compound motion of circling the pond while pirouetting on his skates. One motor revolved the axis of the bear around the pond, while a chain and sprocket connected to the bear revolved it around its own axis. The two motions were directly tied together in perfectly synced animation. The frozen blueberry syrup pond was made of agapanthus and statice, the bear’s skates of seaweed and silver leaf. The motion can be seen in the Cal Poly video.
Can’t resist a snack
After being up all night and facing two hours of float riding, a bear gets hungry. This one grabbed a bite of cookie pulled from the Cal Poly name. The letters were made of blended red millet bordered with cranberries. The strawberry was covered in gerbera and ti leaves with seeds likely of strawflower; the cherry appears to be mums.
Swinging from a gummysaver candy tire, a little bear waved goodbye to the crowd as the float passed. The candy was covered with statice and the rope with crushed walnut and beans.