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Cougars & Mustangs 

View a slideshow of the winning float entry.

Well, you did it, Cal Poly. You started the New Year off with a bang. You already graced the annual Tournament of Roses Parade with the creative visions of several students from both unaffiliated Cal Polys, but this year, you really kicked it to the curb. Y’know, that one particular curb in Pasadena where this all takes place. *clears throat*

click to enlarge cf18c25be8de0395e6522dd76ac60966.jpg

Dearest readers, on the first day of 2015, the judges gave to Cal Poly: The Lathrop K. Leishman Trophy! On the sec—sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. Anywho, this is a pretty big honor to receive when competing among the fellow floral floats of flowers fresh and fair: It’s the award for “the most beautiful non-commercial float,” which, while arguably not necessarily meaning was the absolute prettiest, meant more than the one that did if it wasn’t.

As your humble journalistic collegiate reporter, I should never allow biases to creep into my writing, but I’m gonna be pretty frank here. It means much more to be that award winning, gorgeous float that was hand-produced through the collaboration of TWO SCHOOLS, with many, many hard hours of work by students in design, production, and maintenance, than the arguably slightly prettier work produced by some corporation that can throw money toward a float to receive more notoriety. I’m very proud of these students and ecstatic to see their hard work has “paid off” (as if merely receiving the joy of participation wasn’t payment enough, right?). If you’d like to see some images of both the float itself and the construction process, you can visit, which surprisingly enough is a webpage just for the Cal Poly floats (how on earth was “rosefloat” not already taken?).

However, for those without a computer, or who are just dying to know now, I’ll try to briefly describe the wonderful work. This year’s theme/float name was “Soaring Stories,” which focused on high flights of fantasy found in the hallowed pages of a book. Thus, the entirety of the float lies on several enormous books of flowers. Springing from these books, amid a burning candle, quill, and ink, are: one enormous griffin, rising majestically through the curling pages itself, comprised of majestic whites, grays, and reds. The owl-like down on the front part of the hind legs is gorgeous and seems so lifelike that it takes me a moment to remember that it isn’t real. The griffin bears a small, pleasant smile. Behind the griffin, a gorgeous castle of sapphire blue, red, and yellow. The stonework and floral ivy on the castle is truly stunning and shows yet again how the float achieved the honors that it did. Congratulations once again to these wonderfully talented students!


Intern Chris White-Sanborn is flowery. No joke here. He just is. Send collegiate news to


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