PASADENA, Calif., Dec. 21, 2018 — Entries from Cal Poly Universities, Blue Diamond Almonds, FTD Companies Inc., Wells Fargo Stagecoaches, California Highway Patrol Mounted Patrol Unit, Blue Shadows Drill Team, Mini Therapy Horses and the Tournament of Roses Pasadena Police Department’s motorcycle unit will be celebrated by the California Cut Flower Commission for their efforts and commitment to bringing the tradition of using California Grown Flowers back to the Rose Parade. The eight Certified California Grown parade entries marks a record for Certified entries on January 1.
In a nod to the 1889 origin of the parade – created to showcase the bounty of what’s growing in California when the rest of the country is snowbound – the California Grown certified floral-adorned motorcycle unit will be the first entry in the parade, leading off the entire event.
The four parade entries being decorated at Rosemont Pavilion will receive their official
California Grown certification at a ceremony officiated by California Secretary of the Department of Food and Agriculture Karen Ross on Dec. 31 in Pasadena. The equestrian units from Wells Fargo, Blue Shadows, the CHP and Mini Therapy Horses, all being certified for the first time, will be presented with their certification Dec. 29 during the Tournament of Roses Equestfest.
The California Grown Certification ceremonies were created to recognize parade floats and entries decorated with more than 85 percent of cut flowers and greens from the Golden State. The Cal Poly Universities entry is earning its California Grown certification for the eighth year in a row, FTD for the fifth year and the motorcycle unit for the second year.
The eight Tournament of Roses Police Department motorcycles are expected to feature red and white roses and a variety of other California Grown flowers and foliage.
FTD, the Official Floral Partner of the Tournament of Roses, has a 60-year history of participating in the Rose Parade. The storied floral and gifting company will use California Grown flowers to decorate its eight VIP parade vehicles, including vehicles for the grand marshal, president, hall of fame and mayor, as well as the Honda sound car, Honda pace car and two additional Hondas leading the parade.
The float from California State Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo and California State Polytechnic University at Pomona is titled “Far Out Frequencies” and will feature two giant astronauts who are rocking out with a group of green aliens.
At the front of the float will stand Morgan, a 12-foot astronaut who strums an electric guitar, and his new alien friend “Ketchup,” who plays air guitar. The space concert also includes Astronaut Sally on tambourine, two aliens on accordion and Tuba Head, a little alien whose head is stuck inside the instrument.
In addition to the featured characters playing their instruments, animation on the 2019 float includes the movement of eyes and arms on some of the aliens. LED lights will add sparkle to the planet’s crystal formations and the guitar amp.
More than 91 percent of the float will be covered in California Grown flowers that were donated by many of the state’s flower farmers. Students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo grew marigolds for the float, while Cal Poly Pomona students grew strawflower and statice, all of which was dried for use on the float. This year students explored a new use for CA Grown flowers – drying light and dark blue delphinium for the first time.
The Cal Poly Rose Float, the only student-built entry in the parade, has been invited to participate for 71 consecutive years. The students’ commitment to creating the entry is a testament to the Cal Poly “learn by doing” philosophy.
The Tournament of Roses Parade® is a New Year’s tradition where nearly a million visitors line Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena to view the beautiful floats first hand, and millions more watch from their homes across the country. The California floral industry has a $12.2 billion annual impact on the state’s economy. California’s flower farmers represent over 4,500 jobs and contribute $1.7 million to California’s economy every day.