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Cal Poly ‘Bedtime Buccaneers’ sails to 2014 Rose Parade innovation award

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Kids and pirates pretty much go together, and there’s no better time to steer the ship of counterpane than when one is supposed to be sleeping. Cal Poly Universities’ “Bedtime Buccaneers” played on the theme 2014 Rose Parade theme “Dreams Come True” with pajama-clad siblings following their dream of hidden treasure.

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The float won the Crown City Innovation Trophy for Best Use of Imagination & Innovation To Advance The Art Of Float Design. The innovation was a rippling effect created by individually vialed blue and white iris that wowed viewers. The vials were mounted on a mechanical assembly that created an oscillating surface that really did look like lapping waves.

In the children’s imagination, their bed was a sturdy ship and their toy box became a treasure chest filled with bounty and strange sea creatures on a small satellite float marked with a big red X. The entirety of the children’s ship–the bed, chest in front, dresser in back, and the mast–rolled and pitched just as if it were on the open ocean. Booming cannon on both sides ofthe bed fire blasted of CO2 smoke and recoiled in succession.

Cal Poly was the only float this year to receive the California Grown certification attesting that 85 percent of the floral material was grown in the state. It also used blue statice, marigolds and bougainvillea grown in the Cal Poly fields. The checkerboard quilt was created from yellow, pink and orange roses. More than 12,000 roses, 15,000 irises, 10,000 stems of orange carnations, and 25,000 white button mums were used on the float.

The float was designed by Andrea Swanson and built by students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly Pomona. The two schools work on halves of the float separately, then hook them together in Pomona for final work in the fall prior to the Jan. 1 parade. This was Cal Poly’s 66th Rose Parade float.

“We are all college students earning degrees that we use to accomplish our dreams through our careers and communities. Our dreams do come true,” the team said in press material. Because they are so proud of their work and because readers are likely to see their names on other floats after they leave Cal Poly, the riders’ full info is listed here. They have all worked on the float for multiple years and contributed significantly to design and construction.

  • Driver: Ian Davison – 3rd year Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Mechanical Engineering Major and 2014 Rose Float Construction Chair
  • Observer: Amy Van de Poel – Senior year at Cal Poly Pomona Mechanical Engineering Major and 2014 Rose Float Construction Chair Animation
  • Operator: Kendall Searing – 3rd year Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Electrical Engineering Major
  • Drive Engine Operator: Loren MacDonald – 3rd year Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Mechanical Engineering Major
  • Satellite Operator: Nolan Whitener – 4th year Cal Poly Pomona Mechanical Engineering Major

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Columnists are not notified of comments via Disqus, so if you have a question or would like a reply to your comment, please post on Facebook at All Things Rose Parade or email The theme of the 125th Rose Parade and 100th Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2014 was “Dreams Come True.” Subscribe to Tournament of Roses Examiner by clicking the "Subscribe" link for the latest news and for upcoming announcements for 2015.



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