Irvine, Calif., Dec. 10, 2015 – The University of California, Irvine’s anteater mascot, voted Mashable’s 2015 Mascot Madness champion, will host an entry in the 107th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade and will be represented on the Irvine Chamber of Commerce/Destination Irvine’s Rose Parade® float. Peter’s appearances are part of UCI’s 50th anniversary celebration and help illustrate the spirit of innovation shared by the campus and larger community.

The boat parade’s UCI @ 50 entry, funded by alumni donors and friends, highlights the university’s commitment to sustainability. Students will pedal stationary bikes connected to generators to power the craft’s lights. A giant, inflatable likeness of Peter the Anteater and the live mascot himself will be on board. Jesse Colin Jackson, assistant professor of art in UCI’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts, designed the yacht’s decorations.

“My research group, which volunteered to create and build the design focused on the 50th anniversary, is fundamentally concerned with merging technology, creativity and sustainability,” Jackson said. “We decided running the lights from bicycles would not only align with our campus’s renewable energy initiatives and UC system’s 2025 carbon neutrality goal, but would also just be so cool!”

The Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade runs from 6:30-9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16, through Sunday, Dec. 20.

On New Year’s Day, a floral depiction of Peter will reign over the Rose Parade route in Pasadena on a float themed “Innovation Rocks!”

“Irvine and UCI have a global reputation for innovation and the adventure of life-changing discovery,” said Linda DiMario of the Irvine Chamber of Commerce/Destination Irvine. “[Our entry] celebrates this with a fantastical lab scene featuring an array of colorful beakers, helixes, elements and animated gears designed to explore the fun of science, technology, engineering and math.”

Covered in statice, black seaweed and other organic materials and wearing a lab coat, Peter the Anteater portrays a whimsical scientist surrounded by animated gears, beakers and test tubes in a nod to UCI’s role as a medical and technology innovation leader.

The 127th Rose Parade starts at 8 a.m. Friday, Jan. 1.

About the University of California, Irvine: Currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $4.8 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit

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