Two giant astronauts rock out with a group of green aliens, sharing a message of goodwill, fun and unexpected good times.
That’s the gist of “Far Out Frequencies,” the Cal Poly Universities’ float for the 2019 Rose Parade. The event’s theme, “The Melody of Life,” pays homage to music as a language for all.
At the front of the float stands 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.
“When you combine my fascination with space and astronauts with a classic rock and roll guitar, you get my favorite element on float, Morgan. He’s in a full rock-mode position with his left leg resting on his amp playing his guitar for the aliens that he’s discovered,” said Naythan Muro, the design chair at Cal Poly Pomona.
The Cal Poly Universities’ float is the only student-designed and student-built entry in the Rose Parade. A joint effort by students at Cal Poly Pomona and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo since 1949, the team has won 58 awards including the 2018 Past President award honoring the most outstanding innovation in the use of floral and non-floral materials.
Besides 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.
The Rose Float team is already at work building the float. Muro, a senior, has been building and shaping the front half of the float’s base.
“The best part is making sure that this body is safe for others to stand and walk around on when decorating our float in the future. As a civil engineer major, I can use what I have learned in classes to make sure that the pod is structurally sound and safe,” he said.
Cal Poly Pomona has traditionally built the front half of the pod, while students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo construct the back. The teams will join the two halves at Pomona later in the fall. When complete, the float will be 48 feet long, 23 feet high and 18 feet wide.
Between Christmas and New Year’s Day, hundreds of students and volunteers will work around the clock to decorate the entire float with flowers and other natural materials before the entry is seen by millions of viewers around the world as it rolls along the parade route on Jan. 1, 2019.
For more information or to volunteer to work on the float, visit www.rosefloat.org.