The Cal Poly Rose Float team released a rendering of its entry into the 130th Tournament of Roses Parade on Wednesday.
“Far Out Frequencies” will be the theme of this year’s float, which features a pair of astronauts and alien friends on another planet communicating through music.
The concept was chosen from 150 entries submitted by the Cal Poly Rose Float team and their counterparts at Cal Poly Pomona, according to a school news release.
“Throughout the years, our campuses have united to design, construct and decorate to achieve a common goal: our float,” said Sara Novell, president of Cal Poly SLO Rose Float, in the release. “This idea of unity is also shown in our float, in how the astronauts and aliens join together to create a common language.”
On the float, astronauts Morgan and Sally travel into outer space and land on a distant planet. Unable to communicate through language, they use musical instruments to “share their message of goodwill with the aliens they encounter.”
The theme of the New Year’s Day parade is “The Melody of Life,” highlighting music as a universal language.
The Cal Poly Rose Float is the only student-built entry in the parade and has been invited to participate for 71 consecutive years.
“Students from all walks of life and fields of study do all of the welding, metal shaping, machining, foam carving, woodworking, painting and flower harvesting in this one-of-a-kind experience,” said Novell, a senior studying mechanical engineering. “We compete with professional float builders to win prestigious awards and have our work showcased before hundreds of thousands of spectators and an international television audience in the millions.”
Construction of “Far Out Frequencies” began on the San Luis Obispo campus in July, and work will continue through mid-October, when Cal Poly’s half of the chassis and other float parts will be taken to Pomona.
The two universities have won more than 50 awards since 1949, including last year’s float, “Dreams Take Flight,” which received the Past Presidents Trophy for the most outstanding innovation in the use of floral and non-floral materials.
The Tournament of Roses Parade takes place in Pasadena on Jan. 1, 2019.
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