19Rose Parade float2-The Cal Poly Universities Rose Parade entry, Far Out Frequencies, makes its way along the parade route in Pasadena January 1, 2019. Credit: Tom Zasadzinski | Courtesy

Cal Poly Rose Float won the Extraordinaire award for their “Far Out Frequencies” float at the 130th New Year’s Day Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.

This is the first time Cal Poly has received the award.

For eight consecutive years, the float constructed by both Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly Pomona has been recognized as California Grown certified, with at least 85 percent of its materials being from California.

The “Far Out Frequencies” theme was selected out of more than 150 ideas submitted for this year’s float. The theme celebrates the 2019 parade theme, “The Melody of Life,” by paying homage to music as a language for all. This is the fourth time the float has had a space theme in Cal Poly’s 71 years of participation.

The float featured two towering astronauts who communicated through musical instruments and was over 16 feet tall and 48 feet wide and had several animatronic components.

Unable to communicate through language, characters on the float use musical instruments to share their message of goodwill with a handful of aliens. Tom Zasadzinski | Courtesy

Cal Poly Rose Float President and mechanical engineering senior Sara Novell said the team was extremely happy about this year’s performance.

“People [were] walking by our float and saying, ‘Oh my God, it’s a beautiful float,’” Novell said. “The judges even complimented our float during the judging — and that’s not very common. It [was] amazing.”

Rose Float officials estimated in a press release that about 700,000 people attended the event, while over 44 million Americans and 28 million people internationally tuned in on television.

“We know the Rose Parade’s worldwide audience appreciates the students’ creativity and workmanship,” President Jeffrey Armstrong, who attended the parade, said. “I also hope viewers see this float as a metaphor for what Cal Poly students bring to the world: leadership, technical precision, an ability to solve problems and an uncompromising work ethic and zest for life.”

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