NAMM teamed with Sesame Workshop to produce the float, which featured the theme “Passport to the World of Making Music,” representing the importance of making music as part of a complete education for all children and encouraging people all over the world and of all ages to pick up an instrument and experience the joys and benefits of making music.
The float, designed by Studio Concepts of Portland, Ore., hosted original “Sesame Street” cast member Bob McGrath, who plays the music teacher on the show; Olamide Faison, who plays Miles; and Rosita, a “Sesame Street” character who plays music and sings in English and Spanish.
United under the traditional “Sesame Street” lamp post toward the back of the float were an international cast of characters from the “Street” including Elmo strumming a banjo; The Count, who like many musicians is also good at math; Halum from Bangladesh who enjoys playing the drum and laughing; Lola from Mexico, a 4-year-old pink Muppet who loves rhymes, songs and surprises; and Googly from India, who loves science and music.
All the characters played their instruments along to “Sesame Street” songs. The characters in the rear of the float stood atop an elevated colorful globe surrounded by a rainbow and musical notes, representing how music helps people and children of the world celebrate their diversity and unity.
An interactive drum circle, a signature element of each year’s NAMM float hosted by Remo, played along with the “Sesame Street” songs and reminded onlookers that everyone can make music if they try.
“Research has proven that children’s social, verbal, reading and math skills are significantly improved by being involved in making music,” said Joe Lamond, president and CEO, NAMM. “NAMM’s float is designed to send the message that making music is an important component to every child’s overall growth and development, and is equally important for people of all ages and cultures as a wonderful form of expression and creativity.”
The float incorporated flowers such white and yellow chrysanthemums for the clouds; carnation petals for Elmo and Lola; blue static heads and black onion seeds for Googly; and parsley flakes, yellow straw flower, black onion seed and white rice for The Count. The globe was made up of organic materials such as key limes, black bearded wheat heads, bells of Ireland, peanuts, dried papaya and dozens of other fruits, nuts and vegetables.
More than 1600 volunteers signed up to decorate the float for four-hour shifts, including groups of Girl Scouts, young Rotarians, and individuals and small groups from Hawaii, Ohio and New Jersey.
The musical float was viewed by millions in the United States who watched live media coverage of the Tournament of Roses on ABC, NBC, KTLA 5CW, HGTV, Univision, Travel Channel, Discovery HD, KWHY-TV Los Angeles, and Sky Link TV. The Rose Parade is also broadcast internationally in 31 countries and seven additional global territories via satellite networks.
The parade, themed “Passport to the World’s Celebrations,” featured 46 floats, 22 marching bands, and 18 equestrian units. Emeril Lagasse served as the grand marshal of the event.
2007 was NAMM’s fifth year as a float sponsor in the Tournament of Roses Parade. In 2007, 2006, 2005 and 2004, NAMM’s float took home the Craftsman, Grand Marshal’s, Bob Hope Humor and Isabella Coleman Trophies respectively.