Chinese hero Monkey set to please Rose Parade fans

Chinese hero Monkey set to please Rose Parade fans

An unfinished monkey is prepped for painting on BDK’s float, “The Monkey King: Journey to Success.”

Arcadia-based Singpoli has made a name for itself at the Tournament of Roses, but their float this year could be remembered at the parade’s most ambitious ever.

Based on the Chinese classic novel “Journey to the West,” “The Monkey King: Journey to Success” will make its debut alongside dozens of other floats at the 2017 Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 2.

“Many floats have a traditional, almost formulaic look to them, and there is nothing traditional about this float,” Paradiso Parade Floats Owner and Creative Director Charles Meier said.

His team worked on The Monkey King, as well as three other floats for the upcoming parade (such as the Donate Life America Float). But Meier said that none of those other floats feature the unique composition that The Monkey King does. The float’s giant representation of Monkey is anchored at only two points, and steel reinforcements give the illusion of Monkey flying through the air, something which Meier said took weeks to achieve.

Building a mechanism that would allow Monkey to bend over was also essential, otherwise Monkey’s full height of 30 feet would make navigating under powerlines impossible. Monkey’s staff will shoot fire, and he will be surrounded by waterfalls, Meier said. Smaller monkeys will populate the float, and each other those is fully animated.

Meier’s team designed Singpoli’s entries in the past three parades, winning multiple awards, such as the 2015 Grand Marshal Trophy. But Singpoli CEO Kin Hui wanted to push the envelope this year, and chose to sponsor the float under BDK’s auspices. The BDK team, which includes Chinese businessman Gang Ding, has set out to bring Chinese and American cultures together, and there’s no better platform for that than the Rose Parade, Hui said.

According to the Arcadia businessman, success and personal betterment are themes that can bring the Chinese and American cultures together. No Chinese character exemplifies the American success story better than Monkey, who transforms himself from a prisoner to a king over the course of “Journey to the West.”

“Today, you could be nobody. Tomorrow, you could be somebody,” Hui said. “The important thing is to never give up.”

— By Hugo Guzman, correspondent

Pegasus Communications, LLC, which publishes this website, has a business relationship with the Singpoli Group.