NBC continues its 86-year tradition of broadcasting popular international event
Al Roker, the weatherman and feature reporter for NBC's "Today," and Alison Sweeney, the host of "The Biggest Loser" and one of the stars of "Days of our Lives," will co-host NBC's live, high-definition coverage of the 124th Tournament of Roses Parade from Pasadena, Calif., on Tuesday, Jan. 1 (11:30 a.m.), 2013*
This will be Roker's 16th year hosting the popular annual event, and the first year for Sweeney. NBC has been broadcasting the New Year's Day parade for 86 years, beginning on radio in 1927 and then televising the event beginning in 1954.
The theme for this year's parade is "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" It's the title of the popular Dr. Seuss book. Jane Goodall, the world renowned primatologist, animal welfare advocate, UN Messenger of Peace and founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, will be this year's grand marshal. The parade will feature 42 lavish floral floats, 21 high-stepping equestrian teams and 23 marching bands from as far away as Japan. This year's Rose Queen and her court will also appear, along with special guests on spectacular floats.
"The Tournament of Roses Parade" is the most popular New Year's Day celebration in the world. The lively event kicks off 2013 with colorful floats such as Disneyland Resort's "Destination Cars Land," saluting the newest attraction at Disney California Adventure Park, Honda's "Follow Your Dreams" entry, celebrating childlike imagination, and a heartwarming "Canines with Courage" salute to our four-legged heroes - military working dogs - from Natural Balance Pet Foods. Viewers will also see a special float honoring this nation's caregivers, which is funded, decorated and ridden by nurses, a Kaiser permanente "Cat in the Hat" float themed "Oh, the Healthy Things You Can Do!"and an inaugural float from Delta Sigma Theta, the world's largest African-American Greek-lettered sorority, as they kick off their centennial celebration.
The Pasadena police department estimates that at least 1 million spectators will line the five-and-a-half mile parade route. Tens of millions of people worldwide watch the telecast every year.
*Many affiliates will also broadcast NBC's optional coverage of the parade from 11 to 11:30 a.m.