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Al Roker & Hoda Kotb ring in new year co-hosting 128th Rose Parade Celebrating NBC's 90th year of coverage

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Wed, Nov 23rd 2016 08:15 am

44 lavish floats, 20 marching bands & 19 equestrian teams celebrate 'Echoes of Success' theme

Al Roker, the weather anchor for NBC's "Today," and Hoda Kotb, co-host of "Today's" fourth hour, will welcome 2017 co-hosting NBC's live, high-definition coverage of the 128th Rose Parade from Pasadena, California, on Monday, Jan. 2 (11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET).*

This year marks the milestone 90-year anniversary of NBC broadcasting the parade, beginning on radio in 1927 and then televising the popular annual event beginning in 1954. This will be Roker's 20th year as host and the fourth year for Kotb. The event will be held on Jan. 2 this year due to the parade's 'Never on a Sunday' rule.

"Echoes of Success" is the theme of the 2017 Rose Parade, the most popular New Year's celebration in the world. Three Olympic legends are honored as this year's grand marshals: six-time Olympic gold medalist and track and field star Allyson Felix, five-time Olympic medalist and long-distance swimmer Janet Evans and five-time Olympic medalist and diver Greg Louganis.

The fun kicks off with an exciting opening celebration by Honda featuring its "Hope Blooms Forever" entry, the first of 44 lavish and vibrantly colored floats in the parade. Dole's tropical paradise float, titled "Spirit of Hawaii," will feature the largest waterfall in Rose Parade history; while Cal Poly Universities' entry, "A New Leaf," will showcase a floral family of chameleons; and Western Asset Management Company's "Prosperity in the Wild" float will spotlight rare and endangered species. Lucy Pet's entry, which includes an 80-foot-long ocean of water featuring a wave machine and surfing dogs, will try to claim two new Guinness World Records as the longest float (at 125 feet) and the heaviest float.

Other notable entries include AIDS Healthcare Foundation's floral tribute to honor and remember the 49 victims who died and the 53 who were wounded in the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting; Lions Club International's float celebrating 100 years of service and featuring a majestic lion with a mane of gold; and a "Keep the Beat Alive" entry from Union Bank and the American Heart Association featuring a 55-foot-long piano keyboard, and highlighting the message that CPR saves lives.

Adding to the fun will be 19 equestrian teams, including the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales as well as miniature therapy horses, along with 20 marching bands. This year's Rose Queen and her court will also appear.

The Pasadena police department estimates over 700,000 spectators will line the five-and-a-half-mile parade route. Tens of millions of people worldwide watch the telecast every year.

*Most affiliates will also broadcast NBC's optional coverage of the parade from 11-11:30 a.m.

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