Canceled Rose Parade Being Revived As A Variety Special

Tom Tapp
·3-min read

The Pasadena Tournament of Roses announced on Thursday that, after canceling the event in July due to the coronavirus pandemic, the organization will host a two-hour televised entertainment special on New Year’s Day to benefit Feeding America.

Event coordinators issued a statement saying they have partnered with a group of broadcasters to air the show during the time slot traditionally reserved for live coverage of the Rose Parade.

The show will air on ABC, the Hallmark Channel, KTLA, NBC, RFD-TV and Univision on Jan. 1 at 8 a.m. The parade is usually broadcast on several networks nationally, including ABC, NBC, Univision and Hallmark Channel, as well as its longtime home in Los Angeles KTLA-TV.

The Parade will feature live-to-tape musical entertainment, celebrity guests, memorable past floats, marching band performances and past Rose Bowl Game football highlights. Details on the performance lineup, entertainment segments and celebrity appearances are yet to be announced.

“We are beyond excited about the upcoming New Year’s Day television special and the unique opportunity it gives us to not only entertain our worldwide audience in new and dynamic ways, but also honor the Rose Parade’s 130-year tradition,” said David Eads, executive director and CEO of the Tournament of Roses.

“Each year, tens of millions across America and around the world invite us into their homes to celebrate the New Year, and this year will be no different,” he continued. “We may not be able to make our typical 5.5-mile march, but we are hosting a spectacular celebration nonetheless.”

It will mark only the fourth time the parade along Colorado Boulevard will not take place since its inception in 1891 — World War II put a halt to it in 1942, 1943 and 1945.

Preparation for the parade usually begins in February as it takes months to construct the iconic floats, which require thousands of volunteers working in close proximity. With the COVID-19 levels rising in the state and especially in Los Angeles County (which encompasses Pasadena, Los Angeles and Long Beach), those workers would “gather in ways that aren’t in compliance with safety recommendations and won’t be safe in the coming months,” Eads said earlier this year.

Feeding America is the nation’s largest organization dedicated to fighting domestic hunger through a nationwide network of food banks.

“Food insecurity has been a focus of our organization’s efforts during the pandemic, so it was only fitting that we extend our commitment to our re-imagined New Year celebration,” said Bob Miller, president of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association. “We are proud to work with Feeding
America, an organization that is working to change lives in communities across the country.”

Food banks are feeding an average of 60% more people due to the pandemic’s economic effects, said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America.

“We are deeply grateful to the Tournament of Roses for helping to raise awareness and support for people facing hunger,” she said. “Their generosity will help provide much needed meals for our most vulnerable neighbors.”

Talent will be filmed in various cities throughout the country, including Pasadena, and any new footage will meet COVID-19 safety protocols outlined by the State of California and the Pasadena Health Department, according to the Tournament of Roses.

“The Rose Parade is a longstanding and central part of our New Year celebrations — not only here in Pasadena, but also around the world — and we are delighted that tradition will continue this year in a new, reimagined way,” said Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek. “We are excited to see how it comes to life on TV this year.”

City News Service contributed to this report.

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