Regis Philbin to Be Next Rose Parade Grand Marshal
The Tournament of Roses has given its final answer: Regis Philbin will be the next grand marshal of the Rose Parade.
Instead of announcing the selection of Philbin at tournament headquarters in Pasadena, tournament President Ronald A. Okum and Michelle Jacobs, reigning rose queen, flew to New York to make the announcement Tuesday morning on television’s “Live! With Regis and Kelly.”
Okum said Philbin personifies the theme of the 113th Rose Parade, “Good Times.”
“He represents it by giving good times to people for so many years in the various shows of the entertainment media,” Okum said in an interview. “He’s also a sports fan and a nice person. He’ll represent the tournament in a proper way.”
Philbin--who is also quiz show host of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?"--will ride in the parade and toss the coin at the 88th Rose Bowl Game, which is hosting the national collegiate football championship for the first time.
“If you asked me how I would like to spend New Year’s Day, my final answer would be riding down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena’s Tournament of Roses parade as grand marshal,” Philbin said in a statement. “I’m truly honored and excited to be part of the fun.”
The announcement of grand marshal came early this year--the last grand marshal, newscaster Tom Brokaw, was announced in November--to attract more publicity for the national championship game. “We had the opportunity to get it out now, so Regis could talk about it regularly on the show,” Okum said.
The Rose Parade will begin Jan. 1, 2002, at 8 a.m., and the game Jan. 3 at 5 p.m.