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Even Pasadena’s Rose Parade is going virtual next year with TV special

2020 Rose Parade
A scene from the 2020 Rose Parade in Pasadena.
(Mark Boster / For The Times)

The New Year is already starting to look a lot like the old year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

After canceling the 2021 Rose Parade for the first time in 75 years back in July, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Assn. announced Thursday that next year’s festivities will take the form of a two-hour TV special airing across ABC, NBC, KTLA, Univision and more stations at 8 a.m. Pacific on Jan. 1.

“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, in a statement.

“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. We may not be able to make our typical 5.5-mile march, but we are hosting a spectacular celebration nonetheless.”

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The 2021 Rose Parade in Pasadena is canceled because of COVID-19, but parade officials are looking to find a new way to celebrate.

In partnership with Feeding America, “The Rose Parade’s New Year Celebration presented by Honda” will be filmed in different locations around the country and feature appearances from celebrity guests.

The telecast will also include a joint virtual performance of “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” by graduating seniors from various high school and college marching bands, led “by a surprise conductor.”

“While we have invited all the bands who were scheduled to perform in this year’s parade to instead join us for the 2022 Rose Parade, we realize that there are many seniors who will graduate before that,” said Tournament of Roses President Bob Miller in a statement.

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“We didn’t want them to miss out on this opportunity, so we’re giving them their very own, unique performance spotlight.”

Other Rose Parade traditions to be honored during the broadcast include a “live-to-tape musical” set, Rose Bowl football game highlights and equestrian displays, as well as a behind-the-scenes featurette on the making of a parade float and “spectacular floats from years past.”

More details about the performance lineup, entertainment segments and famous guests are still to come. The holiday special will also be shown on RFD-TV and the Hallmark Channel, while the Rose Bowl football game is still on for New Year’s Day.

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