Al Roker, the weatherman and feature reporter for NBC’s “Today,” and Shaun Robinson, the weekend co-anchor and correspondent for “Access Hollywood,” will co-host NBC’s live, high-definition coverage of the “122nd Tournament of Roses Parade” from Pasadena, California on Saturday, January 1, 2011 (11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. ET).
This will be Roker’s fourteenth year hosting the popular annual event, and the second year for Robinson, who previously co-hosted in 2004. NBC has been broadcasting the New Year’s Day parade for 84 years, beginning on radio in 1927 and then televising the event beginning in 1954.
This year’s theme is “Building Dreams, Friendships and Memories,” and the grand marshal will be popular culinary star and bestselling author Paula Deen. The parade will feature 47 lavish floral floats, 23 high-stepping equestrian teams and 23 incredible marching bands from as far away as Japan and Mexico. This year’s Rose Queen and her court will also appear, along with special guests on spectacular floats.
The most popular New Year’s Day celebration in the world, the parade will feature even more colorful floats than last year. The City of Los Angeles float will feature Cirque du Soleil performers, while Tillman, the Guinness World Record holder for fastest skateboarding dog, will make a return appearance on the Natural Balance float as he and his bulldog friends skimboard and make a splash in over 4,000 gallons of water. The parade will also include a float from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation celebrating the 100th birthday of Ronald Reagan, and a crowd-pleasing entry from Dole featuring an outrigger canoe that rocks up and down as it sails over floral waves while Polynesian dancers perform hula dances.
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.