Al Roker, Hoda Kotb Co-Host 129TH ROSE PARADE on NBC, 1/1
"Today" weather anchor Al Roker and Hoda Kotb, co-host of "Today's" fourth hour, will welcome 2018 co-hosting NBC's live, high-definition coverage of the 129TH ROSE PARADE from Pasadena, Calif., on Monday, Jan. 1 (11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. ET/8:30-10:00 a.m. PT). Most NBC affiliates will also broadcast optional coverage of the parade from 11:00-11:30 a.m. ET.
This marks NBC's 91-year anniversary broadcasting the parade, beginning on radio in 1927 and then televising the popular annual event beginning in 1954. This year's edition of the parade will signify Roker's 21st year as host and the fifth year for Kotb.
Actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise, well known for his portrayal of Lt. Dan Taylor in the film "Forrest Gump" and who has been working in support of veterans for nearly 40 years, is the Grand Marshal. The theme of this year's parade is "Making a Difference."
The fun kicks off with an exciting opening celebration by Honda featuring "Power of Dreams Express," the colorful lead float entry bringing together volunteers and philanthropic organizations working to make a difference in the lives of children. Other parade highlights include a majestic floral monument of Dr. Martin LUTHER King Jr. on the AIDS Healthcare Foundation float saluting the iconic civil rights crusader, a lively entry from the Los Angeles Forum celebrating the music and entertainment venue's 50-year anniversary, Lucy Pet Foundation's "Paws for Life" entry honoring heroic service animals from around the country, the UPS Store's whimsical sea monster float titled "Books Bring Dreams to Life" and Dole's "Sharing Nature's Bounty" entry featuring dazzling floral animals and a cascading waterfall.
Adding to the fun will be 18 EQUESTRIAN teams, including the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales as well as miniature horses, as well as 22 incredible marching bands from the U.S. and as far away as Australia and Japan. This year's Rose Queen and her court will also appear.
The Pasadena Police Department estimates that more than 700,000 spectators will line the five-and-a-half mile parade route. Tens of millions of people worldwide watch the telecast every year.
The "129th Rose Parade" is produced by LX.TV, a production unit of the NBC Owned Television Stations.