5 must-see moments to watch for in the 2017 Rose Parade

(BPT) – New Year’s feels like a time of such hope, promise and happiness that it’s only natural to wish the merriment could last a little longer. In 2017, New Year’s revels don’t end on Sunday, Jan. 1. The 126-year-old Rose Parade will take place on Jan. 2, 2017, honoring the long-standing tradition of not having the event on a Sunday.

With many companies, organizations and government offices observing New Year’s Day on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to savor every moment of the hugely popular, one-of-a-kind Rose Parade. The parade kicks off at 8 a.m. Pacific/11 a.m. Eastern and will continue for several hours, so stock up on delicious snacks, gather everyone around the TV, and be sure to watch for these mustn’t miss moments in the 2017 Rose Parade:

New announcers

Bob Eubanks and Stephanie Edwards announced the parade for KTLA Los Angeles for 35 years, retiring after the 2016 parade. This year, Leeza Gibbons and Mark Steines will take up Eubanks’ and Edwards’ microphones to provide commentary and insight on the many floats, banks and groups that will take part in the parade.

The arrival of the Tournament of Roses Royal Court

Every year, nearly a thousand young women between the ages of 17 and 21 from the Pasadena Area Community College District participate in the Tournament of Roses Royal Court selection process. A panel of judges chooses seven women – six “princesses” and one “queen” – to become members of the Royal Court based on criteria such as poise, personality, public speaking ability and scholastic achievement.

In 2017, the 99th Royal Court is being celebrated for its exceptional diversity. “From African-American to Latina to Middle Eastern, these young women bring a richness to our tournament family,” Brad Ratliff, 2017 Tournament of Roses president, said before crowning the tournament queen in October 2016.

Favorite floats

Each year, parade-watchers eagerly await the arrival of their favorite floats. Entrants like Dole Packaged Foods’ six-time award-winning floats are always crowd-pleasers. This year’s much-anticipated Dole float celebrates the company’s Hawaiian heritage, and is dubbed the “Spirit of Hawaii,” complete with the largest waterfall in Rose Parade history.

The float uses tropical flowers, leis and Dole fruit to depict a tropical paradise and is set to feature a volcano, four waterfalls, colorful parrots, sea turtles, geckos and a 10-foot-tall sculpture of King Kamehameha. The fruits featured on the float celebrate Dole’s commitment to non-GMO products and respect for natural resources that help preserve paradises around the world.

You can win a chance to visit paradise when you participate in Dole’s Spirit of Hawaii Sweepstakes. Visit dolesunshine.com/paradise before Dec. 31, 2016, to enter for a chance to win two first-class, roundtrip tickets to Kona, Hawaii and six days and five nights at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

Grand marshals

From astronauts to entertainers, past presidents and generals, senators and humorists, a diverse group has acted as grand marshal for the Rose Parade in its storied history. This year, in keeping with the parade theme of “Echoes of Success,” three Olympians will serve as co-marshals for the parade.

Widely regarded as the greatest diver in history, Greg Louganis won his first Olympic medal 40 years ago at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. He went on to win four more medals during the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, and also holds five World Championship titles and 47 national titles. Sprinter Allyson Felix earned three gold medals in the 2012 Olympic games, and two gold and one silver medal in the 2016 games. Distance swimmer Janet Evans holds five Olympic medals, including three golds from the 1988 Olympics, and gold and silver medals from the 1992 Olympics. She has also broken seven world records.

The arrival of the Rose Bowl teams

Of course, the Rose Parade couldn’t exist without the excitement of the Rose Bowl, which will take place later in the day on Jan. 2. Although the competing teams won’t be known until much closer to the event date, it never takes fans long to gear up for the game and the teams’ appearances in the parade.

Each team will have its own float and marching band, and their arrival on the parade route is sure to get fans excited for the big game.

Brandpoint – Free Online Content