Just as dropping the ball at midnight is a tradition for many on New Year’s Eve, so is the annual Tournament of Roses Parade for those who are not so hung over that they sleep past it on the West Coast. This event puts Pasadena, California on the map more than just about any event of the year, and it also makes us hungry in between seeing the floats that are occasionally decorated with food products rather than flowers.
This year, there are a few notable things to point out beyond just the floats. For one, this marked the return of ESPN’s Hannah Storm to TV after suffering some nasty burns in a propane gas grill accident a few weeks ago. She was greeted warmly by her fellow host here in Josh Elliott, a man from “Good Morning America” who has held the parade close in his heart for many years.
In addition to that, every year the parade traditionally has one big-name star as Grand Marshall, and this varies often from year to year from celebrities to political figures to, in the case of this year, an activist. One year after “Dancing with the Stars” champion J.R. Martinez had the honor of leading the parade on its way, this year Jane Goodall is taking the reigns. Her goal in taking up the honor is to help promote her environmental causes, in particular when it comes to supporting the conservation of apes.
The Rose Parade always comes as a precursor to the annual Rose Bowl Game, and this time it will feature the Stanford Cardinal facing off against the Wisconsin Badgers. This game will air a little later in the day, and it is just one of many notable games that is on tap for college football today.
If you want to take a look back at some memorable moments from New Year’s Eve, you can do so over here.
Photo: ABC / Rose Parade