Published : Thursday, December 6, 2018 | 6:11 AM
Rose Parade Grand Marshal Chaka Khan and Dancing with the Stars Champion Jordan Fisher will lead a cast of 400 performers during the parade’s Opening Spectacular on New Year’s Day which will include young students from Pasadena’s Wilson Middle School Drum Corps.
Tournament of Roses officials Wednesday promised musical performances, dancing and a few surprises in between to welcome the New Year, starting at 8 a.m. as the Rose Parade kicks off on January 1.
The Opening Spectacular is themed “Good Vibrations – A Melody of Life Celebration,” reflecting this year’s Rose Parade theme “The Melody of Life,” which celebrates music as the universal language.
“Music has the power to bring us together and create the soundtracks that define our lives,” the Tournament of Roses Association said in announcing the features of the Opening event for America’s New Year Celebration as well as the Rose Parade’s Grand Finale.
The Opening Spectacular cast also includes the Wilson Middle School Drum Corps from Pasadena, Kaiser Catamount Pride Band, and Color Guard from Fontana, HTEDance and Spirit Group from Irving, Texas; and The Boys of Temecula and Temecula Dance Company.
Chaka Khan will be joined by her nephew Tyler McCrary and grandsons Jett and Josh Khan-Corley during the opening event, the announcement said.
The Grand Finale, which caps off the Rose Parade, will feature multi-platinum pop artist Anne-Marie, who will be welcomed to the parade route by Jordan Fisher.
The Grand Finale is themed “Where Flowers and Football Meet” and is presented by Wells Fargo.
To punctuate the theme, a celebrity guest will throw a football from the parade route that will magically soar to the Rose Bowl Stadium and be caught by another notable personality. Who’s going to throw and who’s going to make the catch are yet to be revealed.
The Tournament of Roses also announced the 40 float entries that will participate in the 130th Rose Parade presented by Honda. The full list of floats, marching bands, and equestrian units participating in the Rose Parade can be found on www.tournamentofroses.com/events/about-rose-parade/#participants.
Among the floats will be three Tournament of Roses floats, two of which represent the Ohio State University Buckeyes and the University of Washington Huskies, the two teams that will play in the 105th Rose Bowl Game.
The third is the Royal Court float, which will debut a new design inspired by Preston Bailey.
Bailey, a designer and celebrity wedding planner, is globally celebrated for his unique ability to transform spaces and was recently named by Vogue Magazine as one of the best wedding planners in the world.
He has also recently been named as one of the three judges who will select the most outstanding floats in the Rose Parade. The winning floats will be announced in the morning of New Year’s Day.