NBC welcomes the new year in style with a star-studded two-hour special “The Rose Parade’s New Year’s Celebration presented by Honda,” featuring musical performances and special celebrity guests.
This year’s presentation, which airs from 11:30-1 p.m. ET on Jan. 1, will celebrate everything viewers have come to love about the Rose Parade, including its history, participants, volunteers and, of course, the gorgeous flowers. Most NBC affiliates will also air optional coverage of the celebration from 11-11:30 a.m. ET.
Hoda Kotb, co-anchor of NBC News’ “TODAY” and co-host of “TODAY with Hoda and Jenna” and Al Roker, “TODAY’s” weather anchor, will co-host NBC’s high-definition coverage once again.
The 2021 telecast will mark Roker’s 24th year as host and the eighth year for Kotb. NBC is celebrating its 94th year broadcasting a Rose Parade telecast, beginning on radio in 1927 and then televising the popular annual event beginning in 1954.
Past Rose Parade Grand Marshals Emeril Lagasse and Gary Sinise will be featured in this year’s reimagined special. An award-winning actor, director, producer and philanthropist, Sinise will open the show while chef, restaurateur, TV personality and author Lagasse will share memories of his time as Grand Marshal in 2008.
The special will also feature marching band performances and heartwarming segments related to the Rose Parade, special Rose Bowl football game highlights, equestrians, floats from years past and a behind-the-scenes look into the making of a float.
This year’s celebration of the new year will feature musical performances by nine-time Grammy Award winner Sheryl Crow; country singer-songwriter and historic Grammy nominee Mickey Guyton; multi-Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Tori Kelly; multi-platinum, seven-time Grammy-winning country trio Lady A; the most awarded country group of the last decade, Rascal Flatts; and Nashville-based, soul-singing husband and wife duo the War and Treaty.
Celebrity guest appearances will include multi-award-winning singer, songwriter, actor and producer Daddy Yankee; actress Shanola Hampton; Olympic gold and silver medalist and former Grand Marshal Laurie Hernandez; former NFL player and Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart; multi-award-winning actress and former Grand Marshal Rita Moreno; actress Dascha Polanco; and Los Angeles Dodgers broadcasting legend Vin Scully.
Roker and Kotb will host the parade amidst an eye-popping cascade of flowers, designed by Lewis Miller. Miller’s popular “Flower Flash” installations throughout New York City have earned him notoriety and praise for their beauty and creativity. For more information, please visit www.lewismillerdesign.com.
While the new year is a time of celebration, there are also many children and families who are facing extraordinary challenges. At key moments throughout the program, including one featuring a special message from Jennifer Garner, viewers will have the opportunity to donate to Red Nose Day at www.rednoseday.org. Money raised during the broadcast will support programs that ensure children in need are safe, healthy, educated and empowered, across the United States and around the world.
In years past, more than 700,000 spectators would have lined the five-and-a-half-mile parade route in Pasadena but this year viewers will enjoy the pageantry from home.