Earlier this year, it was announced that the 2021 Rose Parade — an annual parade to mark the start of the Rose Bowl game — would be canceled. For the fourth time in the event’s 130-year history, decorated floats and marching bands would not be strolling down Pasadena’s Colorado Boulevard to ring in the new year.
But, since the July announcement, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses (the organization behind the annual event) has spent months drawing up a contingency plan, and on Jan. 1, 2021, viewers across the country will have the chance to see what they came up with.
On Jan. 1 at 9:00 a.m. MT, a two-hour pre-taped special titled “The Rose Parade’s New Year Celebration” will air on ABC, Hallmark Channel, KTLA and NBC, Variety reports.
According to reports, Daddy Yankee, Shanola Hampton, Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez, chef Emeril Lagasse, former NFL star Matt Leinart, Rita Moreno, Dodger’s Hall of Fame announcer Vin Scully, Dascha Polanco and Gary Sinise will all make special appearances.
In addition to celebrity appearances, the event will feature performances from marching bands, equestrians, special Rose Bowl Game football highlights, spectacular floats from years past, heartwarming segments related to the Rose Parade, and a behind-the-scenes look into how Rose Parade floats are made, EW reports.
To limit travel and ensure the safety of everyone involved, the event’s performance segments were all filmed at different locations. EW reports that filming took place under the strictest COVID-19 safety protocols.
“We did film some segments here in Pasadena, and live performances for the show were shot in Nashville,” David Eads, Executive Director/CEO of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses said (via Variety).
According to Eads, the pandemic restrictions actually provided showrunners the chance to explore different entertainment avenues that a normal parade wouldn’t permit.
“You’re going to see musical entertainment that is not typically carried to that degree in the parade,” he said. “In the parade, we usually (only) have musical entertainment in the opening and closing. Last year we did do a mid-parade number where we had the Broadway cast of ‘Frozen’ perform. But obviously with a television special, it allowed us to include musical acts that would not be available on New Year’s Day at 8 a.m.”
“It’s not just gonna be a rehash of old parades,” Eads added. “What viewers will see on New Year’s Day this year will be a focused entertainment special in the spirit of Rose Parade.”