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Well, Ain’t That Grand?: Audra McDonald Named Grand Marshal Of 135th Rose Parade

Tony Award-winning singer/actress Audra McDonald is taking on the coveted role of grand marshal in the 135th Rose Parade.

Audra McDonald is taking on the coveted role of grand marshal in the 135th Rose Parade.

The six-time Tony Award-winning actress and singer will kick off 2024, serving as grand marshal of California’s legendary Rose Parade, KTLA reported. McDonald was announced as the grand marshal in a ceremony on Friday, Dec. 1, in Pasadena.

As a California native, the decorated singer is excited to host the 2024 festivities.

“I am so grateful and my family is so grateful to be able to kick off 2024 in my home state underneath the California sunshine surrounded by flowers, football fans and music,” McDonald said.

“Every January 1st, I would wake up early to watch the parade and the game with my family. I always found the floats with their colors and flowers so magical as a kid, and I still do.”

McDonald is the perfect grand marshal for the 2024 Rose Parade, considering its theme, “Celebrating a World of Music: The Universal Language.”

“Music is a universal language. It can lift us out of personal struggles and more importantly it helps us see the humanity in each other and ourselves,” she said.

“For me, growing up in Fresno, representation matters. When you can see someone that looks like you achieving things, it helps you to realize your dream even more fully and to see that it’s absolutely possible. Those barriers have been broken down so I can walk through.”

Dating back to 1890, the Rose Parade was initially a way Pasadena’s distinguished Valley Hunt Club would promote the city’s charm and beautiful weather. But with it falling on Jan. 1, the Tournament of Roses eventually became known as America’s New Year Celebration.

As part of her grand marshal role, McDonald will ride down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena and take part in the coin flip for the 110th Rose Bowl game later that day, AP News reports.

“I’m actually practicing,” she said. “If anybody can mess up a coin toss, it would be me.”

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