The Rose Bowl, dubbed "The Granddaddy of them All," will be played between the Wisconsin Badgers and Oregon Ducks, the Big Ten and Pac-12 champions. But, of course, it's not all about football. The Rose Bowl has more pageantry leading up to it than all other bowl games combined. I'm talking, of course, about the Tournament of Roses Parade.
The parade was a tradition that started in 1890 when Pasadena's Valley Hunt Club organized it as a New Years celebration. To help fund the parade, the Rose Bowl football game came into being in 1902, making it the oldest bowl game in the country. Now the parade serves as an opening celebration for the big game and is seen by millions on TV every year.
Each year, a Grand Marshall is selected by the President of the Tournament. Former Grand Marshalls have included Dwight D. Eisenhower, Bob Hope and Richard Nixon. The 2012 Grand Marshall will be J.R. Martinez, a former U.S. Army infantryman and currently an actor and motivational speaker. Martinez suffered burns over 40 percent of his body while serving in Iraq in 2003. While he was recovering from his wounds, he traveled around the country as a motivational speaker to many organizations including corporations, schools and military groups. He stars on the daytime drama All My Children and was the winner of Dancing With The Stars' 13th season on ABC.
The parade will start at 8 a.m. PT and will feature 43 floats, 21 bands and approximately 400 horses. To watch the festivities, tune into NBC, ABC, Hallmark Channel, HGTV, RFD-EV, Tribune, Univision and Sky Link TV.