The Nebuta float from this year’s Nisei Week Parade will appear in the 84th annual Hollywood Christmas Parade, which will be held on Sunday, Nov. 29.
The float is inspired by the popular Nebuta Festival of Aomori Prefecture, one of the largest and most famous festivals in all of Japan that dates back hundreds of years. It was designed by master artist Hiroo Takenami, specifically to be showcased in Los Angeles. Its colorful design was carefully hand-painted and constructed on traditional Japanese washi paper and outfitted with over 3,000 LED lights.
This year’s float depicts the “Legend of Yoshitsune,” the story of the celebrated general of the Minamoto clan, Minamoto no Yoshitsune, who by divine power, safely travels across the ocean for battle.
Musical performances will be featured on two separate stages during the parade and national telecast, and will include: Clay Aiken; India Arie; Band of Merrymakers featuring Mark McGrath, Natasha Bedingfield, Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees, Kevin Griffin of Better Than Ezra and Sam Hollander; Daughtry; Diana Degarmo; Kat Graham; Candice Glover; Taylor Hicks; Alexander Jean featuring B.C. Jean and Mark Ballas; Sean Kingston; Heather Russell; Ruben Studdard; and Ace Young.
A “Magic of Christmas” segment from the magicians appearing on the hit TV series “Masters of Illusion” will also take place. A special salute to American soaps will also be featured with appearances by Rick Hearst, Emme Rylan and Bradford Anderson of “General Hospital”; Tristan Rogers, Kate Linder, Bryton James and Christel Khalil of “The Young and the Restless”; Scott Clifton and Jacqueline Macinnes Wood of “The Bold and the Beautiful”; Martha Madison, Deidre Hall and Galen Gering of “Days of Our Lives.”
Penn & Teller, stars of the hit CW series “Penn & Teller: Fool Us,” will be the grand marshals for this year’s parade.
Presented and produced by Associated Television International, the live event, taped for network television, begins at 5 p.m. The parade starts at Hollywood Boulevard and Orange. The U-shaped route will go east to Vine, south on Vine to Sunset Boulevard, and west on Sunset back to Orange.
This year the parade will honor boxer Oscar de la Hoya with the Humanitarian Award for his outstanding charity work over the years. Deidre Hall will make a special presentation to Toys For Tots. The parade and television broadcast will be co-hosted by television personalities Erik Estrada, Laura McKenzie, Dean Cain, Montel Williams, with special co-hosts Elizabeth Stanton and Garrett Clayton.
The parade will premiere as a two-hour special on The CW Network on Friday, Dec. 11, at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific. Long-time parade partner Hallmark Channel will air multiple runs beginning Saturday, Dec. 19, on its Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel. The parade will also air to more than a million American servicemen and women worldwide on American Forces Network. Media partners for this year’s parade include “Entertainment Tonight,” “The Insider,” Variety, KTLA, Radio Disney, Hallmark Channel and KOST.
This year’s parade includes over 4,000 participants and attracts more than one million in attendance each year, with larger-than-life inflatable character balloons and celebrity-filled cars making the much heralded trek down the over three-mile parade route.
Tickets are now on sale. Calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or go online to www.ticketmaster.com/hcp. For the latest updates about the parade, call the hotline toll- free at 1-866-PARADE1 (727-2331) or visit the official website at www.thehollywoodchristmasparade.org.