Actor LeVar Burton was named the Grand Marshal of the 2022 Rose Parade today, with Tournament of Roses leadership hailing him as not just an accomplished performer, but also an advocate for literacy.
Known mainly for his roles as Kunta Kinte in the miniseries Roots, as Lt. Cmdr. Georgi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation and more recently as a popular guest-host of Jeopardy!, the 64-year-old Burton was also the longtime host and executive producer of the award-winning PBS educational series Reading Rainbow.
As Grand Marshal, the actor will oversee the 133rd Rose Parade, which is themed “Dream. Believe. Achieve.” The parade will make its way along Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena on Jan. 1, following its cancellation this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Burton, after introducing his wife Stephanie to the crowd gathered at Tournament House in Pasadena for the announcement, said he was “thrilled” to accept the offer to serve as Grand Marshal.
“I come from a family, a home (where) the Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl Game to follow has been a part of our family for years and years,” he said. “Steph and I have continued that tradition…We are over the moon and beyond thrilled to be part of this amazing event.”
Burton noted that the announcement was made on National Teachers Day.
“So if you know a teacher, hug one — if you’re vaccinated,” he said.
You can watch Burton’s introduction as Grand Marshal below.
On Monday, the Tournament of Roses announced the seven members of the 2022 Royal Court that will attend dozens of public events leading up to the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game.
The seven members are:
-Jeannine Brigs of John Marshall Fundamental High School
-Nadia Chung of La Canada High School
-Ava Feldman of South Pasadena High School
-Abigail Griffith of Pasadena High School
-Swetha Somasundaram of Arcadia High School
-McKenzie Street of Flintridge Sacred Heart
-Jaeda Walden of La Canada High School
Members of the court are chosen from among hundreds of applicants each year based on criteria including public speaking, academic achievement, youth leadership and community and school involvement.
One of the seven Royal Court members will be chosen as the 103rd Rose Queen, with the announcement set for Oct. 26 at the Tournament House in Pasadena.
The Rose Parade is broadcast live in Los Angeles at 8 a.m. on New Year’s Day on KTLA5.
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City News Service contributed to this report.
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