Louisiana float to be featured in Rose Parade on New Year’s Day

Published: Dec. 29, 2021 at 5:17 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Here in Louisiana, a big part of our economy is tourism; however, in recent years, the pandemic has had a major impact on that.

But now our tourism officials are ready to invite people back to the party, and they’re headed out of state to bring people in.

For the first time in history, Louisiana will debut a float in the Pasadena Rose Parade on January 1.

The idea behind the float, “Feed your Soul,” is to showcase the spirit of the bayou state by featuring different things unique to the Louisiana culture like crawfish, Cajun fisherman, powdered sugar-covered beignets and more.

“Incredible thought and planning goes into this float, and we know Louisiana is going to shine bright on New Year’s Day,” Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser said.

People have been flocking to Pasadena for 133 years to watch the Tournament of Roses Parade, and this time, the spectators will get a taste of Louisiana.

“Everything about the float, even this incredible blue crab, will be covered in seeds. The street signs are rice, but everything on the float will be covered in seeds, even the pelicans will have some buffalo weeds or buffalo grass as the feathers,” Nungesser said.

The idea behind this year’s parade is to Believe, Dream, and Achieve. To play with that theme, Nungesser wanted to highlight the citizens of Louisiana who did just that.

“Well, we want to put the best Louisiana has to offer: a school teacher of the year representing all the school teachers and educators; a hospital worker; a nurse or a doctor, to represent the thousands of healthcare workers who kept us safe and risked their lives during COVID; a police officer; the Cajun Navy, a volunteer that has helped rebuild and still helping rebuild after the hurricanes, Laura and Ida,” Nungesser said.

Louisiana was also represented on Thanksgiving by the “Celebration Gator,” a record-breaking float for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and it helped boost the tourism industry.

Nungesser said he expects the new float to do the same.

“We get out here about 5:30 in the morning, until late at night, decorating the float, interviewing with people from all over the world about why Louisiana wanted to be in this float, what it means to Louisiana, and as we open the doors back up to the world for tourism - this surely will be a feather in our cap and really help us get people excited about coming to Louisiana,” Nungesser said.

Laine Hardy, American Idol winner and Louisiana music ambassador, and The Hot 8 Brass Band will perform mid-parade in front of the Louisiana logo.

The Rose Parade will air on New Year’s Day to about 37 million viewers across the world.

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