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Tony Award winner Audra McDonald named 135th Rose Parade grand marshal

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Six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald was named the 2024 Tournament of Roses grand marshal.

The 53-year-old actor and singer was introduced on the lawn of Tournament House in Pasadena on Friday, December 1.

The theme of the 2024 Rose Parade is "Celebrating a World of Music."   

McDonald "not only gracefully epitomizes our theme, but also perfectly personifies the power of music to move, soothe, excite and delight us all," said Tournament of Roses President Alex Aghajanian. 

McDonald has won more Tony Awards than any other performer, and she is the only person to win in the four acting categories. She also has two Grammy Awards and an Emmy. She received the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama in 2016 and was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2017. 

"I am so deeply honored to have been invited to serve as the grand marshal of the 2024 Rose Parade," McDonald said. 

McDonald was raised in Fresno and said the new year always began by waking up early with her family to watch the Rose Parade and bowl game with her family.  

"My dad, may he rest in peace, was a huge football fan," McDonald said. "He was always rooting for his beloved Oakland Raiders and the Fresno State Bulldogs." She continued to say although her dad's beloved Bulldogs have yet to make it to the Rose Bowl, the Fresno State Bulldogs Marching Band made their Rose Parade debut last year, so "Go Bulldogs!" 

The 135th annual Rose Parade will be happening on January 1, 2024 at 8 a.m. in Pasadena.  

McDonald will ride the 5 1/2-mile route down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena and she will be part of the coin flip for the 110th Rose Bowl game later that day.  

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