Paula Deen Named Rose Parade Grand Marshal

Chef Paula Deen poses in the press room at the 2010 CMT Music Awards, in Nashville, Tenn., on Wednesday, June 9, 2010. Pictures: CMT Awards 2010 Kid Rock Makes a Splash as CMT Host Carrie Underwood Big Winner at CMT Awards
AP Photo/Peter Kramer
Paula Deen poses in the press room at the 2010 CMT Music Awards, in Nashville, Tenn., June 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer)

PASADENA, Calif. (CBS/AP) Food Network star Paula Deen will soon bring her southern charm to the West Coast.

The Tournament of Roses announced Tuesday that the 63-year-old chef and cookbook author from Savannah, Ga. will be the Grand Marshal of the Rose Parade in Pasadena on New Year's Day.

Deen will ride in the 122nd parade and will toss the coin before kickoff of the 97th annual Rose Bowl game.

She says the parade and game have been a longtime New Year's tradition at her house, and serving as grand marshal is a dream come true.

"My whole family has watched it on TV for years," Deen told People magazine after the announcement. "My sons are very impressed that I was chosen. It only took me 40 years to impress them, but I've finally done it."

Deen has sold millions of copies of her cookbooks and appears on two Food Network shows. She is also the owner of The Lady and Sons restaurant in Savannah.