Tony winner Audra McDonald named grand marshal of 2024 Rose Parade in Pasadena

City News Service
Friday, December 1, 2023
Audra McDonald named grand marshal of 2024 Rose Parade
Tony winner Audra McDonald will serve as grand marshal of the 2024 Rose Parade, the Tournament of Roses announced Friday at a ceremony in Pasadena.

PASADENA, Calif. (CNS) -- Singer, actress and six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald was named Friday the 2024 Tournament of Roses grand marshal.

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

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

McDonald's six Tony Awards are more 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.

Margaret Huntley Main, the 1940 Tournament of Roses queen and the oldest living titleholder, has died. She was 102.

"I am so deeply honored to have been invited to serve as the grand marshal of the 2024 Rose Parade," McDonald said. "As a California kid, raised in Fresno, ... the new year was always ushered in with the Rose Bowl. Every January 1st I'd wake up early to watch the parade and the game with my family.

"My dad, may he rest in peace, was a huge football fan," she said. "Always rooting for his beloved Oakland Raiders -- I know they're not in Oakland anymore -- and the Fresno State Bulldogs. And although his 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.

"And my dad would just be so thrilled to know -- surprised, but very thrilled to know -- that I was serving as the Rose Parade grand marshal."