SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Two local organizations are celebrating the new year by representing Shreveport-Bossier in the 2023 Rose Parade® in Pasadena, California.

“We are so thrilled that Shreveport-Bossier will be featured on a national stage,” said Stacy Brown, President and CEO of the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau. “This is the first time we have been invited to participate in the Tournament of Roses Parade with the State of Louisiana and the Lieutenant Governor’s Office. We are proud to feature two treasures from our area, Shriner’s Hospital for Children and the American Rose Center.”

2023 Louisiana Feed Your Soul Rose Parade float design
2023 Louisiana Feed Your Soul Rose Parade float design (Source: Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau)

This year’s theme of the Rose Parade® is “Turning the Corner,” celebrating the unlimited potential each new year brings. The Louisiana Feed Your Soul Float will depict a riverboat or paddlewheel boat decorated entirely with flowers, leaves and seeds. Floats in the parade are famous for incorporating state-of-the-art technology hidden beneath elaborate flowers and natural materials displays.

“We’re excited to return to the Rose Parade to showcase all the ways you can Feed Your Soul in Louisiana. All of our riders are an excellent representation of the celebratory spirit of Louisiana,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “We love a parade in Louisiana, and we will be kicking off carnival season a few days early on January 2 when our float rolls through the streets of Pasadena.”

The parade will roll on January 2 with a performance mid-parade from Country Music Association Award winner and 2022 Academy of Country Music New Female of the Year winner Lainey Wilson. On New Year’s Day, the Tournament of Roses will announce the award-winning floats based on design, presentation and entertainment value.

A former patient of Shriner’s Children’s Hospital and 20 Louisiana queens will ride on the float presented by Louisiana Travel.

Shriner’s Hospital in Shreveport, the first in the Shriner’s Hospital system, has provided life-saving care to children for 100 years. Since opening in 1922, their mission has been to provide advanced pediatric care in orthopedics, limb length discrepancy, craniofacial treatments, and more. The hospital system conducts research for advanced medical care and provides educational training for physicians and other healthcare professionals.

Amber DeFatta is one of the thousands of children whose life was changed by Shriner’s Children’s Hospital. After receiving care for Trevor’s Disease, a rare bone condition found in one in 1,000,000 children, DeFatta is now a volunteer at the hospital and helps to raise awareness for the care they provide to children throughout Louisiana. She will ride on the Louisiana Office of Tourism float, representing Shriners Children’s Hospital in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Of course, you can’t have the Rose Parade without roses.

“Our walker is Diane Sommers. She’s the President of the American Rose Society. We would be remiss to not mention the American Rose Center, which is 118 acres of beautiful property in Caddo Parish and the largest garden dedicated to roses. In fact, they call it America’s Rose Garden,” said Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau VP of Marketing Katharyn DeVille.

The American Rose Society is a non-profit educational organization working to promote the beauty, culture, and preservation of the rose. Its headquarters, the American Rose Center in Shreveport, is the country’s largest park dedicated to roses. It features more than 7,000 rose bushes and more than 400 different types of roses. Peak bloom times are from April to June and September to October, but the center is open year-round.

The center offers beautiful trails for walking or jogging, a picnic area and a children’s playground. This year marked their 47th blooming season and the American Rose Society’s 130th anniversary.

The 2023 Rose Parade®, part of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses® will be held Monday, January 2. Hundreds of entries will float down the 5.5-mile route, and the parade will be broadcast live at 8 a.m. PST on ABC and NBC affiliated networks. Check your local listings for exact times.