Officials met in New Orleans today to announce the involvement of Louisiana on the national stage. Shreveport-Bossier City will be represented in the 2023 Rose Parade® in Pasadena, California, celebrating the rich history of two staple organizations in the North Louisiana Area. The theme of the parade, “Turning the Corner,” celebrates the unlimited potential that each new year brings.
“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 Louisiana Feed Your Soul Float presented by Louisiana Travel in the annual Rose Parade® will depict an icon of Louisiana – the riverboat or paddlewheel steamboat – decorated entirely with flowers, leaves, and seeds. Country Music Association Award winner, 2022 Academy of Country Music New Female of the Year winner, and Louisiana music ambassador Lainey Wilson will perform mid-parade for millions of viewers nationally and internationally.
“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.”
Shriners Children’s Hospital in Shreveport, Louisiana was the first hospital established in the Shriners Children’s system and celebrated their 100th anniversary in 2022. Shriners Children’s Hospital is a unique pediatric healthcare system with a reputation for finding answers and giving families hope. Since opening the first hospital in 1922, it has been their mission to provide innovative, high-quality comprehensive care, conduct research to advance medical care options, and provide educational opportunities for physicians and other healthcare professionals.
Amber DeFatta is one of the thousands of children whose life was changed by Shriners 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 be riding on the Louisiana Office of Tourism float at the 2023 Rose Parade®, representing Shriners Children’s Hospital in Shreveport, Louisiana.
The American Rose Society is a non-profit, educational organization working to promote the beauty, culture, and preservation of the rose. The headquarters home, the American Rose Center, is in Shreveport, Louisiana. The 118-acre garden is the largest park dedicated to roses in the entire country, and features more than 7,000 rose bushes —and more than 400 different types of roses. They celebrated their 47th blooming season in Shreveport in 2022, however the American Rose Society celebrated 130 years in 2022.
Diane Sommers is the 57th President of the American Rose Society and will be walking in the 2023 Rose Parade®. She has been growing roses for over 40 years and currently grows over 200 varieties. Sommers has served as ARS Treasurer, NCD District Director, and Region 5 Regional Director in addition to chairing many ARS Committees. Most recently, as chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, Sommers spearheaded the implementation of technology solutions that increase access to quality programs and speakers for consulting rosarian’s, local rose societies, and members. She is a past president of two local rose societies and has been awarded the ARS Silver Honor Award and two Bronze Honor Awards for her contributions. Sommers has also been recognized with the ARS Outstanding Consulting Rosarian Award and the ARS Outstanding Judge Award for service. She is an ARS Master Rosarian, Accredited Horticulture, and Arrangement Judge.
The 2023 Rose Parade®, part of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses® will be held Monday, Jan. 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.