By Earl Heath
LeVar Burton was this year’s Rose Parade Grand Marshal and it seems there could not have been a better selection from President Dr. Robert Miller. The Sacramento native has earned multiple awards for work throughout his career including a Peabody Award and three Primetime Emmy Awards nominee.
He boasted of his family wife Stephanie Cozart Burton, who worked as a Royal Court makeup artist in 1989.
The theme for this year’s parade is “Dream. Believe. Achieve.” — is a testament to the resilience and dedication of our first responders and the health care workers and to every single one of you watching today,” Burton said. “We thank you for what it is you do.”
The 12 time Emmy winner believes the Theme mirrors like his life. “My education was tied to a dream — that dream of my mother Erma Jean — to make sure that her children could compete on a level playing field in this America and reach their most full potential,” Burton said from the podium Tuesday. “I am living, breathing proof that dreams do indeed come true.”
Burton jump started the 133rd Rose Parade with cheers from the crowd on Saturday, Jan. 1, when he led this year’s floats, horses and bands during the 5-mile procession down Colorado Blvd.
“I come from a family for whom the Tournament of Roses parade and the Rose Bowl game to follow, has been a part of our family for years and years.”
The tradition has continued with his daughter, Burton added. “And we are over the moon and beyond thrilled to be a part of this amazing event.”
His portrait hanging with other grand marshals such as Vin Scully, Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Stewart and Henry Aaron in the hall of the Tournament House on Orange Grove Avenue.
He also was at the coin toss for the Rose Bowl Game the featured Utah and Ohio State.