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Rose Parade Gets A Podcast Accompaniment

The Tournament of Roses parade may be a 119 years old tradition in Pasadena, California, but it's not stuck in the past. This year, the tournament is adding an audio tour, downloadable as a podcast from iTunes and Amazon's MP3 marketplace, to serve as an accompaniment to the parade flotilla.

The free audio tour is the first-ever produced by the Tournament of Roses. It has a five-minute introduction and then a two-minute track for each of the 46 floats featured in the Rose Parade in the order that they appear in the Parade.

Tracks on the podcast are matched to the order of the floats, so all listeners need do is pause occasionally for timing purposes, or if there is a band or some other parade party going by. The entire tour is approximately two hours long.

The track numbers also correspond to the float number. The floats are on display for a day-and-a-half following the parade in Pasadena (or until the flowers start to wilt), so the estimated 70,000 to 100,000 visitors who stop by to see the floats can listen to each track as it corresponds to the float while getting an up close look, according to Pam McNeely, Chairman of the Parade.

This is just the first step for the Parade organizers, she said. "We expect that there are many other areas of the Rose Parade and Tournament of Roses experience we can fold into this, like the Rose House, the kickoff luncheon, and the decorating places," she told InternetNews.com.

McNeely originally suggested the idea a few years back, and this year was her chance to do it. For now, it's mostly intended for people at the show. "It's about accompaniment if you are in the stands as the floats are driving by," she said. Nothing stops a person from listening to the podcast, of course, but in the future, for those not at the show McNeely hopes to add video elements to allow people to get up close and personal with the floats.

The 119th Rose Parade begins at 8 a.m. PST on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2008, featuring the floral floats, equestrian units and marching bands from throughout the nation. The theme of the floats is Passport to the World’s Celebrations.

The podcast can be found in the iTunes podcast directory and on Amazon's MP3 library under the miscellaneous/spoken word category.