RFD-TV To Have Float In This Year's Rose Bowl Parade

This appeared on the Cattle Network - December 23, 2008

RFD-TV is bringing the sights and sounds of rural America to Pasadena, California, this New Year's Day on its first-ever float in the Tournament of Roses Parade.

RFD-TV will showcase the longest and tallest float in the parade while paying tribute to the American farmer and rancher following the theme of Hee Haw. RFD-TV is the nation's first 24-hour, 7-day-a-week television network dedicated to serving the needs and interests of rural America.

The theme for the 120th Rose Parade is Hats off to Entertainment. RFD-TV and Phoenix Decorating, the largest Rose Parade float builder, have created a float saluting Hee Haw, one of the most popular variety shows in the history of television. This wildly popular country program first aired on June 15, 1969 and quickly became "appointment" television across the country. On September 7, 2008, Hee Haw returned to television on RFD-TV and airs weekly on Thursdays, 6:00pm EST and Sundays, 8:00pm EST. 2009 marks the show's 40th anniversary.

To salute Hee Haw's anniversary, RFD-TV is bringing traditional country music icons, Marty Stuart and Connie Smith, to sing on its float while saluting the one million plus viewers along the parade route.

In addition to Hee Haw, RFD-TV is saluting the American farmer and rancher in this year's parade. The float includes agricultural commodities from all 50 states, and is primarily being decorated by commodity organizations along with members of the FFA and 4H.

"RFD-TV and Hee Haw are a match made in heaven to salute traditional, family-oriented rural entertainment," said Patrick Gottsch, RFD-TV founder & president. "We are honored to pay tribute to the American farmer and rancher-our viewers-- on such a large national platform with a show that is still entertaining audiences today with its unique blend of "corny" humor. For over four decades, every Hee Haw episode has ended with traditional country artists taking off their hats and "saluting" the audience from their famous cornfield. We are excited to recreate with the help of Marty Stuart and Connie Smith and repeat this memorable scene along the parade route as part of RFD-TV's salute to entertainment."

Key Features of the RFD-TV Hee Haw™ Float

• Introduced by a gigantic, animated and steam-spewing tractor, the 85-foot-long snapshot of down-home activities is highlighted by a 25-foot-tall windmill with spinning blades, an eye-catching rustic barn, and countless examples of the bounty that makes America the "breadbasket" of the world.

• Natural decorating materials (actual corn, wheat, soybeans, etc.) and over-sized sculptures are placed throughout the float to highlight a harvest of natural products from America's farmers around the country.

• Roses of country music from the Nashville Music Garden are featured including the named roses for Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Little Jimmy Dickens, Amy Grant, Minnie Pearl, and the Grand Ole Opry.

• Celebrity guests Marty Stuart and Connie Smith emerge from the rustic red barn to serve as the ultimate "wow" factor with a live performance celebrating "Hats off to Entertainment."

Hee Haw costumed float riders, as well as stars from RFD-TV's equestrian programming ride along side of the float.

• Animation includes rotating windmill and tractor wheels with a stack putting forth special effects smoke.

• Over 200 FFA members from around the country decorate the float in support of agricultural education.

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