California's 117th Rose Parade is ready for its close up

In the land of perennial youth and movie star beauty, the Rose Parade is getting a major makeover _ for the first time in 117 years.

The annual Tournament of Roses will kick off on Monday with a splashy performance by Grammy-winning singer LeAnn Rimes, complete with dancers and aerial performers. The extravaganza will be jazzed up further by mid-parade performances by singer Toni Braxton and magician Lance Burton.

With the CBS television network having quietly decided to drop coverage of the event after 45 years, &to=' target=_blank>parade organizers, hoping to keep TV viewers and the remaining broadcasting outlets happy, have ratcheted up the rolling flowerfest's entertainment quotient.

"TV is the way of taking this small-town festival in California and sharing it with the world," said Bill Flinn, chief operating officer of the Tournament of Roses Association.

Flinn noted the "tremendous marketing opportunities" associated with the parade, which, even without CBS' participation, will be broadcast to 120 countries. In the U.S., where it will be seen on ABC, NBC and a slew of other outlets, it is expected to be viewed in some part by about 50 million viewers.

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