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Sesame Street's Bob McGrath Named Grand Marshal of Oakland Holiday Parade.

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Bob McGrath, who has entertained millions of children and parents alike for 38 years as "Bob" on Sesame Street, has been named grand marshal of the Comcast Oakland Holiday Parade, which will be held on Saturday, Dec. 6.

The parade, which is coined "America's Children's Parade" and contains some 90 entertaining units, will march down the streets of Oakland beginning at 2 p.m. beginning at 11th and Broadway, working its way up to 20th and Broadway, and then turning right to Lake Merritt.

This year's parade is the ninth annual, and it's already become one of only three Christmas parades in America to be broadcast nationally. This year it will be picked up by public broadcasting stations throughout the nation and in parts of Canada, as well as by stations throughout California.

It will also be broadcast by KTVU Channel 2 and by Comcast and Peralta TV stations throughout the Bay Area.

McGrath was recently inducted into the 2002 Silver Circle of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He is the recipient of the American Eagle Award by the National Music Council and the Fame Award by the National Association of Music Educators for furthering the cause of music education.

Last year's grand marshals, the "Raggs," five delightful singing dogs that are now being featured on public television stations throughout the country, will be back this year for a special live performance.

Live television commentary will be handled by popular comedian Mark Curry, who has been making people laugh for more than two decades, and by Claudine Wong, a reporter for the KTVU Channel 2 News. An Oakland native, Curry is most famous for his starring role in the TV hit "Hangin' With Mr. Cooper." He also had a recurring part as Robert Soulard, Drew's boss, on "The Drew Carey Show," and was the host of Comedy Central's "Don't Forget Your Toothbrush."

Curry is currently the host of "Mark Curry's Hot Monday Nights," a weekly comedy show in the James Moore Theatre of the Oakland Museum of California. Now running every Monday night, the show features some of the area's best comics.

The event will feature numerous high school marching bands (most of which march 80-140 members or more), almost 40 children's favorite cartoon and storybook characters, giant balloons, colorful floats, and Santa Claus himself.

Last year more than 100,000 spectators lined the streets of Oakland to view the parade, which featured:

* Children's characters such as Clifford the Big Red Dog, the Groovy Girls, Curious George, Madeline, Winnie the Pooh, and Six Flags stars Sylvester the Cat, Tweety Bird, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and the Tazmanian Devil.

* 20'-50' inflatable balloons hovering along the one-mile parade route, including Arthur and Hello Kitty.

* A 25-member clown brigade consisting of local business executives.

* Several beautiful floats

The Comcast America's Children's Parade is also a holiday championship for the marching band circuit, sanctioned by the Northern California Band Association. Among the bands that will participate are the Fairfield Scarlet Brigade with 150 members, Napa High School, the Pittsburg High School Marching Pirates Show Band, and the Mission San Jose High School Band.

The parade truly is a national event, with parade items, entries and volunteers coming in from ten different states, and from as far away as New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Florida.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 10, 2008
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