J.R. Martinez Named Grand Marshal for Tournament of Roses Festivities

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J.R. Martinez is still at the head of the pack on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, and now the Salvadorian Army veteran will reportedly lead the 123rd Tournament of Roses festivities in January 2012.

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The Pasadena parade, an annual display of grandiose floats and spirited marching bands, will take place on January 2, 2012 at 8 am PST. The Pasadena Tournament of Roses made the announcement yesterday that 28-year-old Martinez will lead the procession. Rick Jackson, president of the Tournament of Roses, said the daytime soap opera actor was a natural fit for the parade, “J.R. is not only a courageous and engaging role model for us all but has dedicated himself to helping not only servicemen and servicewomen, but all Americans facing challenges.”

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Martinez said he was speechless when he was first asked to be grand marshal of the festivities. “To be able to participate in this iconic American tradition on New Year’s Day is something I could only imagine,” he said. In addition to leading the parade, Martinez will also toss the coin before kicking off the 98th Rose Bowl Game, in honor of all wounded military personnel.

After weeks of doing extremely well with his DWTS partner Karina Smirnoff, Martinez has had a less-than-stellar performance this week. Still, Martinez and Smirnoff made the cut last night, unlike actor David Arquette and his partner Kym Johnson. We're glad to see that Martinez and Smirnoff are pushing through—we are rooting for them!

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