Sesame Street's Bob joins holiday parade

Sesame Street's Bob McGrath will lead this year's Oakland Holiday Parade

Bob McGrath, who has entertained millions of children and parents alike for 38 years as "Bob" on Sesame Street, has been named grand marshal and will lead the order of march at 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 stepping off at 2 p.m. at 11th and Broadway, working its way up to 20th and Broadway, and then turning right to Lake Merritt.

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. Highlights of this year's parade include:

-- 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 Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

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About Bob McGrath:

Bob McGrath just celebrated his 38th year on Sesame Street. He has bridged two generations of viewers as one of the original hosts. "I can't believe I'm really meeting you" is a common response heard by Bob from not only kids, but their parents as well, who also grew up with the show. He 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.

In addition to his role as music teacher on Sesame Street, Bob is a successful author, recording artist and concert performer. His newest book "OOPS! EXCUSE ME PLEASE! And Other Mannerly Tales" has received tremendous acclaim. His previous Barron's title, "UH OH! GOTTA GO !" is still one of the nation's best-selling potty-training books and has been featured on "Regis & Kathy Lee", "Caryl and Marilyn", "Pat Bullard" , "Home and Family" and "Rosie O' Donnell."

Bob's recent creative music curriculum, "MUSIC FOR FUN" published by Warner Bros. Publication, and co-authored with Marilyn Davidson, provides teachers with meaningful and light-hearted music classes. All seven sequential lessons are correlated to the MENC National Music Standards for Early Childhood. Included is a teacher and student book, and a CD with appealing songs by Bob which are the basis for the seven lessons.

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