Along with the Central Lightning Dancers who will be performing in the Rose Parade come January, another local Texan will have the best seat in the house - atop the DOLE Rose Parade float.

Cathy Neal of Arlington will have the ride of a lifetime as the VIP guest on top of DOLE’s “Preserving Paradise” float.  Cathy won this opportunity by entering DOLE’s Rose Parade Sweepstakes where one lucky fan was offered a trip for 4 to Los Angeles and the best seat in the house – atop the DOLE float, which took home last year’s Sweepstakes Trophy.  Cathy was chosen out of more than 500,000 entries.

Come January 2nd, Cathy will be surrounded by traditional Thai dancers on the float themed to celebrate the diversity of Thailand, where DOLE grows some of their fruit.  With a temple styled after Thailand’s opulent royal palace and life-like elephant, tiger and leopards beside her; Cathy will stand amidst the exotic flowers from 5 continents and, of course, fresh and healthy fruit grown by DOLE just for the occasion.

DOLE’s “Preserving Paradise” float stands at 55 feet long, 18 feet wide and over 26 feet tall and weighs in at just over 22 tons, which is the equivalent of more than 10 elephants so it’s safe to say that it will be quite a spectacle!

Known as America's New Year Celebration, the annual Rose Parade features spectacular floral floats that are completely covered with natural materials. Approximately 1 million spectators line the parade route, while tens of millions watch the television coverage in more than 200 international territories and countries. The Rose Parade is broadcast on ABC, Hallmark Channel, HGTV, KTLA (Tribune), NBC, RFD-TV and Univision.

The 123rd annual Rose Parade is on January 2nd in Pasadena, California.