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January 1, 2010

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Float in US to highlight Expo big picture

A WORLD Expo float carrying floral replicas of Shanghai landmarks will be seen by millions of spectators globally at the televised Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California, today.

Also appearing in the New Year celebration will be two celebrity Expo ambassadors - Shanghai's NBA star Yao Ming and film legend Jackie Chan.

Jose Villarreal, the United States Commissioner General to the World Expo, and Chinese baseball team coach for the 2008 Olympics, Jim Lefebvre, have also been invited on board the float.

"The Shanghai Expo symbolizes such a big step forward for developing countries to host the World Expo so we should promote it in front of the whole world to attract more visitors," said Sue Zhang, chairwoman of the Roundtable Southern California Chinese-American Organizations, the Shanghai float's sponsor.

Chinese-American entrepreneurs donated US$350,000 for the float which will join nearly 100 other floats.

The Shanghai float features Expo mascot Haibao, models of the China Pavilion and the city's skyline in the Lujiazui area and floral representations of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Jin Mao Tower and the World Financial Center.

A roller-skating team, consisting of 80 Shanghai pupils dressed in Haibao costumes, will echo the theme by marching and performing around the float.

About 500 million people around the world are expected to watch the parade on television, according to organizers.


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