'STAR WARS' CREATOR GEORGE LUCAS TO BE TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH GRAND MARSHAL

LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 5, 2007) -- Legendary filmmaker George Lucas will serve as Grand Marshal for the Sunday, April 15 festivities at the April 13-15 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Lucas, whose "Star Wars" films have achieved classic status with lifetime revenues approaching $20 billion, will preside over pre-race ceremonies beginning at 12:15 p.m., prior to the 1 p.m. start of the Champ Car World Series race.

His second Grand Marshal stint of 2007 - he also was Grand Marshal for the recent Rose Parade - happens one day after he participates in the 31st Annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, slated to get the green flag at 11:45 a.m. Saturday. And, it comes during the 30th Anniversary of the release of the original "Star Wars" in 1977!

The prolific Lucas also wrote and produced the Indiana Jones adventure series, and is currently at work writing and producing the fourth and final installment of the Indiana Jones series, scheduled to be released in May of 2008.

Julianne Hough of TV's "Dancing With the Stars," will sing the National Anthem on Sunday. Hough and her dancing partner, Olympic speed skater Apolo Ono, are considered among the top contenders on the popular show.

Ono will be in attendance on Sunday, along with a "Dancing With the Stars" camera crew filming for the following week's show.

Sunday ticket prices for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach begin at $50 for a general admission ticket that includes admission to all the day's race events, and range to $75 for a reserved seat in the upper levels of the grandstands. Available for $120 is the three-day ticket option, which includes Saturday and Sunday reserved seating on upper levels of the grandstands. Limited pre-paid parking packages are available and can be purchased when ordering tickets.

In addition to the downtown walk-up service at 430 E. First Street in Long Beach, tickets can be ordered via credit card by using the toll-free ticket hotline, (888) 82-SPEED. Tickets can also be purchased on-line at www.longbeachgp.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

-credit: -TGPLB-