A last-minute reprieve for the 64th annual Houston Thanksgiving Day Parade meant the tradition continued as thousands braved chilly temperatures to watch floats, marching bands, big balloons, smiling political officials and, of course, the arrival of Santa.
Mayor Annise Parker cobbled together donations from lead sponsor H-E-B, along with the Central Houston Civic Improvement, members of Central Houston and the Houston Arts Alliance to keep the parade going. And a lot of people were happy — including photographer Ed Uthman, who snapped these shots.
A giant toy soldier balloon looked nearly as large as a Houston skyscraper.
The littlest elves were up for a ton of merrymaking.
Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia had a big smile.
These smart spectators brought blankets to stay warm.
Shriners tooler around, too.
Mayor Annise Parker, center, and Houston Symphony executive director Mark Hanson, top left, joined in the fun.
This lion doesn't look too happy, perhaps because of the cold and early morning hour.
A member of the U.S. military receives warm applause.
These float participants deserve a big cheer.
What would a parade be without a marching band — or several?
This Rudolph looks dashing.
Why does this photo make us hungry?
Spectators of all ages turned out.
This was likely the tallest parade participant.
A new mode of Houston transportation floats on air.
Last, but certainly not least, Santa arrived to herald the start of the Christmas season.