we love a parade

Beloved Thanksgiving parade rolls back into downtown after pandemic pause

Beloved Thanksgiving parade rolls back into downtown after pandemic

H-E-B Thanksgiving Parade Houston downtown
H-E-B is rolling out a Thanksgiving favorite. Photo courtesy of H-E-B/City of Houston

A beloved — and massive — tradition is rolling back into downtown, the City of Houston announced. After a pandemic-promoted halt, the 72nd Annual H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade will return on Thursday, November 25 at 9 am.

Boasting a stretch of some 20 downtown blocks, the parade marks the largest in-person event hosted by the city of Houston since the start of the pandemic, according to press materials.

Free and open to the public, the parade also offers up a limited number of premium seats for $28.25 each, including service fee. City sources promise “plentiful” curbside space along the route for lawn chairs and blankets. Easy-access parking is slated to be available along the route; Metro buses will run on a holiday schedule.

This year’s Grand Marshal is Dr. Peter Hotez, noted professor and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor and Co-Director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development.

Hotez has been a pivotal local, regional, and national figure during the pandemic, serving as an advocate for public health and relaying common-sense information about COVID-19.

Some 20 balloons and 14 floats — including the ever-popular Tom Turkey and Santa Claus — will be on tap. The parade will also include  marching bands, drill teams, musical performances, and more, per a release.

Meanwhile, Cirque du Soleil will perform an exclusive excerpt from its most iconic production, Alegría. The dazzling, high-flying production returns to Houston on  November 13 for a limited engagement. (Cirque du Soleil will also honor Houston’s frontline workers with complimentary tickets to select shows.)

“Houston has many reasons to be thankful this year, and we are thrilled to once again host this wonderful tradition in downtown Houston,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner in a statement. “The pandemic has been challenging on everyone, but we are a resilient and robust community.”

For reserve tickets or more information on the parade, visit the official website.