Get ready for the 68th Annual H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade, and get in a festive spirit on the morning of the big holiday. This tradition is your chance to enjoy a sense of community in Houston and start off the holiday weekend on the right foot.
Where and When
The Thanksgiving Day Parade is on Thanksgiving itself, which is Thursday, Nov. 23. The parade starts at 9 a.m. and takes place in downtown Houston. There is no need to buy a ticket; admission is free. The route begins on Smith Street before turning right onto Walkers St., then right onto Milam Street, right onto Pease Street, right on Louisiana Street, left on Clay Street, and finally right on Smith Street. The route ends a block away from the starting point, and you can see the map online to better plan where you want to watch.
A Long Tradition
You can tell that this is a longstanding tradition in Houston. The first parade was in 1949. During that parade, Santa made an arrival at Union Station then rode his sleigh all the way downtown until he reached Foley’s. The parade has changed with the times since that very first event, but it remains a proud Houston tradition. It always has numerous participants and observers, everyone in great spirits.
Applications to participate in the parade begin months in advance, and Houston hasn’t yet published a list of the participants. That being said, we know that you can expect to find plenty of fun floats with amazing decorations, balloons, and more. There will also be marching bands and other marching performances. Last year, there were giant balloons, including snowmen, footballs, Things 1 and 2, Angry Birds, and patriotic-colored eagles. There were also floats dedicated to Thanksgiving and Christmas, complete with giant turkeys, Santa, elves, and more. Performance groups included cheerleaders, dancers, color guards, ribbon twirlers, and marching bands. You may even spot a horse-drawn carriage, a fire engine, or celebrities.
You Can Still Volunteer
Although it is too late to apply to participate in the parade with a float or other type of moving performance, you can still volunteer. You just have to be at least 16 years old. If you want to be a Parade Marshall, you must be 18 years old or older. To apply to volunteer, just fill out the online form and hit submit. It shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes to do.
With the right vehicle from Mike Calvert Toyota, you will easily fit your entire family in a single car, making parking to watch the Thanksgiving Parade in downtown Houston, Texas, a breeze.