Houston’s annual Thanksgiving Parade to include more floats than ever

A crowd of about 250,000 is expected to gather for the annual downtown parade.

Houston Thanksgiving Parade
Richard Carson | DPWPR
Pictured is the Houston Thanksgiving Day Parade in November 2015.

Thursday marks the 74th Annual Houston Thanksgiving Parade downtown, which organizers say will feature more floats than ever.

"We now have 19 floats, so that's five more than we've ever had," said Susan Christian, director of the Mayor's Office of Special Events. "These are elaborate creations. If you haven't made this your tradition, we encourage you to do so."

In addition to the floats, sky-high balloons and 15 performing groups such as the Texas Southern University Marching Band will traverse 20 city blocks over the course of the parade. It is expected to draw a crowd of about 250,000.

Street closures begin at 6 a.m. Thursday and include Allen Parkway (inbound) between Taft and Bagby, Bagby (northbound) between Dallas and McKinney, Bagby (southbound) between Walker and Clay, Lamar between Louisiana and outbound Allen Parkway at the Interstate 45 overpass. At 8 a.m., additional closures will begin on portions of Smith, Walker, Milam, Pease, Clay and Louisiana streets. Closures will remain in place until 2 p.m.

Mayor Sylvester Turner will lead the parade as grand marshal, alongside Houston Rockets legends Calvin Murphy and Rudy Tomjanovich.

The parade begins at 9 a.m. at the corner of Lamar and Smith streets. Tickets for the seated area are $28.25 and must be purchased online before the start of the parade. A map of the parade route can be found here.