Many families celebrate Thanksgiving with a turkey and a football game. However it’s a tradition among Houston families to watch the city’s large Thanksgiving Day parade. This downtown parade, referred to now as the H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade, is a must-see event, no matter if you’re watching from the parade’s sidelines or on television. In Houston, watching the parade the morning of Thanksgiving is just as common as giving thanks on Turkey Day.

HEB Thanksgiving Parade in Houston
Credit: facebook.com
HEB Thanksgiving Parade in Houston

Although the H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade has changed names a few times in its history, this Houston event has been occurring for decades every Thanksgiving. Started in 1949, the parade began when Santa arrived in Houston’s Union Station and then rode down the streets to a nearby department store to ring in the holiday season. Now, the parade has blossomed into a huge affair full of massive high-flying balloons, marching bands, dance teams and extravagant floats celebrating both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

For Texans not located in Houston, the parade is broadcasted throughout the state through television news stations. Enjoy the parade on TV in San Antonio, College Station, Waco, Corpus Christi, Dallas and surrounding areas.

Drill Team dancers at HEB Thanksgiving Parade
Credit: Apache Belles
Drill Team dancers at HEB Thanksgiving Parade

If you’re located in the Houston area, it is free to actually attend the parade. Standing on the sides of the street along the parade route is common, however there are tickets available to purchase for those wanting a seated front view. The parade begins at 9 a.m. and typically begins at the intersection of Smith and Lamar, then heads north to Walker Street and then hooks a right to continue down Milam Street. Then the route turns along to Pease Street where it heads up Louisiana Street and then back to Smith at Dallas Street for the end.

Santa in Thanksgiving Parade in Houston
Credit: Elroy McDaniel
Santa in Thanksgiving Parade in Houston

This exciting parade is one of the largest parades in the Lone Star State. Watching the event has become a regular Thanksgiving tradition among Texans, no matter if they’re located in H-Town or not. Watch the dazzling dancers, cartoon balloons, in-step marching bands and plenty of creative floats in Houston this Turkey Day.

Holiday balloons in Thanksgiving Parade in Houston
Credit: GO USA
Holiday balloons in Thanksgiving Parade in Houston

H-E-B Holiday Parade Information:

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