Celebrate the start of the holiday season in Texas by attending one of these incredible parades that occur near Thanksgiving. With parades that happen before, on and after Thanksgiving, there is an event on this list that is sure to fit into any busy holiday schedule. Full of unique floats and a joyful atmosphere, these five parades are sure to get you into the holiday spirit this Thanksgiving.

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HEB Holiday Parade HEB Holiday Parade
Credit: Ed Uthman
HEB Holiday Parade

HEB Holiday Parade (Nearby Hotels)

The largest Thanksgiving Day parade that occurs in the Lone Star State happens in Houston. This Thanksgiving Day parade is a holiday tradition and has taken place every Thanksgiving for more than 65 years. Located in downtown Houston, this parade is free to attend. However you can also purchase tickets for bleacher seating. Nearly 400,000 spectators line the streets to view the parade and many more watch the parade broadcasted live on television on Thanksgiving morning. Marching bands, cheerleading squads, massive floats and character balloons are all in attendance at the HEB Holiday Parade in H-town.

Date: November 22nd, 2018

Annual FirstLight Federal Credit Union Sun Bowl Parade The Hyundai Sun Bowl Parade
The Hyundai Sun Bowl Parade

Annual FirstLight Federal Credit Union Sun Bowl Parade (Nearby Hotels)

El Paso is home to the Sun Bowl Parade, which occurs every Thanksgiving morning. This community event is the largest event that occurs in West Texas. Nearly 250,000 spectators flock to El Paso every Thanksgiving morning to view the Sun Bowl Parade. This parade is named after the Sun Bowl, which is a football game that occurs in late December. The parade was created as a prelude to the game in 1936 but was moved to Thanksgiving day in 1978. Attendees to the Sun Bowl Parade will enjoy a variety of floats, a marching band and other special appearances.

Date: November 22nd, 2018

Fort Worth Parade of Lights Fort Worth Parade of Lights
Fort Worth Parade of Lights

Fort Worth Parade of Lights (Nearby Hotels)

This unique nighttime parade occurs the weekend before Thanksgiving. Since Thanksgiving Day and the weekend following is sometimes busy with family and shopping, this parade occurs at the perfect time for those with hectic Thanksgiving schedules. The parade features over 100 illuminated parade floats and balloons, making it a special sight to see in Fort Worth this holiday season. Purchase seats or simply view the parade from the free viewing areas. The Fort Worth Parade of Lights is a great way to get into the holiday spirit before the holidays arrive.

Date: November 18th, 2018

Ford Holiday River Parade and Lighting Ceremony Ford Holiday River Parade and Lighting Ceremony
Ford Holiday River Parade and Lighting Ceremony

Ford Holiday River Parade and Lighting Ceremony (Nearby Hotels)

This unique parade occurs the day after Thanksgiving in San Antonio. The River Walk is transformed into a parade attraction, as floats actually float down the river. The Ford Holiday River Parade and Lighting Ceremony kicks off Christmas and the holiday season. View lighted riverboats with over 100,000 other spectators. This is also the time when the mayor of San Antonio turns the switch on to the holiday lights along the River Walk. Complete with live music, this river parade is a joyous celebration that is perfect for the whole family.

Date: November 23rd, 2018

Chuy's Children Giving to Children Parade Chuy's Children Giving to Children Parade
Chuy's Children Giving to Children Parade

Chuy's Children Giving to Children Parade (Nearby Hotels)

Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Parade occurs in Austin the weekend before Thanksgiving. Get into the giving mood by bringing toys to donate, since this parade raises money for “Operation Blue Santa,” a non-profit organization that provides toys to children in need in the Austin area. The parade is full of large inflatable balloons, unique holiday floats and fictional characters that are sure to delight the little ones. This parade is about giving, therefore it’s a great way to remember what the holiday season is all about before the holidays arrive.

Date: November 24th, 2018

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