What does it take to put on the annual H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade? One woman and her team has been doing it for the last five years.

If you think about some of the biggest moments in Houston sports history such as:

  • The Rockets back-to-back NBA Championships in the 90s.
  • The Comets winning the first four championships of the WNBA's existence.
  • The Astros World Series victory parade which drew a million people downtown.

What do these above celebrations have in common? Susan Christian and her team.

"It takes a village, I'm telling you,” says Christian.

She's the mayor's Director of Special Events, and her office in City Hall gives a snapshot of the more than 1,600 events per year.

"We have books of binders for our signature events, says Christian. All of which her office produces, sponsors and permits.

Christian says her biggest event was the Power of Houston in the late 90s. But she and her team go big every year with holiday celebrations like Freedom Over Texas on July 4 and for the last five years, the H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade.

"Really one of my number one priorities in producing the parade is to lift up our performing and creative artists here in town,” says Christian.

So, she started a competition among artists to create unique floats and changes up the lineup every Thanksgiving.

"And that was the goal: I want performances, I want them to be fresh, new every year, and I want floats,” says Christian.

But don't worry, the icons like the Turkey and Santa will still be there to open and close a cherished Houston holiday tradition for the 68th year.