Houston - Houston’s beloved Holiday spectacular, the 63rd Annual Holiday Parade presented by H-E-B, will return to the city on Thursday, November 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. With a global theme of “Celebrate! Holidays Around the World,” the new route will take our guests on a magical journey starting at Crawford and Texas and ending at Caroline and Walker. The enchanting parade returns this year on Thanksgiving Day to celebrate the start of the Holiday season.
This year, the Celebrity Performer will be Kenton Duty, star of Disney’s “Shake It Up,” and known widely for his role as the “Teenage Boy,” on the popular ABC TV series “Lost.” Bringing a fresh, new sound- this teenage hearthrob is sure to have parade watchers swooning. This will be a magnificent start for the Holidays to come.
The 2012 Holiday Parade will begin its march on Crawford St., turning onto Congress St., then will travel down Congress St. and turn once again into San Jacinto to come to an end on Walker St. The best viewing areas are along Congress & San Jacinto Street; from there, enjoy seven magnificent floats, five humongous helium balloons, and thousands of marching band participants, musicians, cheerleaders, and clowns.
Below is the snapshot of the entertainment and main attractions that are sure to captivate the audience as the holiday pageantry unfolds right before their eyes:
The entertainment for the 63rd Annual Holiday Parade will include teenage heartthrob Kenton Duty. Duty is known for his role on the hit Disney channel original series “Shake It Up,” where he plays a boastful dancer named Gunther Hessenheffer. He was born in Plano, Texas and started his acting career at age 9. Duty has appeared in several movies and was casted as the “Teenage Boy,” on the popular ABC TV series “Lost.” He has many projects in the works as his successful acting career is still on the rise. Duty was also a musician before his hit series “Shake It Up,” playing the guitar in the band KGMC Gigmasters. Kenton Duty currently resides in California with his parents and twin sisters. This is one teenage pop-star you don’t want to miss!
The Nutcracker” Storybook Float, Houston Ballet
New to the parade, the Houston Ballet will exhibit one of our favorite holiday traditions with “The Nutcracker.” Their parade float will include characters from “The Nutcracker,” who have become fan favorites for 25 years now. This magical production will feature the beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy who is the heroine of the ballet and the Queen of the Kingdom of the Sweets, the Nutcracker who is transformed from a toy a handsome prince, and the cuddly mice who battle the Nutcracker.
The Magic of Peter Pan, Theater Under the Stars (TUTS)
Peter Pan will fly on Thanksgiving Day! Showing the audience the magical world of Peter Pan, TUTS will have an amazing moving stage while Peter Pan, Hook and Tiger Lily showcase their mystical lives with a spectacular performance mashup of “I Won’t Grow Up,” “Tarantella,” and “Ugh-A-Wug.”
IKEA FABLER BJORN Bear
The new IKEA oversized FABLER BJORN Bear will be accompanied by Houston co-workers and Toys for Tots volunteers. The FABLER BJORN Bear will help bring awareness for the Soft Toys for Education campaign, in which the IKEA Foundation will will donate one EURO to benefit UNICEF for every Soft Toy sold from November 4 to December 29.
The Loyal Puppy Balloon, Houston Chronicle
This gigantic balloon will remind the crowd that the holiday season is really here, including the many sales in store! The Loyal Puppy Balloon will soar high with the biggest edition of the paper of the year (Houston Chronicle Thanksgiving Day edition) with all the shopping information needed to start the much anticipated holiday shopping.
Tom Turkey, H-E-B
A Parade favorite, Tom Turkey, the giant signature H-E-B float will return, offering a gentle reminder for the anticipated feast ahead on Thanksgiving Day. In addition, H-E-B will include a 4– foot tall cart, which will hold up to two riders in the signature red H-E-B hand basket mounted on a go-cart. H-E-B will also bring their H-E-B salute to Texas float, which celebrates the Lone Star State.
The GOYA Foods Float
The GOYA Foods float will include the new symbol, “Mi Plato,” that was launched by First Lady Michelle Obama and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The new symbol will be featured on the float this year and will replace the traditional food pyramid that Americans are used to seeing. “Mi Plato” identifies the way we should be eating with vibrant colors to show the portions and quantities of each food group. GOYA Foods will also display healthy food choices alongside the float that are considered low in sodium and contains no lard. You don’t want to miss this colorful, coordinated float that will have you curve your appetite for healthy food!
Holly Berry Car, Houston Zoo
The “Holly Berry” car is a stylish Cadillac adorned with thousands of lights coordinated with holiday music. The vibrant vehicle offers a glimpse of Zoo Lights, which takes place every evening from November 23 to January 5 and is a transformation of the Houston Zoo with more than 300,000 LED lights illuminating more than 50 animal themed light displays.
Steamboat Winter Carnival, Steamboat Springs
Best known for their winter carnival, Steamboat Springs will bring winter magic to Houston with white snow and winter sports! For the parade, Steamboat Springs will bring to Houstonians their infamous “Steamboat Winter Carnival.” This carnival first originated in 1914, and since then has grown to be one of Colorado’s holiday traditions, celebrating the much anticipated Winter season. Expect to see a wonderful spectacular of winter sports, such as ski jumping and snowboarding jam sessions.
To learn more about what’s in store this year at the 63rd Annual Holiday Parade presented by H-E-B, and to reserve your front and center seat, visit www.houstonholidayparade.com. Click here to download pictures from the 2011 Parade.
The official parade hashtag is #HolidayParade.
For live updates, follow on Twitter at @HoustonHoliday.