HOUSTON — Floats, balloons, bands and more -- this year's H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade is expected to be one for the books, especially after the many hiccups it has experienced in the past few years.
Last year's parade was canceled just minutes before start time due to weather and the year before that, COVID rained on parade. Organizers said they expect nothing but success for this year's parade and hope hundreds come out to participate in the festivities.
Who is the Grand Marshal?
H-E-B announced Thursday that Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson will be the 73rd annual H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade grand marshal.
The rapper and entrepreneur became a Houston resident last year and has really embraced what it means to be a Houstonian. He has donated a lot of time and money into fostering leadership skills in Houston youth and given back to the community with turkey drives and more.
Dr. Peter Hotez, a health expert with the Baylor College of Medicine who spent countless hours guiding the country through the COVID pandemic, will be a special guest at the parade. Hotez was last year's grand marshal but didn't get to lead the parade because it got canceled due to weather.
What to expect?
Parade organizers said you can expect more than a dozen floats and 20 high-flying balloons, including Tom the turkey and Santa Claus.
There will also be marching bands, performers and a special performance from Houston rapper Bun B.
Where and how to watch
The Parade will happen in downtown Houston and is free. There are a limited number of seats available at the parade's starting route. Those interested in those seats can purchase tickets here for $28.
This year's sponsors include HCA Houston Healthcare, Hyatt Regency, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Highland Village and of course, KHOU 11.
You can be more than just a spectator of the parade. Volunteers are needed in the following areas:
- Balloon Handlers
- Banner Carriers
- Parade Marshals
- Seating Ushers
- ADA Ushers
- Back Lot
If interested in volunteering, click here.
The parade began in 1949 when Santa arrived at Union Station and rode his sleigh to the downtown Foley's. Since then, the Thanksgiving Day parade has gone through a few changes but today, it remains a holiday tradition showcasing the Houston community and entertaining parade-goers lining the streets on Thanksgiving morning. H-E-B has been a sponsored of the parade for 16 years.