If New York and Chicago are a little too cold and windy for your taste, there’s a fun Turkey Day celebration going on in sunny Houston, TX, as well. The H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off at 9 a.m. local time in downtown Houston, celebrating its 70th year in 2019.
Here’s what you need to know to watch the coverage if you can’t be there in person. Local CBS affiliate station KHOU will broadcast the parade live beginning at 9 a.m., hosted by anchors Deborah Duncan and LeToya Luckett. You can also watch the live stream below or see it on the KHOU website or mobile news app.
The grand marshal for this year’s parade is local celebrity Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale. There will be eight performing groups, headlined by Houston’s own Simone Gundy, who was a finalist on season 11 of The Voice. She’ll be performing with the Houston Contemporary Second Company and Aldine Carver Dance Company. According to the press release, this “carnival-themed number” will “dazzle guests and with colorful, flashy costumes and amazing choreography.”
Addition performers will feature musical numbers from Theatre Under the Stars’ Elf — The Musical, Apache Belles and more. There will also be 12 giant helium balloons, 13 floats, eight performing groups and eight marching bands from across the state of Texas.
The event is free and open to the public, though parade-goers can purchase general seating tickets if they want to.
“The Annual H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade will march us into a holiday weekend filled with community, celebration, and tradition,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner in a statement. “I look forward to this treat every year and it’s especially remarkable thanks to our open-hearted sponsors and all they do to help host this feast of merriment.”
Thanksgiving Day parades have a rich history. The granddaddy of them all is not actually the Macy’s parade, but Philadelphia’s Gimbel Brothers-sponsored Thanksgiving procession that ran in 1920. The Macy’s parade, which was called Macy’s Christmas Parade in its first year, started in 1924, as did Detroit’s J.L. Hudson-sponsored Thanksgiving parade. The inclusion of gigantic helium-filled balloons started a few years later when Macy’s debuted Felix the Cat in 1927.