HOUSTON - The Houston Festival Foundation (HFF) announced Wednesday that it will no longer produce the city's annual Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Officials with HFF said the organization's primary focus will be on preparing for the 2014 Houston International Festival.
The HFF said due to the rising costs associated with producing the Thanksgiving Day Parade, the foundation's board made the decision to end its production of the annual event.
The HFF had produced the parade since 1995.
Organizers said the holiday parade required more than $500,000 to produce each year, with costs increasing annually. More than 400,000 guests attended the live parade last year, and more than two million viewed the event from home.
The HFF's primary focus for the organization will continue to be the Houston International Festival and its associated education and outreach programs.
The 2014 event will be held April 26-27 and May 3-4.
Mayor Parker issued the following statement about the future of the Thanksgiving Day Parade:
"I am disappointed HFF is having financial difficulties and is walking away from producing the annual holiday parade and has sold all of the event's assets. The parade is a tradition that has been enjoyed by thousands who come downtown to experience it in person and by a large television audience that reaches far beyond Houston. I am certain today's news has many asking what happens now. I personally want to see it continue. Discussions are already underway by various parties to see whether the parade can be saved."
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