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Mayor Sylvester Turner announces city's holiday festivities

Turner: We are thrilled to bring parade following city's devastation

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HOUSTON – Mayor Sylvester Turner has announced plans for the city's upcoming holiday festivities.

The first of several events will begin with the 68th annual H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade on Nov. 23. The event, which Turner and grand marshal Chandra Wilson will kick off, begins at 9 a.m.

Wilson, best known for creating the hit show "Grey's Anatomy," is a native Houstonian and an advocate for the city.

"This year we are especially thrilled to bring the tradition of the annual H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade to Houstonians after the devastation our city has seen," Turner said. "We are particularly eager to welcome home our very own Chandra Wilson as this year's grand marshal .... We claim her wholeheartedly and look forward to giving her this honor."

Following Thanksgiving will be the 98th annual Mayor's Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting, which is presented by Reliant, an NRG company, on Dec. 1 at City Hall in Hermann Square from 6-8 p.m.

"I am honored to be part of such an incredible event," Turner said. "We have pulled together as a community many times this year. Now we have this opportunity to come together in warm celebration."

The tree lighting event, which is free to the public, includes music, fireworks and family activities, and Santa Claus will be available for free photos with children in the Gingerbread Village.

Grammy award nominee Cheryl Fortune, of Houston, will headline the event. Other performances include Kechi Okwuchi, a finalist from "America's Got Talent,"the Houston Children's Chorus, a dance group from the Houston Metropolitan Dance Company and many others.

The 65-foot tree will light up downtown throughout the holiday season.

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