Houston’s Thanksgiving parade will be safe and secure, event organizers assure

HOUSTON, Texas – Police and organizers say the annual Thanksgiving Day parade in Houston will be safe, taking Sunday’s deadly parade in Wisconsin into consideration.

Houston will resume its holiday tradition this year with the 72nd Annual H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade. The last parade was in 2019 since the pandemic canceled the one in 2020.

Director of Special Events for the mayor, Susan Christian, said she’s expecting between 200-250,000 people to line the streets of downtown Thursday morning.

“We want to have the most creative, the most fun, the most celebratory and the safest event that can be presented,” she said.

Christian is helping to plan the parade. She said there will be law enforcement officers that attendees can easily spot in and around the parade. She also said there will be officers that won’t be as visible.

On Veterans Day, a suspect armed with an AR-15 rifle lead police on a lengthy chase that paused the beginning of the Veterans Day parade downtown before it ended with the suspect being shot in Greenspoint.

On Monday, 39-year-old Darrell Brooks was charged with five counts of intentional homicide after his red SUV was seen speeding through barriers and then a crowd celebrating a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Five people died and dozens were injured.

PHOTOS: Chaos and aftermath of Waukesha Christmas Parade tragedy

Both Houston police and Christian told KPRC 2 they could not share details relating to the security plan in place for Thursday’s parade but said it would be a safe and fun event.

“It’s exactly being cognizant about not only the event, [but] the elements of our event. Focused on plan A, plan B. But, it’s also what’s going on around Houston, what’s going on in other states,” Christian “It may have an effect on our civic events here. So, those are things we talk about openly behind closed doors.”

The parade is expected to begin at 9 a.m.

The theme is centered around heroes of the pandemic.

Dr. Peter Hotez will be the Grand Marshal.

For the parade route and closures click here.