Mayor Parker: Houston will have a Thanksgiving Day parade

HOUSTON - Mayor Annise Parker announced that there will indeed be a Thanksgiving Day parade.

This morning, the mayor held a press conference in which she was joined by representatives from the parade's corporate sponsor H-E-B and members of the Central Houston Civic Improvement (CHCI) organization.

"This is news that couldn't and shouldn't wait. There will be a Thanksgiving Day parade," she said.

The parade will go on as planned, but under different management. More than $400,000 has been pledged from various sources to help cover the cost, the mayor said. Those sources include H-E-B, the CHCI, Central Houston members through CHCI, and the Houston Arts Alliance Grant.

"There was no way I was going to let everyone down. Thankfully, our corporate friends and others feel the same way and have stepped up to help out," said Mayor Parker. "I was confident they would do so because they are always willing to help when there's a problem to be solved. It is due to their quick action and generosity that everything has fallen into place nicely."

Ward and Ames Special Events will serve as event manager of operations.

The mayor said with the time for planning running out, this year's event will have a different look and feel.

According to Mayor Parker, a private special events company will manage the parade operations, while her office of special events will provide additional oversight.

Last week, the Houston Festival Foundation said it could no longer afford the half-million dollars to produce the event. The group also sold all of the floats to the city of Hidalgo in South Texas.

A few days later Mayor Parker tweeted " I think we can save the Thanksgiving Day Parade. City & corporate donors stepping up.  Tight Sched.  Have to scramble since HIF sold floats."

Last year, more than 400,000 people attended the parade through downtown Houston.

Mary Benton will have more details today on Local 2 News.

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