The year of 2016 was full of changes for many in the Houston area. As the city of Houston gears up for the 51st Super Bowl in February, areas such as downtown Houston are receiving renovations and expansions. Schools in the Houston Independent School District are undergoing expansions and receiving new campuses as well as a new superintendent, Richard Carranza. Houston has also received a new interim chief of police, Martha Montalvo. And the biggest change made to the Houston area is the new mayor, Sylvester Turner.
With all the new modifications being made, the Houston Thanksgiving Parade was no exception. Thousands of families from all over the Houston area traveled downtown the morning of Thanksgiving to join in on the fun. A new thanksgiving tradition that started this year was the mayor’s citywide sing-a-long. Before the start of the parade the song, “What the World Needs Now is Love”, was sung by Houstonians near and far as a way to boost spirits and bring communities together.
“One of the new exciting features to this year’s parade are the new Grand Marshalls, Simone Biles and Simone Manuel. They thrilled us with their performance during the Olympics in Rio so to be able to capture and bring home the Houstonians after their Olympic win is very special for us all,” said parade producer and director of special events for the mayor’s office, Susan Christian.
Out of the 15 total floats, 4 were designed by local Houston artist. There was much thought and detail in creating the overall parade. In fact, some of the floats were designed and started being built 3 or 4 years in advance. “Building the entertainment value up was very important and there is so much visual and performing talent in the city of Houston we made sure to showcase it all,” said Christian.