City of Houston prepares for annual Thanksgiving Day feast, parade

The holiday season is all about traditions and it's no different in the City of Houston. The annual Thanksgiving Day Superfeast and parade kick off on Thursday morning for everyone to partake in and enjoy. 

Dancers from the Apache Bells ran through last-minute rehearsals on Wednesday evening before the 69th annual H-E-B Thanksgiving Day parade

Susan Christian is the director of the Mayor's Office of Special Events and helps produce the parade. Her most important advice is to arrive early. The event kicks off at 9 a.m. sharp on Thursday.  
"There will be incredible floats, about 16 of them," said Christian. "We have 19 balloons, all of them brand new."

The Grand Marshals for the 2018 parade are two familar faces for Houston sports fans — 2017 American League MVP Jose Altuve and 2017-18 season NBA MVP James Harden. The parade is expected to last until 11 a.m. 

Also happening down the road at the George R. Brown Convention Center is the 40th annual Thanksgiving Super Feast.

As the regional director for the City Wide Club, Stephanie Lewis helps coordinate and plan for the Super Feast every year. 
"The people that will try and come Thursday are still trying to recover from Hurricane Harvey and so we feel that this will give them a sense of relief, joy and knowing that the city cares about their plight," said Lewis.

In the spirit of giving back, Tracy Hebert spent several hours on Wednesday afternoon volunteering at the GRB kitchen, hoping to pay back the kindness she received when she was in need.

"Thank God for shelters and everybody that helps because if nobody would help, I can’t even imagine where a lot of us would be," said Hebert. "Me and my daughter were homeless. And the Star of Hope, they gave us a place to stay. And I’ve got a job. And I got back on my feet, so I thought I would come and give back."
Food will be served beginning at 10 a.m. Thursday until there is no food left. But a hot meal isn’t the only thing being offered on Thanksgiving Day. 
"We have not only hot delicious meals, but food baskets, clothing, free flu shots, free medical screenings, dental screenings, vision screenings, hair cuts," said Lewis. "You name it, we try to provide it." She added that no one will be turned away from the Super Feast. The City Wide Club is prepared to serve roughly 20,000 people on Thanksgiving Day. 

Curbside servings will also be made available to help ease the flow of traffic. 

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