Texas Living

The Holidays on Parade

By James Mayfield 11.5.14

Get into the holiday spirit — Texas style — with these family-friendly parades across the state.

Children’s Medical Center Holiday Parade, Dallas
Dec. 6 (10 a.m.)
This longtime Big D tradition kicks off the season with whimsical holiday floats, antique cars, marching bands, and dance troupes — along with the requisite larger-than-life inflatable balloons. Now in its 27th year, this televised fundraiser for Children’s Medical Center draws hundreds of thousands of spectators each year.

Christmas Boat Lane Parade, Kemah
Dec. 13 (6:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m.)
Head down to the Kemah Boardwalk to see hundreds of brightly decorated power and sailboats decked out for the holidays as they cruise the Clear Lake channel down to Galveston Bay.

Parade of Lights, Fort Worth
Nov. 28 (6 p.m.)
Held each year in downtown, this year’s “Together for the Holidays” procession features more than a hundred illuminated entries, including lots of equestrian-themed entries (What else would you expect from Fort Worth?). Arrive by 4:30 and be entertained by a variety of acts roaming the streets — jugglers, stiltwalkers, and even Wheelieing Elvi, as well as Cowboy Santas collecting toys for kids in need.

Chuy’s Christmas Parade, Austin
Nov. 29 (11 a.m.)
This parade’s giant inflatable balloons, holiday floats, beloved children’s characters, classic cars, marching bands, and, of course, Santa, begin at the state capitol and head down Congress Avenue for a truly Texan experience. At a designated time, everything comes to a halt as spectators give Santa’s Helpers toys as a donation for Operation Blue, a local toy drive.

65th Annual H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade, Houston
Nov. 27 (9 a.m.)
This year’s theme, “Houston on Parade,” pays tribute to the city and its finest — everything from food and fashion to sports, culture, and hometown heroes. The largest and longest-running Thanksgiving Day parade in the state begins at City Hall and winds its way through downtown Houston.

Chamber Light the Night Christmas Parade & After Glow, Fredericksburg
Dec. 5 (3 p.m.–10 p.m.)
The glow of this lighted night parade down Main Street marks the start of the holiday season in the Hill Country. After Glow festivities include children’s activities, shopping, and the local food and wine the area is famous for.