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Houston celebrates Thanksgiving with holiday parade

HOUSTON, Nov. 29 — Tens of thousands in the U.S. city of Houston lined up the downtown streets Thursday to watch the annual holiday parade filled with floats and live entertainment.

Though the temperature was freezing, around 200,000 Houstonians took to the streets Thursday morning to see the annual tradition. Wrapped in hoodies, scarves, fists curled into jacket sleeves, families brought their kids and pets to the site to enjoy the event.

Bands, dances, and stilts filled the crowds with hearty laugh and cheers. Floats, motorcades and horse parade dotted the streets with festivity and gaiety.

Belinda Birkins, a 45-year-old housewife, brought her two cute poodles to the scene. "They attracted a lot of attention definitely, and also many gifts," Birkins laughed, "We will have a wonderful family party tonight and then everybody will go shopping. "

The parade also paid tribute to Houston by showcasing the city' s finest from fashion, food and heroes to culture, sports and talent, adding a much needed makeover to this 64-year tradition.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker turned up in the parade, waving to the excited throng. Tommy Tune, the nine-time Tony Award winner and Houston native, is the Grand Marshal for the parade.

Different from previous years, this year's parade was produced by the Mayor's Office. The parade nearly didn't happen because the organization that traditionally ran the parade was in financial difficulty, according to media reports.

The city will hold a variety of activities to celebrate the holiday including a free feast and free medical screening for the needy.(PNA/Xinhua)


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