I love a good parade! The Austin-area has many to offer this holiday season, some with twinkling lights, others that throw candy to the kids, and even some where the kids donate toys to less fortunate children in Austin. Here’s a list of a few local Austin-area parades happening this holiday season:
Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Parade – Saturday, November 29, 11 a.m.
This parade starts at 11:00 a.m. at the Texas Capitol and moves south on Congress, all the way to Cesar Chavez, ending just north of the bridge. The hour-long procession features giant inflatable balloons, festive holiday floats, marching bands, cool classic cars and Santa! At a designated time towards the end of the parade, Santa’s Helpers will line the parade route and help spectators donate new, unwrapped toys to Operation Blue Santa, which brings Christmas magic to children under 15 years old that otherwise might not receive any gifts. FREE! Congress Avenue, downtown Austin.
Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting (Leander)- December 6 at 5 p.m.
We will have Pictures with Santa, Holiday Hayrides, Yule Fire, Choral Performances, Christmas Parade, and Tree Lighting.FREE! City Hall, 200 West Willis Street.
Bastrop Lighted Parade- December 13 at 6 p.m.
Join us for the Bastrop “Winter Wonderland” Lighted Christmas Parade! Of course, Christmas needs a Dragon and a merry band of Sherwood marketers! A festival of lights, music, and cheer, including decorated floats, fire engines, marching bands, horses and riders, and, of course, Santa Claus and his helpers. Produced by the Downtown Business Alliance, the parade makes its way down Main Street about 6 p.m. FREE!
The city of Pflugerville’s Parks and Recreation Department will be merging its annual Holidays at Heritage Park event with the annual Knights of Columbus Christmas Parade. Blending the two events will make a larger, more fun holiday celebration for the community. The city will bring a stage with live performances from local elementary schools and dancers from the Recreation Center. There will be arts and crafts activities for children, a bonfire for roasting marshmallows, the traditional tree lighting, and photos with Santa Claus at the end of the parade. FREE! For information, call 512-990-6113.
Feel like hitting the road to catch a good parade? Or if you happen to be visiting friends or family for the holidays, you can perhaps put a parade on the agenda if you are in Houston, Dallas, Ft. Worth and San Antonio.
Thanksgiving Day Parade in Houston- November 27, 9 a.m.
The 65th Annual H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade will welcome the holiday season by celebrating all things Houston, including a salute to the world-acclaimed Texas Medical Center. Presiding over the Parade as Grand Marshals will be the stars from TLC’s television series The Little Couple, Bill Klein and Dr. Jennifer Arnold along with their children, Will and Zoey.” The fun begins at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day when the downtown business district streets will come alive with zesty marching bands, imaginative floats and colorful balloons. FREE! More information here.
Ft. Worth Parade of Lights- November 28, 6 p.m.
Cowboy Santas volunteers will collect toys at 5:30 p.m. around the parade route before the parade, as well as in the Holiday Fun Zone. Everyone is encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy (for up to 12 years of age) to give to the Cowboy Santas to help give kids around Fort Worth have a brighter holiday! Parade features over 100 illuminated entries, local personalities, and Santa! FREE!
Ford Holiday River Parade and Lighting Ceremony- November 28, from 7-9 p.m.
For over 30 years, this spectacular one-hour parade along San Antonio’s River Walk has featured illuminated floats with celebrities, bands and lavishly-costumed participants. The parade goes on rain or shine. Children 2 years of age or older will need a ticket. Cost: $2 if purchased before 11/27; price increases to $5 if purchased the day of parade. Tickets are non refundable.
Children’s Health Holiday Parade- December 6, 10 a.m.
Don’t miss this holiday tradition! The parade is FREE, of course, but you can also reserve bleacher seating for $27.75. Make the day of it… have Breakfast with Santa in the morning and Dinner with Santa after the parade! Activities will include music, costume characters, clowns, face painting, letters to Santa and more, from 8 a.m.- 10 p.m.