Mayor hopeful Houston's Thanksgiving Parade will continue

Houston Thanksgiving Day Parade

August 9, 2013 2:45:56 PM PDT
There's a new effort to save a Houston holiday tradition. The annual Thanksgiving Day parade is in jeopardy after the organizers said they're running low on money. Mayor Annise Parker says there's a chance to keep it going.

Workers at city hall tell me the mayor's office isn't givng up on the traditional Thanksgiving Day parade just yet. With this, we're learning more information about why the producers may have walked away.

It's a message Mayor Parker published on Twitter that's giving some Houstonians a glimmer of hope when it comes to the city's annual holiday parade. The mayor wrote, "I think we can save the Thanksgiving Day parade. City and corporate donors stepping up."

"The mayor definitely wants the parade to continue," said Janie Evans-Davis, spokesperson for Mayor Parker.

On Friday, Evans-Davis, told me Parker has been having meetings in her office this week trying to work out a plan to move forward with the parade. The parade is seemingly in limbo after the Houston Festival Foundation publicly announced this week it could no longer afford to produce the free event that's known to bring hundreds of thousands of spectators to downtown.

Evans-Davis said, "She gave those who were attending that meeting a very short timeline, saying I want some quick action, get back to me with what you can find out from our corporate community -- which are always willing to step up in helping Houston when we have a problem to solve."

Houston Festival Foundation has produced the Thanksgiving Day parade for 19 years. Eyewitness News dig some digging and found public records showing the non-profit's been having serious financial troubles recently. Tax records show the group was more than $153,000 in the red in 2011, and in the hole more than $458,000 in 2010.

On Thursday, Houston Festival Foundation President Kim Soilis said, "We realized late last year, that from an organizational point of view, stewardship of a non-profit, that we really need to focus on our fiscal stability."

For now, the mayor's office recognizes the clock is ticking if the parade is to happen.

"I think she's expressing her confidence that it is going to all work out in the end," Evans-Davis said.

The mayor's office says it's working with a very short time frame right now.

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