November 19, 2013
Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication to the city we love. 2013 has been another very successful year for Houston. We have been named the best city for young professionals and veterans. We are one of the top cities in the nation in metropolitan economic growth, with a robust housing market and job growth. I am truly grateful and honored that you have given me another two years to continue the positive work started during my first two terms as your mayor and to tackle the issues still needing our attention. My goal is a Houston that is the best place in which to live, work and raise a family. I encourage you to join me in the process of building a better Houston, as your input is invaluable.
May this season bring joy, peace, prosperity and appreciation for all Houstonians. From the City of Houston and its employees, and from my family to yours, happy holidays and have a prosperous new year.
P.S. Remember to vote in the Saturday, December 14, 2013, City Council and Houston Community College Trustee Run-Off. For more information, visit www.harrisvotes.com.
Houston's own Tommy Tune kicks off the holiday and leads the festivities as grand marshal of the 64th Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade Presented by H-E-B, and produced by the Mayor's Office of Special Events at 9 a.m., Thursday, November 28. This year's tribute celebrates Houston on Parade with a stellar showcase of the city's finest - from fashion, food and heroes to culture, sports and talent adding vibrant life to this treasured tradition - throughout 20 blocks of downtown Houston.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker along with stars from the arts, entertainment, food and philanthropic community will be in attendance. New floats and towering inflatables will rule the streets with Santa Claus, the TUTS Elf, Houston Ballet, Ronald McDonald, marching bands and more!
The parade begins at 9 a.m. To view the route, visit http://www.houstontx.gov/thanksgivingparade/route.html. Meter and street parking are free along the parade route. Theater District Parking is available for $7. Metro buses will be running on holiday schedule. For bus routes and schedule information, visit http://www.ridemetro.org/SchedulesMaps/Holiday.aspx or call 713.635.4000.
Ring in the season with the 94th Mayor's Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting Presented by Reliant on Friday, December 6 at Hermann Square outside of City Hall, 901 Bagby, Houston 77002, 6 - 8 p.m.. This free event is a holiday tradition of music, fireworks and family fun.
Danielle Bradbery, winner of The Voice 2013, is the featured artist of the holiday variety show, which will also include performances by the Winter Wonderettes, the KIPP SHARP Singers and more.
Immediately following the performance, Mayor Annise Parker and Reliant President Elizabeth Killinger will light the Official Holiday Tree and ignite a spectacular fireworks finale perfectly timed to the Hallelujah Chorus from "Handel's Messiah" featuring Music Director Ernest Walker, his award winning band and a 100-voice choir from Westbury High School.
Sponsors include Reliant, an NRG Company; Cigna; Gables Residential; Nokia; Southwest Airlines®; KHOU/Channel 11; Houston Downtown Management District; Houston Parks and Recreation Department and the Houston Public Library Foundation. The celebration is produced by the Mayor's Office of Special Events.
Be a part of one of the largest toy drives in Houston and help the Houston Fire Department (HFD) bring some holiday joy to thousands of Houston area children in need. Through the Operation Stocking Stuffer Toy Drive, HFD, KBR and KPRC Local 2 are teaming up once again to bring some holiday joy to the hearts of local underprivileged children this season.
From Friday, November 22 - Wednesday, December 18, bring a new, unwrapped toy to any HFD Fire Station or any of the other toy collection locations, a list of which will be available online beginning November 22 at www.houstonfire.org and www.click2houston.com. Please note: due to the tremendous demand for toys, clothing donations will not be accepted, but there are many agencies that will welcome such donations.
To kickoff the 2013 Operation Stocking Stuffer Toy Drive, join your Houston firefighters, KBR and KPRC Local 2 on Friday, November 22, 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. at HFD Fire Station 37, 7026 Stella Link (just south of Bellaire Boulevard), Houston 77025.
KPRC Local 2 will be reporting live from Station 37 during their news broadcasts on November 22 and while supplies last, Los Cucos Mexican Cafés and Blue Bell Ice Cream will be providing special treats for anyone dropping off new toys that morning. Although the kickoff will be at Station 37, any HFD fire station will begin accepting toy donations on November 22.
If you know someone who needs toys, call toy drive hotline at 832.394.6632 for a recorded message concerning the Friday, December 20 "Great Toy Giveaway."
For more information on Operation Stocking Stuffer Toy Drive and how you, your business, place of worship or neighborhood can help, email Paul Box, HFD Public Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 832.394.6636.
To learn more about HFD, visit www.houstonfire.org. Working Smoke Detectors Save Lives. Test your today!
The "Comida" food drive, sponsored by the Houston Police Department (HPD) and the Houston Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association, helps to feed Houston's less fortunate during the holiday season. For the past 28 years, HPD has partnered with Fiesta Mart, Inc. and The Pepsi Bottling group to collect, package and distribute boxes of food to Houston's underprivileged families.
To participate with food or cash donations, visit one of the following 14 Fiesta Mart locations on Thursday and Friday, December 5 and 6, 2013, noon - 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, December 7 and 8, 2013, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m..
The 14 area Fiesta Stores are:
Last year HPD was able to distribute 3,500 boxes of food and would like to help even more this year. To make a monetary donation online now through Saturday, December 7, visit http://www.houstonpolicefoundation.org/comida.
Houston Police Department (HPD) wants everyone to remember a few simple tips that will help keep you and your family stay safe during the hustle of the holiday season.
HPD wishes everyone a happy and safe holiday season. For more information on holiday safety tips visit http://www.houstontx.gov/police/pdfs/holiday_safety.pdf. To learn more about HPD, visit www.houstonpolice.org.
With the holiday season and colder weather fast approaching, the Houston Fire Department (HFD) recommends the following safety tips when using supplemental heating sources:
Space Heaters Need Space
Vented Gas / Fired Heating Appliances Tips - Central heating units, floor furnaces, recessed wall heaters and vented space heaters
Electric Heaters Tips
Fireplace safety from the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA)
Smoke Detectors Save Lives - It's Just That Simple
For more information on smoke detectors, visit http://www.houstontx.gov/fire/community/smokealarmform.html. To learn more about HFD, visit www.houstonfire.org.
The Houston Public Library presents its traditional Season's Readings holiday celebration with programs for the entire family throughout the month of December 2013. Celebrate the winter season with family-friendly, literary-inspired programs at your library. For a full list of events, visit www.houstonlibrary.org/events. A few featured events:
A Visit with The Three Bears' Christmas author Kathy Duvall
Music for the Season
Aurora Picture Show presents: Popcorn Kids
For more information, visit www.houstonlibrary.org or call 832.393.1313.
The holidays are upon us and that means cooking turkeys, hams and other foods that either require cooking oils to prepare or that generate a surplus of grease when cooked.
Used cooking oils and greases, when disposed down the kitchen drain, cool, harden and clog the pipes. Diluting it in hot soapy water is NOT a solution. You can avoid possible clogged drains for the holidays by putting excess grease in a disposable container and put it in the trash or drop-off at a place that recycles and turns it into a usable product, such as biodiesel.
In conjunction with the City of Houston Solid Waste Department, the following locations are designated drop-off points residents can take used cooking oils/greases for recycling:
For information about Corral the Grease or ways to properly dispose of used cooking grease visit http://www.publicworks.houstontx.gov/utilities/corral_grease.html.