TxDOT employees were the cat’s meow at Houston holiday parade
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TxDOT employees were the cat’s meow at Houston holiday parade

Dec. 19, 2023

By Danny Perez

HOUSTON—TxDOT employees helped kick off the holiday season in November by strutting with one of the coolest cats on the planet.

A group of TxDOT employees in Houston helped carry the Garfield balloon in the 74th annual H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade to promote TxDOT’s #EndTheStreak campaign. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner was the grand marshal, with Houston Rockets legends Calvin Murphy and Rudy Tomjanovich as co-grand marshals.

"As part of the effort to promote #EndtheStreakTx, we thought it would be great to participate in one the nation’s oldest parades and one of Houston's higher profile and adored events bringing thousands of families together year after year." said Dr. Brenda Bustillos, a TxDOT engineer. "The parade provided a great platform for our efforts while giving us the chance to share the spirit of the holiday season with the community."

Each year, thousands line the streets to cheer on participants. The parade travels more than 20 city blocks and features floats, marching bands, high-flying balloons and various performances.

The popular Garfield balloon was sponsored by The Houston ConnectSmart app, which links communities and provides a multitude of mobility options available to drivers. The innovative app was created through a partnership among TxDOT, the Federal Highway Administration and local leaders.

The ConnectSmart app is also part of TxDOT’s larger effort to promote safety and end the streak of daily deaths on Texas Roads. Nov. 7, 2000, was the last deathless day on Texas roadways.

TxDOT’s #EndTheStreakTX campaign is a broader social media and word-of-mouth effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel, like wearing a seatbelt, driving the speed limit, never texting and driving, and never driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.