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It’s a Bird … It’s a Plane … It’s Ed-U-Gator!

45-Foot-Tall Balloon To Make Debut in H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade


By Marie Jacinto

At 45 feet tall with a 30-foot-long tail, the massive helium-filled UHD mascot Ed-U-Gator will be rivaled only by the colossal excitement of UHD Gators themselves.  On Thursday, Nov. 23, the Ed-U-Gator balloon will make its impressive debut in the 74th Annual H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade.UHD Ed-U-Gator - ParadeSetting

With the help of 30 UHD merit scholars, the UHD drumline, cheerleaders, dance team, club team athletes, and members of sororities and fraternities will lead the way as the giant Gator goes marching.

“This gigantic Ed-U-Gator mirrors our immense pride in our students and alumni, and our alliance with H-E-B and the City of Houston is symbolic of our many partnerships as an anchor institution for Houston,” said Vice President for Advancement and University Relations Jay Zambrano. “We look forward to spending Thanksgiving morning with our students, alumni, and the larger community as we express our thanks for the opportunities that only higher education can offer.”

Ed-U-Gator joins colorful floats, marching bands, and other high-flying balloons in one of the country’s oldest Thanksgiving Day parades. All UHD Gators are invited to show their Gator pride along the parade route sporting their UHD gear.

The H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade is a regional holiday tradition televised by KHOU-TV (CBS) in Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, New Orleans, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and other southeastern U.S. cities and watched by 1.8 million people.

For more information about the parade, visit the website.

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.