Celebration

65th Annual HEB Thanksgiving Day Parade

Last year, Houston's long-running Thanksgiving Day Parade was nearly cancelled after parade organizers the Houston Festival Foundation pulled out at the last moment and sold many of the parade's signature floats. (The Foundation filed for bankruptcy in June.) Fortunately, private donors stepped in to cover the cost of the parade, continuing the tradition. This year's parade will be led by Grand Marshals Bill Klein and Dr. Jennifer Arnold, the stars of TLC's The Little Couple, and will feature the usual line-up of marching bands and floats. 

Nov 27 at 9am. Downtown Houston. houstontx.gov/thanksgivingparade

Dance

Rhodes Elliott and Artists of the Houston Ballet. Photo: Amitava Sarkar

The Nutcracker

Few holiday traditions are more durable than the annual performance of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker, the mainstay of every American ballet company. The Houston Ballet's version, choreographed by former artistic director Ben Stevenson and featuring lavish costumes and sets, has been delighting audiences for over a quarter century.

Nov 28–Dec 28. $19–135. Brown Theater, Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Ave. 713-227-2787. houstonballet.org

classical music

Image: Flickr

Beethoven 1 & 4

Over the next three three years the Houston Symphony, under the baton of music director Andrés Orozco-Estrada, will perform all nine of Beethoven's symphonies, beginning earlier this month with the Fifth Symphony and continuing this weekend with arguably the composer's most neglected symphonies, the First and Fourth, which are written in a classical style more reminiscent of Mozart and Haydn than his fiery works for which he's best known today. Rounding out the program is Schumann's Cello Concerto, featuring soloist Brinton Averil Smith. 

Nov 28, 29 & 30. $25–130. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana St. 713-224-7575. houstonsymphony.org

Later in the Week

Image: Shutterstock

Justin Timberlake

It's only been a year since he last swept through town, but Timberlake should have no problem selling out the Toyota Center again when his 20/20 Experience tour returns for an encore performance. As the man says in one of his hits, what goes around comes back around. 

Dec 1 at 8. $49.50–175. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk St. 866-446-8849. houstontoyotacenter.com

Image: Shutterstock

Melissa Etheridge: This is M.E.

One of the breakout stars of the Lilith Fair era in the '90s, Etheridge has remained a force in both contemporary music and political activism (as an advocate for LGBT and environmental causes, among others). For the latest album, her 12th, Etheridge assembled an all-star team of producers to take her sound in a more urban direction—she even co-produced one of the tracks with rapper Roccstar.

Dec 2 at 8. $39.75–99.75. Bayou Music Center, 520 Texas Ave. 713-230-1600. bayoumusiccenter.com