Houston prepares for parade of heroes

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Houston is celebrating the hometown heroes, the World Series champion Astros, with an enormous parade as downtown Houston comes to life like it never has before. There will be confetti shooting from sixteen different buildings and from two ground cannons as we celebrate the team's championship win.

750,000 people are expected to come out for the parade. It kicked off on Smith Street near Houston City Hall on Friday at 2 p.m. and snaked its way through the downtown streets.

Most Houstonians were left deprived of sleep but still celebrating in a big way.

"For the Astros to win, for the City of Houston, this was personal," said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner with a smile. "It has been personal and it is a 'we' moment for the City of Houston."

Mayor Turner and almost a million of his closest friends were getting prepared to party with the 'Stros in a celebratory parade in downtown Houston.

"After the celebration, we'll wind up here (in front of City Hall) with almost every one of the players, the coaches, their families," explains the City of Houston Director of Special Events Susan Christian.

The mayor even made a plea to parents to make sure children can get out of school and enjoy the parade of hometown heroes.

"Get them on the roll as being there," said Mayor Turner before laughing. "Sign them in and then at lunch time go and pick them up." Houston Independent School District one-upped the mayor by canceling classes so that students can be part of history.

The mayor says he can't help but mention we were just hit by a catastrophic flood. Now, history hits Houston in another way ending with a wave of excitement washing over our city.

"51 inches of rain and a 5-1 clincher," described Mayor Turner. "To say to the rest of the world 'we are Houston strong.'"

The McKinney Street exit ramp from Interstate 45 was closed during the parade. Roads started closing at noon.

Because of limited parking, parade attendees were encouraged to ride the METRORail or plan to use public or paid transportation.

HISD confirms the district canceled school, in part, because 950 employees called in saying they were not coming to work on Friday. Clear Creek ISD says students will have an excused absence if parents write a note. Katy ISD did not cancel classes, but campuses offered the option of showing the parade on TV if they so choose.