Houston events calendars are jammed with fun festivals, fairs, cook offs, and competitions. Whether it’s a wine festival or a championship barbeque tournament, Houston has a party for just about every special occasion. Texas has a reputation for hosting great parties and each one seems to outdo the last in some way or another. Houston festivals involve music and film, culture and food, and even plenty of historic occasions. There are festivals in ode to hot sauce, children, and even parrots. Yes, parrots!
In Texas it appears that the philosophy is the bigger the better, and that’s a real bonus for anyone on Houston vacations coinciding with any one of the best festivals in Houston. Houston events like the Houston International Festival exhibit Houston’s globally inspired side and illustrates the city’s fondness for other cultures. The Houston International Festival, or iFest, happens annually over two weekends in April. Each year the spotlight is on a definitive culture or region and festival dedicates theater, dance, visual arts, and international dining for thousands of people.
The Greek Festival Houston has hosted for four decades is one of the top attractions and best festivals in the city. It is one of the liveliest and most dynamic annual Houston events paying respect to the Greek population and their fascinating culture. It’s held near downtown Houston close to the cluster of centrally located museums. The festival site at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral complex keeps getting bigger and bigger as attendance rockets each year. This is one of the biggest attractions in Houston so the city provides free shuttle transportation from certain points in the city so festival goers don’t have to spring for taxis or miss any late buses. There are numerous highlights at the Greek Festival Houston, including traditional dancing, cathedral tours, children’s activities, and authentic Greek food of course.
The Italian Festival is another of the top Houston festivals spanning over several decades. It exhibits cultural pride and features some of the best food in the city. The essence of Italy is exemplified in the many Houston events happening at Italian Fest such as traditional bocce ball tournaments, a pasta-eating contest, live entertainment, and a fun grape stomp. Situated near the Museum of Fine Arts, this district is easy to get to and offers great nightlife options for a younger crowd. It’s second only the Greek Festival Houston presents each year.
There are scores more Houston festivals to get excited about. The Houston International Quilt Festival was founded in the early 1970s and kicks off each year in the Fall at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Hundreds of vendors selling quilts, crafts, and supplies, along with more than 400 special classes on the art of quilting are available. Anyone in attendance can also check out the free demos, lectures, and special quilting events like fashion shows and a luncheon.
These Houston events are just the tip of the iceberg. The NASA/Johnson Space Center hots the annual Ballunar Liftoff Festival, a unique tribute to flight developed by humans, from hot air balloons to space flights. This family-friendly event features hot air balloon competitions skydiving performance, an arts and crafts fair, and plenty of local fair. The Houston International Jazz Festival is another of the most popular events in Houston focusing on international artists, tasty food, and drinks, and plenty of live jazz shows.
Image: Greater Houston CVB