Annual Festivals/Fairs in Houston, TX
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is one of the biggest festivals of the year in the city. In addition to the rodeo itself, the three-week event features concerts from some of the nation's top country musicians, a spectacular carnival and fair, livestock and horse shows and many more family-friendly activities. The Houston takes place in late February/early March each year at Reliant Center and draws millions of people. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo raises money for scholarships, research, endowments and other educational youth programs in Texas. You can avoid some of the crowds by heading to the events during the week and early in the day.
In February, you'll find a number of Mardi Gras festivals in and around the Houston area. One of the biggest and best is Mardi Gras! Galveston. This popular two-week event has taken place for over 100 years. Annual events include parades, concerts, pageants, sporting events and much more. Mardi Gras! Galveston annually attracts as many as 250,000 revelers, which provides a big boost to the island's midwinter economy. In 2012, Mardi Gras! Galveston featured 26 concerts, 24 parades, 19 balcony parties and five masked balls -- so no matter which days you attend the festival, you'll find something fun to do. If you are coming from out of town, check out some of the packages available that include hotel accommodations and tickets to various events -- that's the way to get the most bang for your buck.
This month-long festival in Houston celebrates African American heritage and the abolition of slavery. June 19 marks the date in 1865 when Texas slaves were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. Various events take place around the city including concerts, parades, sporting events, church programs, picnics and other activities. Head to the Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park, where Houstonians and visitors enjoy performances by noted artists representing African American musical traditions. The free Juneteenth celebration at Miller Outdoor Theatre attracts about 9,000 visitors each year. Go as early as you can to get the best spot to park and the best view of the stage.
Movie buffs from across the city and around the world flock to Houston for Worldfest -- the city's film festival that is held for 10 days each April. Founded in 1961, WorldFest became the third competitive international film festival in the U.S., following New York and San Francisco. The festival presents over 50 new indie feature films and over 100 new indie shorts each year, as well as commercials, music videos and more. Additionally, the festival offers six Master Classes, professional seminars and workshops that are open to the public, as well as a gala dinner, a Texas BBQ and other events. If you love the movies, don't miss out on Houston's Worldfest.
This bi-annual festival takes place in downtown Houston in the fall and in Memorial Park in the spring. With over 300 acclaimed artists across numerous media formats, the festival is often ranked one of the best in the country. Bayou City Art Festival isn't only about fine art, it also features multicultural music and dance, as well as food and win. Additionally, they have a kid zone that features hands-on, interactive art activities for children and their parents. Over the past 40 years, the festivals have raised over $2.5 million to benefit local arts organizations and Houston parks. We highly recommend going as early in the day as possible if you are with kids. The festival gets very crowded as the day goes on.