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Houston Annual Events

No matter what time of year you're visiting Houston, there are plenty of events to make your trip unforgettable. Discover community events such as art fairs, cultural festivals and markets in unique venues.

Curious about when your favorite event is taking place? Search our event calendar by the type of event for a complete listing. If you've already scheduled your Houston excursion, see what events will be happening by searching our calendar of events. With so many awesome events throughout the year, there's always something special happening in Houston, Texas!

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Martin Luther King Jr. Grande Parade
January 15, 2018

This annual parade celebrating the civil rights leader marches through the heart of Houston and draws more than 300,000 supporters from around the nation.  

Chevron Houston Marathon
January 14, 2018

This annual 26.2, 13.1 and 3.1-mile run, which begins and ends at Downtown’s George R. Brown Convention Center, has steadily grown to attract more than 20,000 entrants from around the world and 200,000 spectators. 


Texas Lunar New Year Houston 
February 24-25, 2018

Celebrate the impressive qualities of every culture while celebrating the Asian Lunar New Year at the annual Texas Lunar Festival. In the Chinese lunar calendar a different animal or mythological beast represents every year in a twelve year cycle. The year of 2017 is the year of the Rooster. Come enjoy dance, theatrics, and music in this cultural celebration!

Mardi Gras Galveston
February 2-13, 2018
Mardi Gras was publicly observed on Galveston Island as early as 1867 but was discontinued during World War II. The Island's celebration was resurrected in 1985 and since then has become one of the most popular events along the Texas Gulf Coast. 

World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest
February 22-24, 2018

The World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest is three days of cooking, competition, eating and dancing. The sweet aroma drifts over the Houston metropolis, drawing crowds like bees to honey. Trophies are awarded to teams preparing the best dish in each category (brisket, chicken, pork and spare ribs) as well as an overall winner. 


Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™
February 27 - March 18, 2018

Rodeo time has been a tradition in Houston since 1932, and the three-week extravaganza at NRG Park continues to consume the city every spring. The kickoff for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ is the Rodeo Parade, after trail riders ride into town and set up camp in Memorial Park.  All 20 championship rodeo competitions are concluded with entertainment by music superstars. 

Azalea Trail
March 2-4, 2018

One of the surest signs of spring in Houston is the annual Azalea Trail. Houstonians and visitors view the spectacular gardens at Bayou Bend and Rienzi and visit River Oaks' exquisite private homes and admire their breathtaking gardens. 

Buffalo Bayou Regatta
March 10, 2018

The Buffalo Bayou Regatta is the largest canoe and kayak race in Texas. Over 200 vessels are expected to hit the waters in in west Houston, racing and enjoying the day, ending in Sesquicentennial Park in Downtown Houston. 

Tour de Houston
March 18, 2018

Now in its 11th year, the annual bike ride offers Houstonians and visitors a unique way to view the city with routes winding through Houston's historic neighborhoods, scenic districts and parks while raising funds for the city's Reforest Houston program.

Bayou City Art Festival
March 23-25, 2018

The Bayou City Art Festival at Memorial Park kicks off spring as Houston’s premier outdoor fine arts event. More than 300 national artists working in 19 artistic media are juried and invited to show and sell their original art at this event.  

In Bloom Music Festival
March 24-25, 2018

Previously Free Press Summer Fest, In Bloom Music Festival comes to Eleanor Tinsley Park for two days of music and more. 

Houston Open
March 26 - April 1, 2018

Played at the Golf Club of Houston, 156 of the world's best golfers compete in the Houston Open in pursuit of the $5 million-plus purse. The Houston Golf Association has been conducting PGA Tour events since 1946, making Houston's tournament the 10th oldest. 


Houston Children's Festival
April 7-8, 2018

Houston's official family celebration is held annually in downtown Houston. Benefiting Child Advocates, Inc., the event offers a dazzling smorgasbord of exciting activities, including six entertainment stages, more than 350 games and 10 family adventure areas.

Southwest International Boat Show
April 12-15, 2018

The largest in-water boat show in the Southwest, and the premier sail and power show for new and pre-owned vessels featuring boats ranging in size from 10ft. to more than 100ft, both freshwater and saltwater, ready for boarding and viewing, with pre-season specials and dealer incentive programs available on many models.

Art Car Parade
April 14, 2018

More than 250,000 spectators line downtown’s streets to view this parade, which showcases Houston’s most outlandish folk art creations on wheels. The Fruit Mobile, a 1967 Ford station wagon, started the craze in 1986. Truly a sight to see, the parade is produced by the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art.

Japan Festival
April 14-15, 2018

This annual event in Hermann Park's beautiful Japanese Garden draws more than 20,000 people. The Japan Festival celebrates the rich cultural heritage of Japan with two stages showcasing music, traditional and folk dance and martial arts, as well as demonstrations of Ikebana flower arrangement, tea ceremony, origami and bonsai. 

Houston Barbecue Festival
(April 9, 2017)

The annual barbecue event brings barbecue joint favorites together and welcomes new additions to the Houston Barbecue scene for a full day of barbecue-focused fun. 

WorldFest: Houston International Film Festival
April 20-29, 2018

WorldFest brings a blend of feature films, shorts, screenplays, TV commercials, music videos and documentaries to viewers throughout the area. Founded in 1968, past winners include Steven Spielberg, Oliver Stone, George Lucas and David Lynch-all early in their careers. 


Houston Dragon Boat Festival
May 5, 2018

The Texas Dragon Boat Association, in collaboration with Buffalo Bayou Partnership, presents its 17th Annual Houston Dragon Boat Festival. The festival will showcase 30 teams competing along the banks of Buffalo Bayou at Allen's Landing, and will feature Asian cuisine, music, arts and crafts, and cultural performances for the whole family. 

May 25-27, 2018

Comicpalooza is Texas' largest pop culture convention. Comicpalooza continues to be the best multi-format pop culture con in the southwest including J-Fashion, cosplay, a film festival, literary conference, a code fest, maker space, Mars Rover rides, video and tabletop gaming, professional wrestling, & roller derby bouts.

Pasadena Strawberry Festival
May 18-20, 2018

A barbecue cook-off, a beauty pageant, arts and crafts, live entertainment, teen battle of the bands and the world's largest strawberry shortcake are all part of the Pasadena Strawberry Festival. 


Caribbean Heritage Month Festival

The Caribbean Heritage Month Festival occurs the first Saturday of every June.  Those in attendance enjoy the great Caribbean Heritage celebration, complete with fabulous native music, exuberant cultural dancing and delicious authentic foods. Come out and enjoy various groups representing many nations of the Caribbean, Latin and Spanish Caribbean nations as took part in the festival, some adorned in their native, bright, colorful, cultural heritage customs.

Carnival Houston Show + Parade

Celebrating carnival from the caribbean, Brazil and New Orleans Mardi Gras. It is an exciting an explosion of music, cuisine, revelry, costume parade and performances. The Premier Annual Carnival Houston show will showcase carnival costumes and performances such as Samba, Merengue, and costume masquerades, Dance Performances, Calypso, Soca, Salsa, and Samba.

Juneteenth Celebration

Juneteenth is a celebration of June 19, the day Texas learned of President Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation freeing all slaves. The event at Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park includes blues, gospel and jazz performers and a variety of smaller events aimed at raising awareness of African-American heritage.  

Pride Houston
June 23, 2018

The largest Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transsexual event in the Southwest takes place each year during the Houston Pride Parade where 1,000 participants entertain 150,000 spectators with an empowering blend of light, color and sound with beautiful floats, costumes and performances.  


Freedom Over Texas Festival
(July 4, 2017)

Houston’s official July 4th celebration takes place in Eleanor Tinsley Park at Buffalo Bayou and features live entertainment, food booths and a world-famous fireworks display.  

Star Spangled Salute
(July 4, 2017)

The Houston Symphony continues its annual celebration at Hermann Park's Miller Outdoor Theatre. Festivities include fireworks accompanied by a dramatic 16-cannon salute. 


Houston International Jazz Festival
(August 4-6, 2017)

Big names in jazz convene in downtown Houston for some of the hottest music of the summer. 

Houston Shakespeare Festival 
July 29 - August 6, 2017

A tribute to the famous playwright, the festival attracts more than 475,000 people to its free performances at Miller Outdoor Theatre throughout the month. 

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Houston Restaurant Weeks
August 1 - September 4, 2017

For thousands of Houstonians and visitors to the bayou city, Houston Restaurant Weeks provides a month-long passport to the city's top restaurants and award-winning chefs. 

AIA Sandcastle Competition
August 25, 2018

American Institute of Architects Houston hosts its annual free Sandcastle Competition at East Beach in Galveston each June. For years, the competition has enticed some of the most talented architects and designers as well as drawn an average of 20,000 spectators. 

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Theater District Open House
August 27, 2017

Enjoy backstage tours, ongoing live performances, set and costume displays and sneak previews of the upcoming seasons. The Theater District is home to eight performing arts organizations, which offer this free look behind the scenes each summer. 

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AdvoCare Texas Kickoff
September 2, 2017

Kick off the 2016 College Football Season! Secure your seats today for the showdown between the LSU Tigers and BYU Cougars at NRG Stadium. 

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Fiestas Patrias
September 17, 2017

One of the largest and most colorful community-sponsored parades in the Southwest celebrates Mexico's independence from Spain. Colorfully clad dancers from area ballet folklorico troupes spin down the streets performing to festive Mexican music. The celebration culminates with the crowning of Miss Fiestas Patrias.

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Oktoberfest Houston
September 30, 2017

Join us for Houston’s only Beer Fest with a German twist, showcasing the best of German and Texas Culture in one fantastic day! Put on your Lederhosen and Dirndls and enjoy a variety of German and craft beer and the best polka music in Texas. 

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Houston Art Fair
Postponed for 2017

All art fairs are presented by galleries from around the world exhibiting modern and contemporary art in a variety of media including painting, photography, sculpture, and mixed-media.


Texas Renaissance Festival
Weekends from September 30 - November 26th

Starting in October and continuing for nine themed weekends in Plantersville, the Texas Renaissance Festival recreates an English village of the 16th century. Magicians, jugglers, minstrels, troubadours and comedians perform on six stages. 

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Original Greek Festival
October 5 - 8, 2017

Celebrate the 48th Annual Houston Greek Festival on the grounds of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral. Authentic Greek food, wine, dancing and artifacts are fun for the entire family.

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Bayou City Art Festival Downtown
October 14 - 15, 2017

The fine juried art show in downtown’s Hermann Square and Tranquility Park spans several blocks filled with paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and music, plus great food, wine cafes, beer taverns and a kids zone. 

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Festa Italiana (Houston Italian Festival)
October 12 - 15, 2017

Houston’s Annual Italian Festival on the campus of St. Thomas University features authentic Italian food, wine, music, dancing, arts and crafts and entertainment for all ages. 

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Annual Puerto Rican & Cuban Festival

With over 20,000 participants each year, the Puerto Rican and Cuban Festival is an iconic Houston event! This festival includes great local food, live music, vendors, and a car show.

Wings Over Houston Airshow
October 21 - 22, 2017

This airshow takes off and lands at Houston’s Ellington Field.  The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the Navy’s Blue Angels have wowed onlookers in past years with aerial acrobatics, while aircraft from current Air Force and Navy inventories is on display. 

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Texian Market Days
October 20 - 21, 2017

At the George Ranch Historical Park, more than 200 costumed interpreters bring to life all that is Texas, complete with children’s activities, an antique tractor show, and a parade.  Guests can indulge in a one-of-a-kind celebration of our great state’s history. 

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Index Fest (formally Untapped Music & Beer Festival)

Three years ago two friends that shared a passion for craft beer and live music founded the Untapped Festival is a craft beer & music festival series. 

Houston Egyptian Festival
October 28, 2017

Celebrate the beauty and enchantment of Egypt's music, dance, and cuisine at Discovery Green.

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Día de los Muertos 

Lawndale Art Center presents the 29th Annual Día de los Muertos series of programs. Join the art center as they celebrate the art, music, and folklife of Mexico through an exhibition of artist-made retablos, student installations, workshops, and performances. 


International Quilt Festival
November 2 - 5, 2017

 More than 1,000 antique and contemporary quilts, original cloth dolls and wearable art are on display at the George R. Brown Convention Center. There are hundreds of booths to shop for quilts, supplies, and crafts, as well as classes from beginner to expert levels. 

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Day of the Dead

Dia de los Muertos is a traditional holiday that honors and celebrates the lives of family and friends who have died. The event includes traditional celebrations and Dia de los Muertos arts and crafts. The National Museum of Funeral History hosts the festivities. 

Annual Turkish Festival

Celebrate the Annual Turkish Festival at Jones Plaza downtown. Sample authentic Turkish food, wine, coffee, dancing and fun for the entire family.

The Nutcracker Market
November 9 - 12, 2017

Houston Ballet Guild’s Nutcracker Market has become an annual tradition to kick off the holiday season. This shopping extravaganza, held at Reliant Center, features holiday decorations, food, clothing, jewelry, and even furniture. 

Texas Championship Native American Pow Wow
November 11 - 12, 2017

More than 100 Native Americans from across the U.S. compete in two days of traditional singing and dancing. Indian food, a teepee village, demonstrations, story-telling and education exhibits are all a part of this event. More than 125 booths contain authentic Native American arts and crafts.

Houston Salutes American Heroes Veterans Day Celebration
November 11, 2017

Mayor Sylvester Turner and the City of Houston show support for our Armed Forces and celebrate the annual "Houston Salutes American Heroes" Veterans Day Celebration and parade. 

Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service

Established nearly 20 years ago, this event at the Rothko Chapel is free and open to the general public with representatives from ten participating religions.

Houston Via Colori® Street Painting Festival
November 18 - 19, 2017

Via Colori® has grown into one of the city’s signature art festivals over its 10-year history. Attendees witness the streets of downtown transform into a massive outdoor art gallery with more than 250 local and national artists creating mind-blowing murals right before your eyes.

Ice at Discovery Green

Ice skating returns and its bigger than ever! Skate among the downtown skyline at Discovery Green's now 7,716-sq. ft. outdoor rink in the heart of Texas. Park-goers will enjoy a variety of family-friendly programming throughout the holidays, including concerts, movies and more.

Uptown Holiday Lighting
(Thanksgiving Evening)

On Thanksgiving evening, thousands of Houstonians and out-of-town guests gather along Post Oak Boulevard for the annual Uptown Holiday Lighting.  This fun-filled family event kicks off the holiday season with more than half a million twinkling lights, a sparkling electric light parade, an exciting holiday stage show and a special appearance by Santa Claus.  An incredible explosion of fireworks lights up the Houston skies and music fills the air during the dramatic finale. 

City of Houston Thanksgiving Day Parade
November 23, 2017

The Thanksgiving Day parade remains a 67-year-old holiday tradition showcasing the Houston community and entertaining more than 200,000 parade-goers lining the streets on Thanksgiving morning. The parade is a stunning showcase of sensational floats, flying balloons, marching bands, artistic entries and live entertainment.

A Christmas Carol -- A Ghost Story of Christmas
November 17 - December 30, 2017

The Alley Theatre’s amusing and musical rendition of A Christmas Carol - A Ghost Story of Christmas revisits the meaning of Christmas with Ebenezer Scrooge and classic characters like Tiny Tim as Scrooge embarks on a wild nighttime journey through re-imagined scenic designs, spectacular costumes, and original music. 

The Nutcracker
November 24 - December 28, 2017

Houston Ballet’s timeless and dreamy production of the classic holiday tale The Nutcracker joins Clara as she marvels at the Christmas tree, flying cooks, the Sugar Plum Fairy and Prince dancing, and her unforgettable journey in the Kingdom of Sweets – a place children will dream about for years to come.

Ice Land: Ice Sculptures, A Caribbean Christmas

Moody Gardens takes the holidays to a whole new level of cool! A skilled team of master ice carvers has charted your course for the ultimate Caribbean Christmas! Embark on a breathtaking undersea journey made of two million pounds of ice!

Zoo Lights
November 18, 2017 - January 15, 2018

TXU Energy Presents Zoo Lights at the Houston Zoo will transform the Zoo with more than 300,000 LED lights illuminating more than 50 animal-themed light displays, 15 miles of tree-lighting, and seasonal songs and stories. Sip hot chocolate as you stroll through the Zoo and take in all the awe-inspiring sights, including whimsical colorful projections over 15 feet tall, life-size lighted animal sculptures and “Holly Berry,” a 1958 Cadillac featuring vibrant lights choreographed to joyful music.

Festival of Lights

The holiday magic glistens at the Annual Moody Gardens Festival of Lights with more than a million lights and dozens of festive scenes. It's a winter wonderland with holiday shopping, pictures with Santa, a gingerbread house and the area's only outdoor ice rink.  


Dickens on the Strand

What started more than 20 years ago as a potluck supper has blossomed into one of Galveston Island’s most famous annual events.  Costumed characters, unique vendors, glittering parades and continuous entertainment make this celebration the best of times. 

The Mayor's Official Downtown Houston Holiday Celebration

The Mayor kicks off the holiday season with a celebration featuring fireworks, entertainment, and choirs. The event culminates with the lighting of the tree outside City Hall. 

Tamale Festival Houston

Come out for a day of Great Fun, Good Music and great food! Enjoy a variety of Tamales from varied Latino Cultures as well as great Texas BBQ, Food Trucks, fair ground foods and much more! 

Tomball German Christmas Market & Festival
German Christmas Market & Festival Weihnachtsmarkt Texas Style - Free Admission, Parking, and Shuttle Herzlich Willkommen! It's a Texas German celebration on the old downtown streets of Tomball, Texas. You don't have to be German to enjoy this festival!

Christmas Village at Bayou Bend

Just in time for the holidays, Santa and his reindeer visit Bayou Bend for 12 evenings of festive fun this December. During “Christmas Village at Bayou Bend,” Ima Hogg’s former home is decked out with merry decorations, a trail of sparkling lights, animated projections, and performances. At the center of the “Christmas Village” will be an elaborate Spiegeltent—a Belgian “tent of mirrors” comprising more than 1,200 separate pieces. 

Annual Candlelight Tour in the Park

The historic homes clustered in downtown’s Sam Houston Park open their doors for the Heritage Society’s Annual Holiday Candlelight Tour in the Park. Centuries-old seasonal decorations and costumed carolers take revelers back in time to celebrate the season. 

AdvoCare Texas Bowl: Big 12 vs. SEC

Don’t miss the next sellout as the Big 12 takes on the SEC in the 11th Annual AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl! Game festivities include tailgating parties and live music.


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