In its first annual festival, Houston Oktoberfest pays homage to the centuries-old German shindig by corralling more than 30 different beers from both local breweries and the Deutschland itself. German beers such as Hofbräu, Spaten, and Warsteiner swirl with crisp, effervescent flavors that pair deliciously with German morsels. Diners can also enjoy local seasonal pours and complement them by nibbling on autumn leaves. As participants mingle and sip, they can also swing their hips to the sounds of 10 different bands throughout the grounds. Louisiana’s Grammy-nominated Pine Leaf Boys headline the fest with a Cajun set complete with a squeezebox, raspy vocals, and fiddle, and Houston’s own The ‘71’s churn out hard-rock anthems such as “Confession.” The strains of traditional German music bounce off the nearby carnival area, which features games and rides for children, adults, and sentient lederhosen.
Occupying a prominent space within the 95-acre Sculpture Fields at Nova’s Ark, the 7th annual ArtHamptons event celebrates post-war and contemporary artwork. In recognition of the Hamptons' international reputation as an inspiring summer playground for culturally savvy individuals, "Escape" will be celebrated in all its incarnations this year. The fair's 50,000-square-foot museum-like space will feature more than 3,000 different works of art, which are all available for acquisition.
Although the scope of its exhibits is international—consisting of works by more than 500 different artists as presented by galleries from more than 10 countries—ArtHamptons continues to celebrate the creations of established masters as well as emerging talent from the East End. Over the course of three days, attendees can take in the displays and attend various cultural events and programming.
The soothing sounds of the saxophone and the call of the trumpet fill the air inside the Red Cat Jazz Café. Several nights a week, artists such as Brian Best and Dean James play on the café's stage, which also hosts boisterous events including the Sunday Jazz Brunch. Open-mic nights let lesser-known acts make a splash, and happy hours and special events encourage artistic expression through words, mixed drinks, and opportunities to complain about coworkers in song.
Houston Margarita Festival’s organizers throw a party based on a combination almost as classic as tequila, salt, and citrus: drinks, music, and sunshine. In the crisp fall air, guests sample a variety of traditional and flavored margaritas, from samples to full-size premium drinks using top-shelf liquors. The fest also hosts salsa and limbo competitions with cash prizes and trophies for the winners. Although the winner of the limbo competition is determined by the deepest back bend, the organizers use an Apollo-style judging system for the salsa event, with the winners chosen by the loudest cheer from the crowd or the brightest spotlight from the sun.
Canadian electrofunk duo Chromeo exhales party-starting inertia, kicking off its Night Falls Tour by rolling out a carpet of dance-floor passports. Melding the talents of guitarist, vocalist, and French-literature buff Dave 1 with the dexterous fingers and throwback savvy of synthmaster P-Thugg, Chromeo has earned reverence from funkophiles for its slick grooves and mastery of jam architecture. Fans can expect congenial beats, riffing Moogs, and songcraft that father-and-son yachts can enjoy together in support of the band's latest album, Business Casual. Inflating the soulful evening, singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Mayer Hawthorne channels wandering Motown spirits with a retroactive Detroit sound, and mustachioed party maestro DJ Sammy Bananas sets the scene with genre jumping and remixes that rumble like tubas in a Cuisinart.
Each year, the Houston Wine Fest gathers international wineries and local oenophiles together in Hermann Square Park to clink glasses and sip on tasty batches produced by master winemakers. The 2013 event features more than 150 different wines from 30 different wineries, and performances from bands such as The Portland Cello Project and Soul Track Mind, with headliners Elle King and Morris Day and the Time. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the festival will donate 5% of ticket sales to The Rose Foundation and Sisters Network Inc.—two organizations that work to help women overcome the disease.