Beer, bites, and music—for the fourth year in a row, Houston Beer Fest welcomes in summer with that winning combination. Guests enjoy samples from a selection of more than 200 craft brews both regional and national. At last year's sold-out celebration, beer barons such as Texas's Karbach Brewery, Delaware's Dogfish Head Brewery, and Chicago's Goose Island Brewery supplied the suds, and food trucks such as Chi'Lantro BBQ and Zeapod Cakery kept plates piled to complement the array of ales and lagers. While next year's purveyors are still under wraps, guests can plan on complimenting their food and brew with a soundtrack of beloved Texas bands performing blistering sets across four stages.
To keep the spirit of its musical roots ever near, House of Blues Houston keeps a metal box of mud from the Delta Mississippi beneath its stage and proudly displays the traditional crazy quilt. As the only venue in the revered chain to be built vertically rather than free floating, House of Blues Houston stands as a pillar of entertainment in the Houston Pavilions complex. The hot spot’s Bronze Peacock Room commemorates Houston's rich history and the blues clubs where Lightnin' Hopkins and Big Mama Thornton held sway, and features an enormous hand-painted mural depicting other local legends such as Albert Collins and Johnny "Guitar" Watson.
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.
For eight weekends in the fall, a troupe of performing fairies, knights, royal personas, and jugging fools set up camp on the 55-acre grounds of the Texas Renaissance Faire. For 38 years, the Festival has re-created the 16th century’s appealing combination of simplicity and grandeur with more than 200 daily performances of live music, acrobatic comedies, and jousting. Actors portraying different levels of society—such as the English court and the pirates—roam the lolling landscape in character while performing comedic and informative bits including “Sound and Fury,” a Shakespearean vaudeville. At noon the Grande Marche parade catapults performers from the Globe Stage for a stroll throughout the park as they advertise their acts in a high-toned procession.
On a less precise schedule, craftsmen concoct tangible marvels with skills of glassblowing and blacksmithing, while food purveyors wander the beaten paths or call from their booths, selling fare that ranges from sugar-coated nuts to roasted turkey legs. At close of day, fireworks light the sky to celebrate the festival's victory over time.
The Houston Roxx Street Festival is like a good old-fashioned block party. It just happens to include enough people to populate a U2 concert—about 15 thousand revelers. The inaugural Houston Roxx street festival will transform the pavement surrounding Washington Avenue and Silver Street into a party platform for guests of all ages—a party platform to celebrate Houston's Cultural Arts District. In colorful tents, vendors dish out hot eats, complemented by adult beverages for those of age. In a 21 and up fun zone, meanwhile, the festival's organizers set up beloved block party games such as corn hole, giant Jenga, and beer pong. They also fill their two-day run with non-stop musical performances, with Austin’s Henry and the Invisibles kicking off festivities on Saturday, May 4th, and the Grammy-nominated Grupo Fantasma closing out the Cinco de Mayo festivities the next day.
Houston Roxx doesn’t skimp on entertainments for younger visitors, either. The kids’ zone hosts youth-friendly games, interactive art projects, and musical performances geared toward a younger crowd. Those performances include the Chick-fil-A Moo Cow Band and musical chairs, which might sing if you imagine hard enough.
Recently covered in the Houston Chronicle, the first Houston Fine Art Fair splashes the city's canvas with fine art from 80 galleries around the world. Hailing from Havana, Cuba, the La Casona gallery will display Douglas Arguelles’s deep-toned charcoal and acrylic paintings, while vivid photographs and pastel hues will dance across the booth of Bogota-based Arteconsultores. Works by American artists across the country⎯from New York to Miami to Los Angeles⎯also beckon arts aficionados, who can pick out pieces to decorate their walls or conceal up secret portals to alternate Lego universes. The fair will also display artistic oeuvres by current and soon-to-be fellows from the Glassell School of Art Core Program, a world-renowned artist residency.