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.
With tented performance areas throughout downtown Houston, this year's fest features a lineup of hundreds of performances from around the globe. Music acts include big names (Ozomatli, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic) alongside other talented musicians. Check out the entire schedule of events here. An abundant bounty of global cuisine with everything from Japanese to Jamaican fare, highlighted by vast offerings from this year's spotlighted Caribbean nations, will nourish the hungry crowds. The festival and the performances will proceed rain or shine, so bring an umbrella if it rains, and ride in on an umbrella if it doesn't.
The best wine may be the wine that comes to you. More than 10 Texas wineries travel from around the state to showcase their classic vintages and adventurous house blends at the Texas Wine & Art Festival. Surrounded by the beauty of Historic Old Town Spring, winemakers guide visitors through tastings in which they fill cups with wines ranging from bold, dry reds to crisp, sweet whites—all of which are made with Texas grapes. They may also explain their processes, from high-tech, earth-friendly procedures to classic European methods in which grapes are gently massaged until they're ripe. Featured wines are also available for purchase by the bottle. Adding to the artistry of the event, artisan vendors will be on hand to sell gourmet foods, paintings, photography, and handmade wood crafts.
The Texas Wine & Art Festival celebrates Texas Wine Month and brings together some of the state's top vineyards and artists for a weekend of exploration. Taking place at the historic Old Town Spring, the festival invites guests to take a taste tour of the red, white, and Southern-style blends from Texas-based wineries. Glasses in hand, groups meander past exhibitions or try to physically climb into paintings for an in-depth perspective recommended to them by the wine. Attendees can also stroll through the town's tree-lined streets, stopping at some of the 150 quaint shops along the way.
If you want to find catfish, alligator, and frog legs all in one place, your best bet is the swamp. But if you want to find all three animals plus carnival rides and live music, then you'd be better off heading to Conroe in October. For 25 years, the Conroe Cajun Catfish Festival has celebrated cooking traditions from the Lone Star State and its adjacent bayous, with gumbo and sausage to complement crispy fillets of its namesake fish.
Songs are almost as plentiful as snacks. On three stages and a performance space for kid-friendly shows, the fest showcases beloved bands playing sets that range from country to Beatles covers. Carnival rides, craft booths, and contests fill the rest of the fest with family-friendly activities, such as mechanical-bull rides and a non-mechanical petting zoo.