The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Festivals


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3. Texas Renaissance Festival
The Texas Renaissance Festival snags our number three slot because not only is it huge, but because it's a different festival every weekend. One week it's Octoberfest, the next it's All Hallows Eve. One week, the grounds are filled with swashbuckling pirates or rowdy barbarians, the next it's lads from Scotland or royals from the Celtic court. Go in costume or just ogle all the wenches in their tight, push-up corsets. And please, go hungry. Those giant turkey legs don't eat themselves, you know.

The next Texas Renaissance Festival is scheduled for October and December at the Texas Renaissance Festival fairgrounds near Plantersville.

2. The Houston Art Car Parade
The sentimental favorite on our list has to be the Houston Art Car Parade. Weird, wacky, and completely in keeping with its Orange Show beginnings, the Parade is actually just the centerpiece to a weekend-long celebration. There's also a big party at Discovery Green, an Art Car Ball, an awards ceremony and brunch, and countless unofficial smaller events. This year is the 25th anniversary of the Art Car Parade so we expect it to be a complete blow-out. (There were 300+ entries last year.) Of course, it's more than just art cars, there are also art bikes, tricked out lowriders and what are best described as contraptions in the mix as well.

The next Houston Art Car Weekend is set for early May at various downtown locations.

FESTIVAL GHCVB Houston_International_Festival 1 560 .jpg
Courtesy of GHCVB
1. iFest
Topping our list at number one is the super-festival iFest. Each year the festival celebrates the culture of a different country. For 2013, it's going to be Brazil. Entertainment with a Brazilian accent includes Capoeira Kalunga N'Golo and Morena Soul. Other musical acts include the very non-Brazilian Bootsy Collins, Los Lobos and Aaron Neville. Besides the live music, dance and cultural performances, there's a big art market with vendors from around the world and yes, tons of food. We've voted iFest the best place to people watch back in 2007. One of our 2012 slideshows shows you why.

iFest 2013 is set for April 20 to 28 at City Hall.



Location Info

Venue

Map

Discovery Green Conservancy

1500 McKinney, Houston, TX

Category: General

Moody Gardens

1 Hope Blvd., Galveston Island, Galveston, TX

Category: General

Memorial Park

6501 Memorial Drive, Houston, TX

Category: General

The Strand Historic District

2100 Strand, Galveston, TX

Category: General

Texas Renaissance Festival

21778 Farm-To-Market Road 1774, Todd Mission, TX

Category: General

Hermann Square Park

900 Smith Street, Houston, TX

Category: General

University of St. Thomas

3800 Montrose Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: General

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral

3511 Yoakum Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: General

My Voice Nation Help
15 comments
HelloMan22
HelloMan22

What about Via Colori? It's one of the most unique festival concept in Houston. You actually get to see the artists at work. And it also goes to good cost...the Center for Hearing and Speech. It's free like the Korean Festival.

Stilton
Stilton

Korean Festival. Free. On Discovery Green. Food, entertainment, arts and crafts, music. Every Sept/Oct.

You totally overlooked this one.

jkellymassey
jkellymassey

I miss west fest! Bayou City art fest pales in comparison. Great list though.

Vincent Aurelio
Vincent Aurelio

Releasing such a list on "Go Texan Day" that omits RodeoHouston? Nice.

basshole
basshole

I'm not saying it's the best thing ever, but it seems to me that leaving Free Press Summer Fest off the list entirely gives the appearance of an intentional snub. Couldn't have anything to do with the fact that it's put on by another entertainment publication, does it?

Costantino Aquaman Martinez
Costantino Aquaman Martinez

so excited for so many of them especially before that blistering heat makes it way throughout the city

Nina Afrique
Nina Afrique

Both Festivals are the Best. I attend each year.

Hector Garcia
Hector Garcia

You forgot one festival. The Puppies for Breakfast Dog Festival on April 27th. www.puppiesforbreakfast.com. :)

Olivia Online
Olivia Online

@Stilton You're right, the Korean Festival is fun and being free makes it even more attractive but there were only 10 spots on the list. Maybe next time ... 

basshole
basshole

So sorry. I totally missed that, and I swear I thought I read carefully.

Mark
Mark

@basshole"Now keep in mind, we're not looking at events where music or food are the main attraction..."

 Pretty clear

Olivia Online
Olivia Online

@basshole Actually, it's not on the list because it's mostly a music festival, not because it's put on by another publication. They do a great job with Summer Fest and our music section covers the festival extensively.

Stilton
Stilton

@basshole (not to mention that it was really poorly done for the most part. ask anyone who waited hours in line)

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