Dynamic Variation:

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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Chevron Houston Marathon

This annual race includes 26.2, 13.1 and 3.1 mile runs and brings out thousands of runners and spectators. 

Martin Luther King Jr. Grande Parade

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. The march is being held online and on social media this year.


Texas Lunar New Year Houston 

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. Enjoy dance, theatrics, and music virtually this year in this cultural celebration!

Mardi Gras in Galveston

Celebrate Mardi Gras in Galveston with a full weekend of events including seemingly endless parades, a contest, and plenty of fun activities. 


Buffalo Bayou Regatta

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

Holi (Festival of Colors)

Celebrate India’s largest spring celebration of the divine triumph of good over evil during The Festival of Colors, a free-spirited play between friends, family and community with colored powder, welcoming the brightness and happiness of spring. Houston Holi Festival includes a Live Bollywood Concert, all-day color play, Bollywood and Indian folk dance performances, free carnival rides and Holi Pragitya (bonfire lighting display). Take part in the fun of pichkaris (water guns), music, dancing, comedy by the Crazy Masala Crew, Maha Aarti (ceremonial prayers for world peace), foam party, hundreds of sponsored giveaways, rides, photo booths, Parade of Rikshaws, and street food vendors.


The rodeo comes to town late February - March and takes over H-Town! Check out our full guide here.

Hermann Park Kite Festival

Hermann Park Conservancy's Kite Festival, presented by Kirkland & Ellis, will bring a day full of fun and, of course, kite-flying to Hermann Park. Activities include live music, a DJ, interactive games and activities, face painting and more. It is truly a special day in Hermann Park with fellow Houstonians! 


Houston Via Colori® Street Painting Festival

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.

The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival
The Woodlands - 30 mi/48 km from Downtown Houston
The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival is ranked one of the top fine arts festivals in the Nation, featuring 225 extraordinary artists representing a broad range of styles and mediums alongside art workshops for all ages, culinary demonstrations, live music performances, craft beer tents and more.

Cajun Heritage Fest
Port Arthur - 90 mi/145 km from Downtown Houston

Cajun Fest celebrates the Port Arthur area’s diverse cultures with music and food. Dance to toe-tapping music from live bands and two-step into the Cajun dance contest.

Art Car Parade

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.

Houston Barbecue Festival

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

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. 

Migration Celebration
Brazosport - 65 mi/105 km from Downtown Houston

Migration Celebration is a U.S. Fish and Wildlife event sponsored by Friends of Brazoria Wildlife Refuges.  

Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Texas North American Championship
The Woodlands - 30 mi/48 km from Downtown Houston

The Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Texas North American Championship begins with a 2.4-mile swim in Lake Woodlands before a 112-mile bike course through the scenic, rolling farmland of east Texas, ends with a 26.2-mile run and concludes with a spectacular finish on Waterway Avenue.


Keels and Wheels Concours D'Elegance
Bay Area Houston - 31 mi/50 km from Downtown Houston

This annual event features 200 classic cars and 100 wooden boats and attracts enthusiasts from around the world.

Mediterranean Festival
Beaumont - 85 mi/137 km from Downtown Houston

Held on the first Saturday in May each year, the Mediterranean Festival features a tradition that is more than 100 years old, the Syrian Dinner. Along with food, families can enjoy camel rides, Greek and Arabic dance troop performances, face painting, games, and other fun activities. 

The Rails & Tails Mudbug Festival
Tomball - 34 mi/55 km from Downtown Houston

Two days of celebrating tasty crawfish through music, food, and fun at Tomball’s historic downtown Depot. 

Southeast Texas State Fair
Beaumont - 85 mi/137 km from Downtown Houston

The YMBL South Texas State Fair & Rodeo brings thousands of visitors to Beaumont each spring to experience food, entertainment, and carnival rides. The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) showcases the country's top cowboys and cowgirls at the YMBL Championship Rodeo while locals present their masterpieces at the School Art, Quilt and Photo Show.

Pasadena Strawberry Festival

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. 


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.


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.  

Garden Fest
Port Arthur - 90 mi/145 km from Downtown Houston

Stroll through gardens of lotus blossoms and towering bamboo as Buu Mon Buddhist Temple hosts the annual Garden Fest. Vendors offer authentic Vietnamese food, arts and crafts and lotus, water lily and bamboo for your own garden.

Texas Outlaw Challenge
Bay Area Houston - 31 mi/50 km from Downtown Houston

This annual event features a car show, time trials, and a charity poker run. 

Pride Houston

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

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

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

Great Texas Mosquito Festival
Brazosport - 65 mi/105 km from Downtown Houston

At the Great Texas Mosquito Festival, Willie-Man-Chew greets visitors from near and far to enjoy three fun-filled days of entertainment, a carnival, food, contests, and family fun.


Houston Shakespeare Festival

A tribute to the famous playwright, the festival attracts more than 475,000 people to its free performances at the University of Houston throughout the month. 

Houston Restaurant Weeks

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

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. 


Fiestas Patrias

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.


Bayou City Art Festival

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.  

Texas Contemporary Art Fair

Texas Contemporary, Houston’s leading contemporary and modern art fair, brings top galleries to the area’s discerning collector base.

Oktoberfest Houston

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. 

Texas Renaissance Festival

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. 

Learn more

Wings Over Houston Airshow

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. 

Original Greek Festival

Celebrate the 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.

Pearland Art & Crafts on the Pavilion
Pearland - 17 mi/27 km from Downtown Houston

This outdoor juried art show features artists who specialize in handcrafted artwork, live music, food vendors, art workshops, children’s crafts and wine tasting.

Texian Market Days

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. 

International Quilt Festival

More than 1,600 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. 


Día de los Muertos at Sugar Land Heritage Foundation

Come enjoy live music, entertainment, refreshments, and historical-cultural presentations at this special Dia de los Muertos event. Children are invited to a workshop where they will create Dia de los Muertos artwork and enjoy various activities.

Día de los Muertos at Discovery Green

Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, is a Mexican holiday where families and friends gather to celebrate, remember and prepare special foods in honor of those who have departed. This FREE festival celebrates and remembers those who have departed. Featuring a large calavera, hands-on art activities, art cars, performances on stage and more!

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.

Lone Star Rally
Galveston - 51 mi/82 km from Downtown Houston

Thousands of motorcycles roar their way up The Strand in a thunderous parade showcasing the hottest custom paint and coolest aftermarket accessories.

Dia de los Muertos

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. 

Houston Open

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. 

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.

Texas Championship Native American Pow Wow

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.

City of Houston's Annual Veterans Day Celebration

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. 

The Nutcracker Market

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. 

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.

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.

A Christmas Carol -- A Ghost Story of Christmas

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. 

Holiday in the Gardens

Eight Holiday Attractions! One Venue! Ice Land: Christmas Around the World · Festival of Lights · Holiday 3D Films · Rudolph 4D · Ice Skating · Arctic Slide · Train Rides · Photos with Santa · Plus Live Entertainment, Great Food, Group Rates, Hotel
Packages and More!

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

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.  

City of Houston Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Thanksgiving Day parade remains a 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.

Uptown Holiday Lighting

An iconic and time-honored Houston tradition, the free family-friendly celebration will be reimagined with the lighting of over 300 all-new, twenty-foot-tall holiday trees that will line Post Oak Boulevard from the West Loop to Richmond Avenue. Four times the number of traditional tree decorations that existed in years past, the custom artisan-fabricated holiday trees will feature an amazing integration of lighting technology that all ages will enjoy.  

The Nutcracker

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.

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. 


Dickens on the Strand
Galveston - 51 mi/82 km from Downtown Houston

The annual holiday street festival, based on 19th-century Victorian London, features parades, non-stop entertainment on six stages, strolling carolers, roving musicians, bagpipers, jugglers and a host of other entertainers. 

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!

Annual Christmas Boat Lane Parade presented by the Cities of Kemah, League City, Nassau Bay and Clear Lake Shores
Bay Area Houston - 31 mi/50 km from Downtown Houston

Every year over 100 festively decorated boats of all sizes parade around Clear Lake and through the Clear Lake Channel in front of the Kemah Boardwalk.

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, fairground foods and much more! 

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. 

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