Houston’s Top Cultural Festivals and Events: Your Month-by-Month Guide to Fun!

Cultural Festivals, Fairs and Events in Houston
Do you want to have an amazing experience exploring the diverse culture of Houston? Look no further! Our 2023 calendar of exciting festivals and events around H-Town is constantly being updated with the hottest attractions, so start planning your upcoming weekend getaway to America’s most vibrant city. Take part in Houston today to explore the unique dishes and sips, connect with fascinating people, and even pick up a foreign language or two. Don’t miss this incredible opportunity – discover Houston’s lively culture and join in on the most popular festivals and events!

Come to Houston and join us for one of our many cultural festivals! We have a wide variety of cultural festivals in Houston throughout the year. From art festivals to music festivals, Houston has something for everyone. Join us and experience firsthand the vibrant culture that Houston has to offer through its many cultural festivals. With events such as the Bayou City Art Festival, Day for Night Music Festival, and WorldFest International Film Festival, you’re sure to find something that will entertain and inspire you! So don’t miss out; come explore Houston’s cultural festivals today!


January:

2023 Lunar New Year Festival: Year of the Rabbit

Where: 9800 Town Park Drive, Houston, Texas, 77036
When: Saturday, January 21st, 2023; 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Free: Contact:

The Lunar New Year Festival will feature performances ranging from traditional lion and dragon dances to Korean drums and martial arts on the Dragon and Tiger Stage. Don’t worry – they haven’t forgotten about the all-important lion and dragon dances to welcome in the new year – they’ll be happening all day long! Plus, this fun-filled festival will feature 50 vendors showcasing the best restaurants, food trucks, local businesses, corporate sponsors, and community partners. And if you can sample a diverse array of Asian cuisine.

There will also be vendor giveaways and fun games for everyone to enjoy. At the Good Wishes Arts Center housed in CCC’s USA Sports Center, the whole family can get in on the fun with hands-on cultural activities and crafts like calligraphy and origami, and lots more!

Tết- The Vietnamese New Year Celebration

Where: Kim Son, 10603 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, Texas 77072
When: January 15, 2023
Free: Contact:
Contact:

This year, Kim Son is hosting a Tết celebration that promises to be the best. As the Vietnamese way of welcoming spring and ringing in a new year, you can expect it to be full of traditional food, music, and dragon dancing along the streets – setting an atmosphere of pure joy and festivity. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to get a taste of the Vietnamese culture and start off 2021 with a bang! Get ready for some serious celebrating – it’s time for Tết!


February:

Mardi Gras Galveston

Where: Galveston City Hall, 823 Rosenberg St, Galveston, Texas 77550
When: February 10-21, 2023
Free: Contact:

Are you ready to join the film industry’s elite and follow in the footsteps of Spielberg and Lucas? Then don’t miss your chance to experience the WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival! This is one of the oldest and largest film competitions in the world, with more than 4,762 entries from 77 countries in 2022. You can enter shorts, features, student films, experimental films, screenplays, music videos, and new media through the FilmFreeway platform. And the best thing is that it’s held right at Cinemark Memorial City so you don’t have to travel far!

So come on down and see if you have what it takes to win a shiny trophy just like some of cinema’s biggest names. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity – we’ll see you at WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival!

The Texas Livestock and Rodeo Bar-B-Que Contest

Where: NRG Park, 1 Nrg Park, Houston, Texas 77054
When: February 23 – 25, 2023
Free: Contact:

Mark your calendars, folks – the Texas Livestock and Rodeo Bar-B-Que Contest is sure to be a memorable event! With over 250 teams of BBQ experts competing in the World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest sponsored by Cotton Holdings, you know the food will be second to none.

But it’s not just about the competition – there are plenty of public events for everyone to enjoy. The Garden Stage, sponsored by Miller Lite, will offer up some of the hottest country music artists in Texas. And if you’re feeling competitive, sign up for the Washer Pitching Tournament or the BBQ Cook-Off. Or, if you’re simply looking to try out all that delicious BBQ, head on over to the BBQ Pit Stop and sample offerings from every team! Don’t miss out – this is one event you won’t want to miss!


March:

Houston Hot Air Balloon Festival

Where: Meadowbrook Farms Golf Club, 4141 Meadowbrook Dr, Pasadena, Texas 77504
When: March 5-7, 2023
Free: Contact:

Get ready to see the skies of Houston light up with color at the Houston Hot Air Balloon Festival! This annual event takes place at the Meadowbrook Farms Golf Club and features hot air balloon rides, live music, food and drink, and plenty of family-friendly activities. The highlight of the festival is, of course, the hot air balloon launches, which happen each morning at sunrise. It’s a truly magical sight to see the balloons take off and drift across the sky.

In addition to the hot air balloon rides, there will be live music, food and drink vendors, and plenty of family-friendly activities. There will also be a car show, a petting zoo, and a cornhole tournament. It’s a fun-filled weekend that you won’t want to miss!

Houston Jazz Festival

Where: Downtown Houston, Texas
When: March 11-13, 2023
Free: Contact:

Houston’s premier jazz festival is back for another year, and it’s shaping up to be the biggest and best! The Houston Jazz Festival will take place over three days in downtown Houston, featuring some of the biggest names in jazz and blues.

Past performers have included the likes of Herbie Hancock, Erykah Badu, and Branford Marsalis, so you know it’s going to be an amazing lineup. In addition to the main stage performances, there will also be workshops, panel discussions, and other activities for jazz fans to enjoy.

So, mark your calendars and get ready to groove to some of the best jazz and blues in the city!


April:

Houston BBQ Festival

Where: NRG Park, 1 Nrg Park, Houston, Texas 77054
When: April 16, 2023; 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Free: Contact:

Houston is known for its delicious BBQ, and what better way to celebrate it than with an entire festival dedicated to it? The Houston BBQ Festival is an annual event that takes place at NRG Park and features some of the best BBQ in the city.

There will be over 20 BBQ joints in attendance, each offering their own unique take on BBQ. In addition to the BBQ, there will also be events like live music, games, and plenty of cold drinks to wash it all down. It’s a can’t-miss event for any BBQ lover!

Mardi Gras

Where: Galveston City Hall, 823 Rosenberg St, Galveston, Texas 77550
When: February 10-21, 2023
Free: Contact:

Are you ready to join the biggest and best Mardi Gras party in Texas? Then head over to Galveston and get ready for a wild night of events and celebrations. This year, Galveston is expecting up to 350,000 people! And trust us when we say that it’s going to be one heck of an event. From parades and 5K runs to live music, food, drinks, and family-friendly activities – there’s something for everyone at this bash. Plus, they’ll be throwing out a whopping 3 million beads – so grab your necklaces and let’s get started! Don’t forget about all the balcony parties too. So don’t miss out on this amazing celebration in Galveston!

WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival

Where: Cinemark Memorial City, 310 Memorial City Mall, Houston, Texas 77024
When: April 25- 30, 2023
Free: Yes Contact:

Are you ready to join the film industry’s elite and follow in the footsteps of Spielberg and Lucas? Then don’t miss your chance to experience the WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival! This is one of the oldest and largest film competitions in the world, with more than 4,762 entries from 77 countries in 2022. You can enter shorts, features, student films, experimental films, screenplays, music videos, and new media through the FilmFreeway platform. And even better – it’s held right at Cinemark Memorial City so you don’t have to travel far!

So come on down and see if you have what it takes to win a shiny trophy just like some of cinema’s biggest names. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity – we’ll see you at WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival!


May:

Houston Food and Wine Festival

Where: Silver Street Studios, 2000 Edwards St, Houston, Texas 77007
When: May 19-22, 2023
Free: Contact:

If you love food and wine, then the Houston Food and Wine Festival is the event for you! This annual festival takes place at Silver Street Studios and features some of the best chefs, winemakers, and mixologists in the city.

The festival will feature a wide range of events including cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, and mixology classes, as well as a grand tasting event where attendees can sample dishes from over 40 local restaurants. There will also be live music and other entertainment throughout the weekend. It’s a foodie paradise that you won’t want to miss!

Japanese Festival

Where: Japanese Garden and Jones Reflection Pool, Houston, Texas 77030
When: TBA
Free: Contact:

Houston, it’s time to celebrate! Japan Festival is the best way to experience Japanese culture right here in Hermann Park. On May 6th, come out and join us for a day crammed with events that include music, dancing, martial arts, food tasting – both traditional and Japanese-inspired – as well as flower arrangement classes, tea ceremonies, origami workshops, bonsai shows and more. Whether you want to learn something new or just have fun with your family, Japan Festival has it all. And don’t forget – this event will add an international flair to the vibrant city of Houston that you won’t find anywhere else! Join us for some cultural celebration – see you at Japan Festival!

Houston Dragon Boat Festival

TBA
Free: Contact:

Are you ready to join the world’s fastest growing water sport? Dragon boat racing combines Hong Kong tradition with modern day teamwork, enthusiasm, and strategy, and you can experience it all at the Houston Dragon Boat Festival on May 6, 2023. This annual event celebrates Chinese culture and features dragon boat races, cultural exhibits, food, and a children’s area with activities and entertainment. Translation services may be provided to assist with communication between attendees and performers of different linguistic backgrounds. But the fun doesn’t stop there – the Dragon Boat Festival also highlights the remarkable renovations happening along Buffalo Bayou, and proceeds from the event go towards promoting dragon boat racing in Texas and charitable activities. Plus, it’s a great way to encourage Houstonians to get physically fit while enjoying the great outdoors. And the best part? Admission is free, so bring your family and friends to watch the races and performances. There will be cultural performances, food vendors to satisfy your appetite, and live music to keep you entertained throughout the day. So come on down to the Houston Dragon Boat Festival on May 6, 2023 and get your paddle on. See you there!


June:

Houston World Series of Dog Shows

Where: NRG Center, 1 NRG Park, Houston, Texas 77054
When: June 23-26, 2023
Free: Contact:

It’s time to break out the doggy bags, because the Houston World Series of Dog Shows is coming to town! This annual event takes place at the NRG Center and features over 200 breeds of dogs competing in various categories.

In addition to the dog show, there will also be vendors, food and drinks, and other activities for attendees to enjoy. It’s a fun-filled weekend for dog lovers of all ages!

Juneteenth

Sun, Jun 18, 7:00 PM – Mon, Jun 19, 6:59 PM
Free: Contact:

Celebrating the historical holiday of Juneteenth is a joyous occasion, and the best place to celebrate is the birthplace of the holiday itself: Galveston. This city’s legacy is deeply intertwined with the legacy of Juneteenth, and by spending the day in Galveston, you can learn even more about the history and culture of this sacred holiday. Join us in Galveston and bask in the beauty, history, and celebration of Juneteenth.

Houston Pride 2023

McKinney St and Smith St, Houston, TX
Free: Yes Contact:

Show your support for the LGBTQ+ community at the Houston Gay Pride Parade, taking place on June 26, 2021. This annual event celebrates acceptance and equality, and features floats, live music, and performances. Over 700,000 attendees come to the parade each year, and translation services may be provided to assist with communication between attendees and performers of different linguistic backgrounds.


July:

Houston Caribbean Festival

Where: India House, 8888 West Bellfort Avenue, Houston, TX 77031
When: July 2, 2023
Free: Contact:

Get ready to bring the island vibes to Houston with the Houston Caribbean Festival! This annual event is all about celebrating Caribbean music, food, and culture. It’s a community event that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

The Houston Caribbean Festival kicks off with a Caribbean Mas Parade, which culminates with a Caribbean festival filled with

the tastes, sights, and sounds of the Caribbean. There will be colorful costumes, dancing, music, and more. The Caribbean Festival after the parade is a family-friendly event with activities for the whole family. Don’t miss out on all the fun at the Houston Caribbean Festival!


August:

Houston Greek Festival

Where: Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 3511 Yoakum Blvd, Houston, TX 77006
When: August 19-21, 2023
Free: Contact:

Opa! It’s time to celebrate all things Greek at the Houston Greek Festival, which will feature authentic Greek food, music, dance, and more.

There will be a variety of traditional Greek dishes to enjoy, such as gyros, souvlaki, and baklava. There will also be live music and dance performances, as well as cultural exhibits and activities for attendees to enjoy. Don’t miss out on all the fun at the Houston Greek Festival!


September:

Houston Italian Festival

Where: University of St. Thomas, 3800 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX 77006
When: September 23-25, 2023
Free: Contact:

It’s time to say “ciao” to the Houston Italian Festival! This annual event takes place at the University of St. Thomas and features authentic Italian food, music, dance, and more.

There will be a variety of traditional Italian dishes to enjoy, such as pasta, pizza, and gelato. There will also be live music and dance performances, as well as cultural exhibits and activities for attendees to enjoy. Don’t miss out on all the fun at the Houston Italian Festival!


October:

Houston Vegan Festival

Where: Hermann Park, 6001 Fannin St, Houston, TX 77030
When: October 8, 2023; 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Free: Contact:

It’s time to go vegan at the Houston Vegan Festival! This annual event takes place at Hermann Park and features vegan food, drinks, and products from local vendors. There will also be live music, cooking demonstrations, and other activities for attendees to enjoy.

The Houston Vegan Festival is a great way to discover new plant-based options and learn more about the benefits of a vegan lifestyle. Don’t miss the fun at this year’s festival!

Day of the Dead (Dia De Los Muertos): Honoring Our Ancestors

Honor your ancestors at the Day of the Dead (Dia De Los Muertos) celebration in Houston. This annual event is a Mexican holiday that remembers, and honors loved ones who have passed away. The celebration features altars, music, and dance performances, as well as food and a children’s area with activities and entertainment. Translation services may be provided to assist with communication between attendees and performers of different linguistic backgrounds.


November:

Houston International Festival

Where: Downtown Houston
When: November 4-6, 2023
Free: Contact:

Houston is a melting pot of cultures, and what better way to celebrate that diversity than by attending the Houston International Festival? This annual event takes place in downtown Houston and features cultural exhibits, food, music, and more from around the globe.

There will be over 20 international pavilions representing countries from all over the world, as well as live music and dance performances. It’s a fun-filled weekend that celebrates the diversity of Houston and the world!

Houston Turkish Festival

TBA
Free: Contact:

Experience the culture of Turkey in Houston at the Houston Turkish Festival. This annual event features cultural exhibits, live music and dance performances, food, and a children’s area with activities and entertainment. Translation services may be provided to assist with communication between attendees and performers of different linguistic backgrounds.


December:

Houston Festival of Lights

Where: Hermann Park, 6001 Fannin St, Houston, TX 77030
When: December 3, 2023; 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Free: Yes Contact:

Get ready to ring in the holiday season with the Houston Festival of Lights! This annual event takes place at Hermann Park and features a tree lighting ceremony, live music, food, and more.

There will be a variety of holiday-themed activities for attendees to enjoy, including a visit from Santa Claus and a holiday market with local vendors. It’s a festive and fun way to kick off the holiday season in Houston!

Summary

So, there you have it—Houston is a vibrant and culturally diverse city, full of exciting events to experience. From hot air balloon festivals to rodeos to jazz festivals, there are numerous cultural festivals in Houston throughout the year that are sure to make for an incredible time. Whether you’re looking for a local event or something more exotic, these Houston cultural festivals will provide a unique experience you won’t soon forget. Make sure to mark your calendars so you don’t miss out on the opportunity to celebrate the culture of this amazing city!

Infographic - Cultural events, fairs and fun in Houston
2023 – Houston Cultural Events

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