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Houston Annual Events


Houston First Presents New Year's Eve


Family-Friendly Free Entertainment in the Downtown Theater District

Music, food, fun and fireworks

Houston's own, The Tontons and The World's Greatest Party Band, The B-52s!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

7 p.m. until midnight


Schedule of events


7:00 to 7:45 p.m.

Curt Miller - Magician

Cullen Theater, Wortham Center


7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Kristal Cherelle &  Will Makar

Hard Rock Cafe


7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

New Orleans Hustlers Brass Band & Glow Go Dancers

Strolling Entertainment


7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

DJ Johnny J in Kids Plaza

LunchBox Dance Crew, Arcade, Face Painters, Fortune Tellers, Red Door Productions Dancers, Balloon Artist

*Special Kids Countdown - 9PM!


7:30 to 8:30 p.m.

SantaLand Diaries

Alley, Neuhaus Theatre (MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY)


7:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Broadway Sing-A-Long I

Brown Theater, Wortham Center


8:00 to 9:30 p.m.

Pedrito Martinez

Alley, Hubbard Theatre


9:00 to 10:15 p.m.

Bobby Lyle Trio

Cullen Theater, Wortham Center


9:15 to 10:15 p.m.

The Tontons

Main Stage


9:30 to 10:30 p.m.

Broadway Sing-A-Long II

Brown Theater, Wortham Center


10:35 to 11:58 p.m.

the B-52s

Main Stage





If you can't make it downtown, you can watch it all at home on KTRK Channel 13.


This event is FREE and open to the public. Produced by the Mayor's Office of Special Events in collaboration with the Theater District.

For more event information, please visit the webpage at http://www.newyearsevehouston.org


Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
(March 3-22, 2015)

Rodeo time has been a tradition in Houston since 1932, and the three-week extravaganza at Reliant Park continues to consume the city every spring. The kickoff for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ is the Rodeo Parade, after trail riders ride into town and set up camp in Memorial Park.  All 20 championship rodeo competitions are concluded with entertainment by music superstars.  (832) 667-1000.

Azalea Trail
(March 6-8, 2015)

One of the surest signs of spring in Houston is the annual Azalea Trail. Houstonians and visitors view the spectacular gardens at Bayou Bend and Rienzi and visit River Oaks' exquisite private homes and admire their breathtaking gardens. (713) 523-2483.

Buffalo Bayou Regatta
(March 7, 2015)

The Buffalo Bayou Regatta is the largest canoe and kayak race in Texas. Close to 200 vessels are expected to hit the waters in downtown Houston. (713) 752-0314. 

Houston Children's Festival
(March 28-29, 2015)

Houston's official family celebration is held annually in downtown Houston. Benefiting Child Advocates, Inc., the event offers a dazzling smorgasbord of exciting activities, including six entertainment stages, more than 350 games and 10 family adventure areas.

Buffalo City Art Festival Memorial Park
(March 27-29, 2015)

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.  (713) 521-0133.

South West International Boat Show
(March 26-29, 2015)

The Southwest's largest In-Water Boat Show returns to the Bay Area Houston, for the seventh year in March 2015 with over 400 boats in-water and onshore - making it the Premier Power and Sail Show for Texas.

Shell Houston Open

(March 30-April 5, 2015)

Played at Redstone Golf Club's Tournament Course, 156 of the world's best golfers compete in the Shell 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. (281) 454-7000


Houston Barbecue Festival
(Late April)

The annual barbeque event brings barbecue joint favorites together and welcomes new additions to the Houston Barbecue scene for a full day of barbecue focused fun. (832) 454-6106

Houston International Fest WorldFest: Houston International Film Festival
(April 10-19, 2015)

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. (713) 965-9955.

Japan Festival

This annual event in Hermann Park's beautiful Japanese Garden draws more than 20,000 people. The Japan Festival celebrates the rich cultural heritage of Japan with two stages showcasing music, traditional and folk dance and martial arts, as well as demonstrations of Ikebana flower arrangement, tea ceremony, origami and bonsai. (713) 963-0121.

Art Car ParadeArt Car Parade
(April 11, 2015)

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. (713) 926-6368.

Houston International Festival

More than one million people attend this annual multicultural celebration. Downtown will be filled with ethnic food booths, arts and crafts, kiosks, interesting exhibits and 1,800 various performers. (713) 654-8808.



Houston Dragon Boat Festival
(First week of May)

The Texas Dragon Boat Association, in collaboration with Buffalo Bayou Partnership, presents its 12th Annual Houston Dragon Boat Festival. The festival will showcase 30 teams competing along the banks of Buffalo Bayou at Allen's Landing, and will feature Asian cuisine, music, arts and crafts, and cultural performances for the whole family. (713) 524-3567.

Carnival Houston Show + Parade
(May 21-24, 2015)

Celebrating carnival from the caribbean, Brazil and New Orleans Mardi Gras. It is an exciting an explosion of music, cuisine, revelry, costume parade and performances. The Premier Annual Carnival Houston show will showcase carnival costumes and performances such as Samba, Merengue, and costume masqueraders, Dance Performances, Calypso, Soca, Salsa, and Samba.

Pasadena Strawberry Festival
(May 15-17, 2015)

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. (281) 991-9500.


Houston Beer Festival
(First weekend of June)

Houston Beer Fest has it all, macro, micro, regional, local, craft, import, or domestic. They have you covered. Head to Sam Houston Park for a weekend of music, friends, plenty of beer and food.

Caribbean Heritage Month Festival

The Caribbean Heritage Month Festival occurs the first Saturday of every June.  Those in attendance enjoy the great Caribbean Heritage celebration, complete with fabulous native music, exuberant cultural dancing and delicious authentic foods. Come out and enjoy various groups representing many nations of the Caribbean, Latin and Spanish Caribbean nations as took part in the festival, some adorned in their native, bright, colorful, cultural heritage customs.

Juneteenth Celebration
(June 19)

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.  (832) 429-4432.

Pride Houston
(June 19-28, 2015)

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. (713) 529-6979.  


Freedom Over TexasFreedom 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.  (713) 247-3500.

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. (713) 533-3276.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

The Greatest Show on Earth is back every summer with a brand new show.  Master clown Bello and his hilarious antics, plus Asian elephants, acrobats, Arabian horses and much more will delight audiences at Reliant Stadium. (832) 667-1400.

Art Houston

Presented by the Houston Art Dealers Association, this is an evening artwalk with the participation of more than 30 art galleries.  (713) 522-9116.


Houston International Jazz Festival
(1st Week of August)

Big names in jazz convene in downtown Houston for some of the hottest music of the summer.  (713) 839-7000.

Houston Shakespeare Festival
(1st Two Weeks of August)

A tribute to the famous playwright, the festival attracts more than 475,000 people to its free performances at Miller Outdoor Theatre throughout the month. (713) 743-2929.

Theater District Day
(Last Sunday of August)

Enjoy backstage tours, ongoing live performances, set and costume displays and sneak previews of the upcoming seasons. The Theater District is home to eight performing arts organizations, which offer this free look behind the scenes each summer. (713) 658-8938.



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. (713) 926-2636.


Texas Renaissance FestivalTexas Renaissance Festival
(8 Weeks Beginning Mid-October)

Starting in October and continuing for eight 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. (281) 356-2178.

The Original Greek Festival
(Beginning 1st Thursday of October)

Celebrate the 45th 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.  (713) 526-5377.

Bayou City Art Festival Downtown
>(2nd Weekend of October)

The fine juried art show in downtown’s Hermann Square and Tranquility Park, spans several blocks filled with paintings, sculptures, jewelry and music, plus great food, wine cafes, beer taverns and a kids zone.  (713) 521-0133.

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.

Festa Italiana

Houston’s Annual Italian Festival on the campus of St. Thomas University features authentic Italian food, wine, music, dancing, arts and crafts and entertainment for all ages.
(713) 524-4222.

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. (713) 266-4492.

Texian Market Days
(3rd Weekend of October)

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. (281) 343-0218.

Big Brew Houston

(Last week of October)

Cheers to Big Brew, a week-long celebration of craft beer at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Designed for beer lovers in Houston and across the nation, participants will enjoy more than 1,000 featured beers, meet the best and brightest brewers in the craft beer industry,and quench their thirst on never-before-tasted brews and rare finds.

Day of the Dead Festival

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.  (713) 802-9370.

International Quilt FestivalInternational Quilt Festival

More than 1,000 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. (713) 781-6864.


The Nutcracker Market
(1st Weekend of November)

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.  (713) 535-3231.

Texas Championship Native American Pow Wow
(1st Weekend of November)

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.  (281) 890-5500.

Festival of Lights
(Mid-November to January)

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. 
(800) 582-4673.

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. (713) 524-9839.

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. 713-228-9341.

Uptown Holiday Lighting
(Thanksgiving Evening)

On Thanksgiving evening, thousands of Houstonians and out-of-town guests gather along Post Oak Boulevard for the annual Uptown Holiday Lighting.  This fun-filled family event kicks off the holiday season with more than a half-million twinkling lights, a sparkling electric light parade, an exciting holiday stage show and a special appearance by Santa Claus.  An incredible explosion of fireworks lights up the Houston skies and music fills the air during the dramatic finale.  (713) 621-2011.

The NutcrackerThe 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. (713) 227-2787.

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.(713) 533-6550.

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. 832-393-0868.



Dickens on the Strand

What started more than 20 years ago as a potluck supper has blossomed into one of Galveston Island’s most famous annual events.  Costumed characters, unique vendors, glittering parades and continuous entertainment make this celebration the best of times.  (409) 765-7834.

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. (713) 655-1912.

Fiesta Guadalupana

ECA’s annual celebration for the Feat of Our Lady of Guadalupe is based on a tradition that dates back to the 16th century in Mexico. Millions of Hispanics throughout the nation and the Americas gather on this day to honor La Virgen de Guadalupe. (713) 802-9370.


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