Represent Houston Festivals: Championship Chili Cook Off, Via Colori, Lighting of the Doves & More

Houston Via Colori Street Painting Festival
1100 Bagby
Houston, TX
November 19-20, 2011 Sat 10:00AM-6:00PM/ Sun 10AM-5PM
Volunteer opportunities are available!

The Center for Hearing and Speech presents an exclusive event within The Houston Via Colori Street Painting Festival. The Via Colori Street Scene will allow attendees to sample beer and wine, hear live music, enjoy light bites provided by Carrabba’s and other vendors, and join in a festival-wide scavenger hunt to win great prizes. This unconventional art experience will give an up close and personal view of the eye-popping chalk art murals created by over 200 talented artists! Don’t miss this amazing art and music explosion at Houston Via Colori, our City’s most unique and grassroots art festival! Imagine colossal works of art, completely created in pastels, all directly on the streets of downtown. This FREE, two-day street painting festival in Sam Houston Park, and the surrounding streets of Allen Parkway and Bagby, provides entertainment for spectators of every age. Don’t miss the live music on 2 stages, festival foods, bunches of children’s activities, numerous radio stations, bungee jumping and so much more. No pets allowed. All proceeds from Houston Via Colori benefit CHS mission to teach deaf or hard of hearing children to listen, speak and read.

2011 Houston Championship Chili Cook Off
Traders Village Houston
7979 N. Eldridge Road
Houston, TX 77041
November 19, 2011 10:00AM-Sundown

Presented by the Houston General Go Texan Committee of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Champion chili cook teams from across southeast Texas will compete for the title, Houston’s Best Chili Cook. Tons of award winning cook teams from throughout Houston will be cooking up some of the best chili and beans in Southeast Texas. There will be a live auction and taster’s cups available for a donation to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Tasters Cups will be sold to the public for tasting chili. The cups will be approximately 6 oz. and will be sold in groups of 6 for $5. A ticket will be provided with each purchase as a vote for the Peoples Choice awards. Awards will be given in Open Chili, Open Beans, People’s Choice and Showmanship categories. Admission is free to the public and parking is just $3.

The Annual Texas Renaissance Festival
On FM 1774, (between Magnolia and Plantersville)
Plantersville, TX
Through November 27, 2011 9:00AM to Dusk

The Texas Renaissance Festival is the Nation’s largest, most acclaimed Renaissance theme park. Open to the public every Saturday, Sunday, and Thanksgiving Friday, October 8th through November 27th, and to students for School Days. The enchanted 55 acre village comes to life as all of Europe comes to pay homage to the King and Queen with Eight Themed Weekends. Hundreds of costumed performers are showcased in over 200 daily performances. Magicians, jugglers, minstrels, troubadours and comedians perform on six stages. Visitors meander along shaded cobblestone walkways visiting over 340 shoppes overflowing with unique arts and crafts of offering delicious foods and beverages. All ages will be amused by the games of skill and human-powered rides. Revel in the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and beauty of this authentically recreated 16th Century British village with lush landscaped grounds and vines. A perfect day ends as behold the burst of Royal Fireworks held above the Festival’s lake. Ticket prices vary, please visit the website for more information.

29th Annual Lighting of the Doves
International Winter On The Waterway Festival
Town Green Park along The Woodlands Waterway
Lake Robbins Drive (West of Six Pines)
Woodlands, TX 77380
November 19, 2011 3-9:00PM

The 29th Annual Lighting of the Doves is in conjunction with the annual International Winter On The Waterway Festival. Enjoy live music and entertainment on 3 stages, ice carvers, snow play area, fireworks, kid’s activities and much more. Don’t miss the magic when Santa arrives at 7:00PM. iWOW adds an international flavor to The Woodlands holiday celebrations and attendees can learn about countries from all over the world and their unique holiday traditions. From foods, arts & crafts, to music and entertainment. At Winter Wonderland, (A two-acre area of lighted storybook displays that surround the Ice Rink), you can enjoy a walk along the fantasyland of magical, lighted toy soldiers, elves, doves, musical angels and snowmen. The Ice Rink opens on the 19th as well and will be open through January 16, 2012. For more information, please visit the website.

Discovery Green Park
1500 McKinney (across from George R. Brown Center)
Houston TX 77010
Admission is always free. Blankets, lawn chairs and picnics are welcome; food, beer and wine are available for purchase. No glass containers or outside alcoholic beverages. For more exciting events scheduled at Discovery Green Park, please visit the website.

November 19, 2011 10:00AM-2:00PM – Recycling Saturdays: Electronic Recycling
Preserving the environment is everyone’s responsibility. Bring your glass, paper, plastic and aluminum to a recycling station at the Andrea and Bill White Promenade on Saturdays through November. Recycle electronics in November. A $10 HAZMAT fee will be assessed on each TV/CRT/LCD monitor. Also accepted are used cell phones, used/scrap computers, RAM, Motherboards, cell boards, pagers, lithium batteries, etc. Anything with a cord or battery including but not limited to: *Pagers *Pager Parts *Cell Phones *Cell Phone Parts *Cell Phone Batteries, chargers *Cell Phone Accessories *Computer Products, RAM boards, CPU’s etc.

November 24, 2011 4:00PM – The Ice at Discovery Green
Ice skating returns to Downtown Houston this holiday season and will run until January 22, 2012. Lace up your skates and get ready for a memorable winter experience! Skating time limited to 1-1/2 hours on school holidays and weekend. Clean, comfortable rental skates will be offered, in sizes from tiny youth-9 up to adult-14. Double-runner lace-up skates will be available for the youngest skaters, even those as young as 3-years old: If you can walk, you can skate! A separate ice-play area for toddlers will be located next to the main rink. Ticket prices: $10 plus tax and includes skate rental.

Haak Vineyards & Winery
6310 Avenue T
Santa Fe, TX 77510

November 18, 2011 7-9:00PM – Free Friday Concert with “The Jig is Up Band”!
Houston’s newest Irish band combines flute, fiddle, accordion, vocals and guitar for a vibrant rendition of the energetic traditional dance music and song of Ireland.

November 20, 2011 6-8:30PM – Free Sunday Concert with Pookie Marceaux!
Pookie provides a variety of music such as Louisiana Swamp Pop, Mo Town/Soul, Rhythm and Blues/ Classic Rock and Roll.

Bring your own wine glass (if you prefer glass over plastic) and a lawn chair or blanket to make sure you have a comfortable seat. Chair seating is available on a first come, first serve basis. They have a wonderful deli with meats, cheeses, spreads and breads but will also be serving food from their full service kitchen. (The menu will vary each week.) No outside food or drink allowed. Tours end 1 hour prior to concerts and dinners. Dress appropriately for the weather.

8th Annual Home for the Holidays Festival and Tree Lighting
LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch
23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd, Ste. B200
Katy, TX 77494
November 19, 2011 3:00-6:00PM

LaCenterra and the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce present the Home for the Holidays Festival and Tree Lighting. Fun for the entire family, this Katy tradition features free children’s activities including cookie decorating, Holiday Express train rides and the return of the Jingle Bounce along with the lighting of LaCenterra’s sparkling Christmas tree and a visit from the Big Guy himself! The 2011 Home for the Holidays celebration also includes Bears & Blankets, a drive benefiting the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program. Guests are encouraged to bring new teddy bears and stuffed animals, along with new blankets and cold-weather wear. Items collected during the event will be donated and distributed to area children and seniors. All events are free and open to the public.

H-E-B Holiday Parade
Downtown Houston
Houston, TX 77002
November 24, 2011 9:00AM

The holiday spirit hits Houston every Thanksgiving morning when this parade begins winding through downtown. This lavish parade is nationally televised and features sensational floats, uniformed marching bands and the season’s first glimpse of Santa Claus.The parade is telecast live locally on KHOU-TV, Channel 11 and is syndicated in many other major markets throughout Texas and beyond. Parade is free to the public anywhere along the parade route outside of the TV Zone. A limited number of reserved bleacher seats in the TV Zone are available for purchase. Proceeds from reserved seating ticket sales benefit the Houston Festival Foundation, Inc. education programs reaching more than 1,450 public schools each year and the Houston Chronicle Readers are Leaders literacy program.

26th Annual Uptown Holiday Lighting
Post Oak Blvd (West of the Galleria mall between San Felipe and Westheimer)
Houston, TX
November 24, 2011 4:00PM

On Thanksgiving evening, join thousands of Houstonians and out-of-town guests for the Uptown Holiday Lighting, an event now in its 26th year. This fun-filled family event, benefiting Sheltering Arms Senior Services, will ring-in the holidays with more than a half-million twinkling lights; festive music; holiday characters including clowns, larger than life Santa’s reindeer and 12-foot tall snowmen; a special appearance from Santa and a fireworks extravaganza. The holiday ambiance created by 80 brilliantly-lit holiday trees standing guard over Post Oak Boulevard as well as numerous decorations and lighting throughout the area will continue into the holiday season.

Ice Rink Locations
Visit the websites listed for more information

Galleria Mall – 713-966-3500
Discovery Green – 713-400-7336
Woodlands Town Center – 281-419 -5630
Moody Gardens – 800-582-4673


On Galveston Island 
Locations listed below
Galveston, TX
For many more exciting events on Galveston Island, please visit the website.

November 18-19, 2011 12-6PM/9-4PM – Seaside Treasure Festival at Moody Methodist
Seaside features over 100 arts and crafts vendors, a fabulous lunch from the Seaside Cafe, a wonderful silent auction, and much more. Join the fun at Moody Methodist Church, 53rd and Avenue U, just two blocks off the seawall. Festival proceeds support mission and outreach work in the Galveston area. Admission is free.

November 18, 2011 – Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens
Moody Gardens (One Hope Blvd) will commemorate the festival’s tenth anniversary with more than 100 sound-enhanced, animated light scenes along the trail as well as live entertainment, holiday films and the area’s only outdoor ice skating rink. Guests can also take pictures with Santa and choose from a selection of holiday films in the MG 3D Theater. In the spirit of tradition, “Polar Express 4D” will return to the 4D Special FX Theater for families to enjoy special effects like snow flurries and the delightful smell of hot chocolate. On Food Drive Fridays, visitors will receive two admissions for the price of one when they bring a non-perishable food item, which will benefit the Galveston Food Bank. Every Saturday, guests will experience a winter wonderland with snow – a true phenomenon for Gulf Coast natives! Admission to the Festival of Lights is $5.95. With the purchase of a Festival of Lights ticket, ice skate rentals and tickets to the Aquarium Pyramid, Rainforest Pyramid, holiday MG 3D film, holiday Ridefilm, Discovery Museum and Colonel Paddlewheel Boat can be purchased for only $6 each.