Events: Houston Ifest spotlighting The Silk Road

Of all the great festivals and events our city has to offer, one of the most popular is the Ifest (previously known as the International Festival).  No where else is cultural diversity and cultural education more celebrated than the Ifest.  Originally established as the non-profit Houston Festival Foundation, Inc. in 1971, Ifest provides art and education programs that reach nearly a million students in the Houston area.  

Each year the festival focuses on a particular culture or region, this year being the cultures of The Silk Road.  As part of providing cultural education to Houston students, a curriculum is established for area teachers that help our children explore the spotlighted country or region during the school year leading up to the festival.  The Ifest has it all rolled into one great time:  art, live music, awesome food and more ensure that everyone has a fab time.

The festival takes place at City Hall, Tranquility Park, and Sam Houston Park in downtown.  Dates for this year’s festival are:  April 30-May 1 and May 7-8 from 12 to 10 Saturday and 12 to 8 Sunday.  Go to their site to learn more and find out the skinny on parking, tickets, etc.

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A Jazz Brunch presented by Divas World

Get your spring groove on with the Divas Jazz Brunch at Zilkha Hall in the Hobby Center for Performing Arts, Sunday April 17 from 11 AM to 1:30 PM.  A champagne brunch will be catered by Artista so it’s sure to be fabulous!  Guest artists include Delfeayo Marsalis, Bobby Lyle and more.  Tickets are $65 and may be purchased in advance through the Hobby Center or by calling 713-315-2525.

Check out the full line-up for the Jazz Brunch and other Diva events here.

Big Dance Concert Series at Discovery Green-Final Four

Get in on the Final Four fun at Discovery Green and their Big Dance Concert Series April 1-3.  Headliners include:

April 1  Sublime with Rome

Opens at 4 PM

April 2  Kings of Leon

Opens at 11 AM

April 3 Kenny Chesney (Uncle Cracker and Pat Green also playing)

Opens at 3 PM

Admission is free!

There will be lots of food and activities.

Check out all the details here…

Get in on the Houston NCAA Final Four Fun!

All you basketball fans know, unless you’ve been under a rock lately, that the NCAA Final Four will be held in Houston from March 31 through April 4.  (If you don’t have any idea what I’m talking about, in lay terms this is the Superbowl of college basketball). Even if you can’t score tickets to the games, you can get in on the excitement and fun.  Head down to the George R. Brown Convention Center for the Bracket Town fan fest!!!

Tickets are $10 ($6 for students/seniors and children under 12 are free).  Events will include autograph signings, basketball clinics, competitions, games, prizes and more!

Check out the NCAA website for all of the details.  Come on down and hoop it up, H-town!

Spring is here! Join us, Thirsty Thursdays at Market Square Park!

Come join the fun at Market Square Park’s Thirsty Thursdays outdoor concert series, kicking off March 25!  Bring the blankets and lawn chairs, kick back, enjoy great food and drinks from Niko Niko’s, and listen to the sounds!  “Austin Rock” RULES with native Patrice Pike (Patrice Pike Trio) kicking off one of Houstonians’ favorite spring traditions.

Check out the full calendar of events for Market Square Park here.

Here’s the 411 on parking:

There is an abundance of on-street parking in downtown.  Metered on-street parking is available Monday-Saturday and is free after 6 pm and all day Sunday.  Make sure you feed the meter when applicable and always pay close attention to City signage.  Never park at a red meter or if the street  has red markings.  Milam and Travis streets along the park are also considered mobility lanes so you cannot park there from 7-9 am or 4-6 pm.

$5 parking is available daily at Market Square Garage at 300 Milam which is conveniently located across the street from the park.

This is a dog-friendly, family friendly, get-out-and-enjoy-Houston place to be!   Come catch the buzz….

Where the Chefs Are Eating: Culinary Tours of Houston

Want to know where Houston’s best chefs eat their food?  Sign up for a “Where the Chefs Eat” culinary tour.  This is a great way to learn about spots not everyone knows about, rub elbows with some of Houston’s top chefs and other fellow food lovers, all in the comfort (read: designated driver) of a cozy bus that will take you and the rest of the crew on a true Houston adventure.  You’ll also get to enjoy the fare at each stop, and beverages are provided by our local St. Arnold’s Brewery (note:  another great place to see/do while in Houston).

Plus, the proceeds of these events benefit the Houston Food Bank so you can feel good twice!

Tours fill up quickly, as each is limited to 16 participants.  Check out the schedule of upcoming tours for 2011 and sign up to get alerts on more upcoming events and ticket sales information.

Upcoming Events: Cirque du Soleil’s oVo

Coming March 10 and running through April 3, Cirque du Soleil’s touring production of OVO represents “An immersion into the teeming and energetic world of insects.”  What a great way to kick off spring with or without kids!  Go here to get ticket information and check out the cool trailer: