A Fair Bit of Fun - Holiday Events
In the season usually dedicated to thanksgiving and togetherness, this year it feels especially apt to celebrate our local community. Luckily, it doesn’t take large donations to make a difference; participating in local events with friends and family can provide far-reaching benefits to charitable organizations. Houston and the surrounding areas are home to a wealth of charity bazaars, fairs and events during November and December. Here we highlight a few worth checking out.
Native American Pow Wow
Saturday–Sunday, November 11–12
Now in its 28th year, the annual Texas Championship Pow Wow celebrates Native American heritage and culture, educating event-goers through dance, crafts and food. Presented by the DFW Inter-Tribal Association, this year’s Pow Wow will feature dance competitions and a tipi village, along with a food booth serving traditional fry bread and tacos. Vendors from dozens of tribes sell crafts, art and wares to visitors. Admission to Traders Village is free, and parking is $4 per vehicle. For more information call 281-890-5500 or visit tradersvilliage.com/houston/events/28th-annual-native-american-championship-pow-wow.
Via Colori Street Painting Festival
Saturday–Sunday, November 18–19
An explosion of color and design makes its way to downtown Houston streets during the annual Via Colori Street Painting Festival. Now in its 12th year, the two-day event—billed as a combined outdoor art gallery, family festival and music concert—benefits the local Center for Hearing and Speech serving children with hearing loss. This year, expect to see a variety of artwork from over 250 artists and three stages of live bands. Find the festival in Downtown Houston at Hermann Square at City Hall and the surrounding streets of McKinney, Bagby and Walker. General admission is $7 in advance, $10 at the door, and VIP Lounge Passes are $40 each. More information available at houstonviacolori.com.
Dickens on the Strand (Galveston)
Friday–Sunday, December 1–3
Costumes, carolers, carts and crafts bring the 19th century back to Galveston’s Strand National Historic Landmark District every December, transforming the streets into a replica of the Victorian London Charles Dickens called home. Sponsored by The Galveston Historical Foundation, the annual street festival, now in its 44th year—features period-dressed musicians and entertainers in events ranging from parades and concerts to dramatic performances. Vendors offer crafts, clothing, jewelry and holiday wares from street stalls, while rolling carts provide food and drink to festival-goers. Tickets for special events and more information is available at galvestonhistory.org/events/dickens-on-the-strand/dickens-on-the-strand
Katy Old-Fashioned Christmas Market (Historic Downtown Katy)
Saturday, December 2
Houston-area residents don’t usually expect a white Christmas, but attendees of Katy’s seventh annual Old-Fashioned Christmas Market can experience their own version at the market’s Snow Park. Featuring 50,000 pounds of snow, the free event is just one of many meant to bring the community together in celebration of the holiday season. Vendors sell homemade goods and gifts at stalls in the market, while Katy brewery No Label Brewing Co. hosts an all-day beer garden, and food trucks serve up sweet and savory fare. Proceeds benefit local charities, and donated canned goods go to the local food pantry. For more information, visit katymarketday.com/christmas-market-2017.
Kinderfest at the Pioneer Museum (Fredericksburg)
Saturday, December 9
Every December, the Pioneer Museum in Fredericksburg celebrates the area’s German immigrants and their holiday traditions with a special visit from St. Nicklaus. On Saturday, December 9, local and visiting children up to 10 years old are encouraged to bring Christmas stockings to hang over a large hearth for this free event. In addition to singing, storytelling and craft making, participants will enjoy special gifts from St. Nicklaus in their stockings at the party’s end. For more information, visit pioneermuseum.net.
Snowdrop ULTRA 55 Hour Race & Relay (Missouri City)
Saturday–Monday, December 30, 2017–January 1, 2018
In a season known for sweet treats and indoor festivities, one event aims to give back via physical activity—continuously and over multiple days. During the fifth year of the Snowdrop Foundation’s race and relay, participants will ring in the New Year by attempting to finish as many laps as possible in the allotted time of 55 hours. Solo runners and teams compete at the event, now held at a .687 mile loop course in Missouri City’s Buffalo Run Park. Proceeds provide scholarships for college-bound pediatric cancer patients and childhood cancer survivors while raising awareness and funding for continued research to cure childhood cancer. More information is available at snowdropfoundation.org/events.