Houston Calendar of Events
Houston Marathon
A 26.2-mile city-wide run. More than 15,000 participants and over 200,000 spectators take to the streets every year. Two other events – the Aramco Services Half Marathon and the Houston Press/Metro 5K – take place simultaneously. As Houston’s largest single-day event, it is ranked the fastest winter course by Ultimate Guide to Marathons. 713-957-3453, www.hphoustonmarathon.com

The Sounds of Texas Music Series
A concert series running from January to June, performed at The Historic Crighton Theatre in Conroe, attracts music lovers from all over the United States. 936-539-4167, www.thesoundsoftexas.com
Mardi Gras! Galveston
A12-day celebration with more than 75 events, including parades, balls, parties, exhibits and sporting events. 888-425-4753, www.mardigrasgalveston.com

The Chinese Lunar New Year Festival
Begins anytime between late January and mid-February. The 2010 Chinese Lunar New Year started on February 14th as the “Year of the Tiger”. Festivities are held in Houston at the Chinese Community Center and include a variety of Asian food specialties, special exhibitions, music, dance and martial arts. 713-271-6100, www.ccchouston.org

Houston Auto Show
Displays more than 600 new, domestic and imported vehicles of every variety at Reliant Center. www.houstonautoshow.com

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
A three-week event at Reliant Park composed of the Houston Livestock Show and RodeoHouston, the world’s richest regular-season rodeo. Numerous livestock events and daily rodeo competition are punctuated with entertainment by music superstars. More than a million people attend annually. 832-677-1000, www.hlsr.com

The River Oaks Garden Club’s Azalea Trail
Features spectacular azalea gardens at Bayou Bend and River Oaks’ exquisite private homes. 713-523-2483, www.riveroaksgardenclub.org

Grand Prix of Houston
Returning to Reliant Park, this unique festival allows families to see the finest open wheel and sports car racing in America, while enjoying live music and other entertainment. 713-659-7223, www.grandprixofhouston.com

Japan Festival
Showcases folk and traditional Japanese dance and music; includes demonstrations of martial arts, Ikebana flower design and origami; and draws more than 20,000 people annually. 713-963-0121, www.jashouston.org

Houston International Festival
An event spread over two weekends spotlighting a different country each year; includes ethnic food booths, arts and crafts, kiosks and other exhibits. The 2007 International Festival spotlighted China. 713-654-8808, www.ifest.org

March of Dimes WalkAmerica
A fundraising walk to reduce infant mortality and combat birth defects. Walks take place in various locations around Houston.
713-623-2020, www.marchofdimes.com/texas/

WorldFest: Houston International Film Festival
Brings a blend of feature films, shorts, screenplays, television commercials, music videos and documentaries to viewers. Past winners include Steven Spielberg, Oliver Stone, George Lucas and David Lynch, all early in their careers. 713-965-9955, www.worldfest.org

Art Car Weekend
Showcases Houston’s most outlandish folk art creations on wheels. The largest art car parade in the nation, more than 250,000 spectators attend annually. 713-926-6368, www.orangeshow.org

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Festival
Features a parade, food, exhibits and performers.  713-784-1112, www.capaonline.org/festival.htm
Cinco De Mayo Celebration – includes a downtown parade, mariachi bands, dancers and food at Miller Outdoor Theatre. 713-284-8350, www.houstonparks.org

Galveston Historic Homes Tour
Offers tours of privately owned, beautifully restored homes from the 19th century. 409-763-5326, www.galvestonhistory.org

Pasadena Strawberry Festival
Live entertainment; a mud volleyball tournament; barbecue cook-off; strawberry cooking, eating and growing contests; pageants and more at the Pasadena Fairgrounds. 281-991-9500, www.strawberryfest.org

Westheimer Street Festival in Exile
Features live music, a kidzone, campus coral, contests, arts and crafts, vendors and food. 713-522-6548, www.westheimerfestival.com

Located in Texas City, this weekend event features musical entertainment, arts and crafts, car cruise, amusement rides, barbecue cook-off, catfish fry, sports activities, children’s events and more. Free admission. 888-860-1408, www.texascitychamber.com

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