Go full Italian this weekend at the four-day Houston Italian Festival (a.k.a Festa Italiana) at the University of St. Thomas from Thursday, October 12 to Sunday, October 15, 2017.
Presented by the Italian Cultural and Community Center of Houston, guests of all ages are invited for a full weekend of Italian food, culture, wine and beer tastings, film screenings, live music, grape stomping, traditional dancing, contests, and more
Set on the scenic grounds of the University of St. Thomas, the 39th annual event will bring Italian culture to life in the Museum District and further its educational efforts.
Event proceeds will support the ICCC, its Italian language school, the Houston Food Bank, and provide funding for scholarships and for cultural events presented throughout the year.
Entertainment & Fun at Houston Italian Festival 2017
Catch the delightful, traditional folk dancing from the Tarantellas Italian Folk group, music by DJ Italia, a live set from Beatles tribute band the Fab 5 (hey, the Beatles were a thing in Italy too), and a special performance from the nation’s top Italian tenor, Aaron Caruso.
Looking to take a piece of Italy home with you? Italian language classes will be available for both children and adults throughout the weekend as well as cooking demonstrations for the grown-ups.
Surefooted and competitive folks will want to grab a partner and enter the grape stomp competition or bocce tournament. Meanwhile, individuals can belly up to the pasta-eating contest.
Kids & Families
In addition to the all-ages entertainment, the kids’ zone will feature cooking classes for children, Carranza Puppets, a Texas touring artist who brings children’s literature to life and interactive sidewalk art produced live by artist Carol Wells.
Free Admission All Day Thursday & Partial Day Friday
That’s pretty much it. Get in free on Thursday or if you arrive before 4pm on Friday.
Ages 12 and under are free all weekend.
Spaghetti Western Night on Friday
Be sure to wear a cowboy hat to the festival Friday, October 13 and you’ll receive $2 off on-site gate admission in honor of the special Spaghetti Western Night.
The term “Spaghetti Western” comes from the cinematic sub-genre of movies that were produced by Italian directors and studios beginning in the 1960s.
The genre was made famous by directors like Sergio Leone, Sergio Corbucci, and Quentin Tarantino, composers such as Ennio Morricone and actors such as the then on-the-rise Clint Eastwood, and were typically produced on a low budget in the deserts of Spain and surrounding locations.
Movie-going guests can check out film screenings of classic Westerns like The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West as well as live music from Last Chance, a favorite local country dance band.
Classic Car Show on Sunday
Sunday guests will get to check out spectacular four-wheeled time capsules that will make you feel like you went back a generation or two.
39th Annual Houston Italian Festival
- Dates: Thursday, October 12 to Sunday, October 15, 2017
- Times: Thursday 5pm to 10pm; Friday and Saturday 11am to 10pm; Sunday 11am to 6pm
- Location: University of St. Thomas, 3800 Montrose Blvd., Houston, TX 77006
- Parking: Visitors may park in the Moran Center Parking Garage, various surface lots, and public street parking. Parking Garage and lot fees vary.
- Admission: Tickets are $8; free admission on Thursday and on Friday before 4pm and for children 12 and under. Wear a cowboy hat to the festival Friday, October 13 and receive $2 off on-site gate admission. Discounted tickets are available online for $6. Reservations for festival activities, advance online tickets, and food and beverage packages can be purchased online. Click here to purchase tickets, make a reservation or for more information.
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