Houston’s Bayou City Art Festival spreads out through Memorial Park this weekend with hundreds of exhibitors, food, music, performers, and hopefully, good weather. Among the 300 professional artist booths, there will be the traditional emerging artist area, where high school students install temporary outdoor works. There is, ironically no public parking in Houston’s biggest public park, necessitating a ride on the free shuttle busses leaving from the Northwest Mall and the downtown theater district (where there is also limited parking!).
This will be the 42nd year for the event, which began in 1971 when Montrose business owners and residents started an arts and crafts festival to raise money to spruce up lower Westheimer Road. Their first street fair was popular, and the group started the Westheimer Colony Association (WCA), and by 1973 was producing two small art and crafts festivals each year with proceeds used to beautify the surrounding areas with esplanade plantings. In 1992 the festival moved out of Montrose to downtown, became a nonprofit, and continued to grow, eventually partnering with the Houston Parks and Recreation Department to host its current festivals, one in Memorial Park, another in Hermann Square and surrounding streets near City Hall.
The festival is open Friday-Sunday March 22 – 24, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily. Admission for adults is $15, children 3-12, $3. Children Under 3 get in free.