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Popular Annual Texas Events And Festivals By Season

Here’s a complete overview of popular annual Texas events, festivals, and competitions organized by season, each with a brief description:

Texas Events, Festivals & Competitions In Spring (MAR-MAY)

One of the best times of year to visit Texas (if you want to avoid the heat) is during the Spring. During the Spring months, Texas also hosts quite a few popular (famous, even) events, festivals, and competitions that draw in local, national, and even international crowds.

So, consider the Spring season if you’re planning a visit to Texas. And, if you’re here during the Spring, here are some famous events you may want to look into attending.

March

Here is an infographic with the Top 5 most well-known, highest-attended events hosted in Texas during the month of March.

Annual Texas Events, Festivals, and Competitions Infographic

The Texas calendar is jam-packed with a wide range of events, festivals, and competitions all throughout the state, ranging in popularity from international notoriety to local popularity.

And the month of March is no exception. Whether you’re looking for a good ol’-fashioned competition, a delicious plate of world-class food with a glass of award-winning wine, or a soothing live music event with a healthy side of boutique shopping, Texas is a wonderful place to be every year in the month of March.

Download March Events Infographic

And of course they can’t all be “the most popular” or “well known” events, so here’s the complete list of notable Annual events hosted in Texas during the month of March:

  • Spring at The Silos (Waco): Spring at the Silos is an annual event at Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas, celebrating the arrival of spring. The event includes a vendor fair with makers, artisans, vendors from across the country, live music, and special spring menus. It typically takes place in March.
  • Texas Independence Day Celebration in Washington, TX (March 2nd): Commemorates Texas’s independence with historical performances and music. Texas Independence Day is on March 2nd; however, the event(s) commemorating the day don’t always align with that date. The celebrations may be hosted in either February or March.
  • South by Southwest (SXSW) (Austin): A major conference and festival celebrating the convergence of tech, film, and music industries. It features numerous panels, concerts, and film screenings.
  • Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (Houston): One of the largest livestock exhibitions and rodeos in the world, it also includes concerts featuring major music acts, a carnival, and various competitions.
  • Texas Independence Day Celebrations (Various Locations): Commemorating Texas’s independence with parades, historical reenactments, and festivities throughout the state.
  • Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade (Dallas): One of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the Southwest, featuring floats, bands, and lots of green.
  • Rodeo Austin (Austin): Combines a professional rodeo with live music concerts, a fair, livestock show, and other family-friendly activities.
  • Corpus Christi Festival of the Arts (Corpus Christi): Showcases visual and performing arts with artist booths, performances, and community activities.
  • Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival (Fort Worth): Celebrates the culinary diversity of the region with tastings, cooking demonstrations, and food-related events.
  • Zilker Park Kite Festival (Austin): An annual event that encourages adults and kids to fly their kites in the park.
  • Bayou City Art Festival (Houston): One of the top art festivals in the country, held in Memorial Park, featuring hundreds of artists, music, food, and creative zones for children.
  • Texas Storytelling Festival (Denton): A gathering of storytellers sharing tales through concerts, workshops, and story swaps.
  • Houston Tech Rodeo: Blends local culture with technology and innovation.

April

  • Old Settler’s Music Festival in Tilmon: A celebration of Americana, bluegrass, and roots music with workshops and jam sessions.
  • Brazos Nights Series in Waco (April – July): Free riverfront concert series in Waco, TX, with a mix of music, food trucks, family activities, and drone displays. It continues to grow every year, with the most recent event attracting over 30,000+ visitors to hear world-class artists on the Brazos Riverfront stage in downtown Waco.
  • San Antonio Book Festival: A literary event uniting readers and writers with readings, signings, and panels.
  • Bluebonnet Festival in Chappell Hill: Celebrates Texas’s state flower with music, activities, and a parade.
  • Battle of San Jacinto Reenactment (Around April 21st): Dramatic reenactment of Texas’s fight for independence.
  • Dallas International Film Festival (Around April or May): Showcases a diverse range of global films with screenings and Q&A sessions.
  • Ironman Texas in The Woodlands (April or May): A grueling triathlon challenge with international participation.
  • Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival (April): Features artists, live concerts, and street performers.
  • Houston International Film Festival: Celebrates independent cinema and emerging filmmakers.

May

  • May The 4th Be With You: This is the way. Just kidding, there’s no such event. However, there may be some Star Wars-related events on this day – just nothing on as large of a scale as these other events. I wish!
  • Cinco de Mayo Celebrations (May 5th; Statewide Events): Texas, with its rich Hispanic heritage, celebrates Cinco de Mayo with festivals, parades, music, and traditional Mexican food across various cities.
  • Tejano Conjunto Festival in San Antonio: Showcases Tejano and Conjunto music with performances and traditional food.
  • Austin Food + Wine Festival (Austin): This festival offers a culinary and wine extravaganza featuring top chefs, sommeliers, and winemakers nationwide. It includes cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, and gourmet food sampling.
  • Kerrville Folk Festival (Kerrville): This is one of the longest-running music festivals in North America, lasting 18 days. It showcases songwriters and musicians from all over the world and includes workshops, concerts, and craft vendors.
  • Pecan Street Festival (Austin): Held in the historic Sixth Street district, this free, bi-annual juried arts and crafts festival is one of the largest in Texas. It features artisans, food vendors, musicians, and street performers.
  • Scarborough Renaissance Festival (Waxahachie): From April to May, this festival recreates a 16th-century English village with Renaissance entertainment, artisans, and performers.
  • Houston Art Car Parade (Houston): The world’s largest and oldest art car parade showcases cars transformed into artistic masterpieces.
  • Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival (Fort Worth): Featuring hundreds of artists, live concerts, and performances, it’s one of the largest art events in Texas. Though typically held in April, it sometimes extends into May.
  • Texas Crab Festival (Crystal Beach): A celebration of Gulf Coast style with a weekend full of crab-themed events, including a crab gumbo cook-off, crab races, and live music.
  • Dallas International Guitar Festival (Dallas): The oldest and largest guitar festival in the world, showcasing a mix of guitar legends and up-and-coming artists.
  • Asian Festival (San Antonio): A cultural festival celebrating the rich diversity of Asian cultures with traditional music, dance performances, and food.

Summer Events, Festivals & Competitions in Texas (JUN-AUG)

June

  • Republic of Texas (ROT) Biker Rally (Austin): One of the largest motorcycle rallies in the United States, featuring bike shows, concerts, and a parade through downtown Austin.
  • Juneteenth Celebrations (Various Locations): Commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, these celebrations include parades, festivals, and historical reenactments.
  • Texas Folklife Festival (San Antonio): An immersive cultural event showcasing the diverse ethnic communities in Texas through food, music, and crafts.
  • Levitt Pavilion Summer Concert Series (Arlington): Offers free outdoor concerts spanning various music genres throughout the summer.
  • Luling Watermelon Thump (Luling): Celebrates the local watermelon harvest with watermelon eating contests, seed spitting contests, a parade, and live music.
  • Bandera ProRodeo (Bandera): A traditional rodeo event featuring bull riding, barrel racing, and other rodeo activities.
  • Free Press Summer Fest (Houston): A music and arts festival featuring a diverse lineup of bands and artists, held in Eleanor Tinsley Park.
  • Fort Worth’s Juneteenth Festival (Fort Worth): A cultural celebration with live music, food vendors, and various community events.
  • Shakespeare in the Park (Dallas): An annual summer series of outdoor Shakespeare performances by the Dallas Shakespeare Festival.

July

  • Texas International Fishing Tournament (South Padre Island, TX): A major saltwater fishing competition focusing on skills and marine conservation.
  • Waco Independent Film Festival: Showcases independent films from Texas and worldwide.
  • Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic (Austin or Fort Worth): An iconic music festival hosted by Willie Nelson featuring a lineup of country music artists, traditionally held around the Fourth of July.
  • Freedom Over Texas (Houston): Houston’s official Fourth of July celebration, featuring live music, food, and a large fireworks display.
  • Fort Worth’s Fourth (Fort Worth): A family-friendly Independence Day event with live music, water activities, and a fireworks show.
  • Market Days in Wimberley (Wimberley): Held on the first Saturday of each month, including July, where visitors can explore hundreds of booths with art, crafts, and food.
  • Cactus Pear Music Festival (San Antonio): A chamber music festival that takes place in early July, featuring musicians from around the world.
  • The Great Texas Balloon Race (Longview): A hot air balloon event featuring balloon glows, races, and concerts.
  • Port Aransas SandFest (Port Aransas): One of the largest sand sculpting festivals in the United States, with master sand sculptors showcasing their skills.
  • Kerrville Summer Music Festival (Kerrville): A smaller, more intimate version of the Kerrville Folk Festival, focusing on singer-songwriters and folk music.
  • Texas Shakespeare Festival (Kilgore): A summer-long festival celebrating Shakespeare with performances, workshops, and educational programs.
  • Rockport Art Festival (Rockport): An annual event featuring a variety of artists and craftspeople, with live music and food.

August

  1. Austin Ice Cream Festival (Austin): A family-friendly event celebrating ice cream with local vendors, activities, contests, and live entertainment.
  2. Houston Shakespeare Festival (Houston): An annual event held at the University of Houston featuring free performances of Shakespeare’s plays.
  3. White Linen Night in the Heights (Houston): A community street party in the historic Heights neighborhood, where attendees dress in white linen and enjoy art, music, and local food.
  4. GrapeFest (Grapevine): A celebration of Texas wine held in Grapevine, known as the “Wine Capital of Texas,” with tastings, grape stomping, and culinary events.
  5. Bat Fest (Austin): Celebrates the nightly emergence of 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats from under the Congress Avenue Bridge with live music, food, and arts & crafts.
  6. Texas International Fishing Tournament (South Padre Island): One of the largest saltwater fishing tournaments, usually held at the end of July or beginning of August.
  7. Blanco Lavender Festival (Blanco): Held in the Lavender Capital of Texas, this festival celebrates lavender with tours of local farms, market vendors, and live music.
  8. Hotter’N Hell Hundred (Wichita Falls): One of the oldest and largest cycling events in the U.S., where participants brave the Texas heat for a 100-mile ride.
  9. Lubbock Arts Festival (Lubbock): Showcases visual and performing arts with artist booths, performances, and activities for children.
  10. Fiesta La Ballona (Cotulla): A cultural festival featuring a parade, live music, food, and family entertainment.

Summer (General)

  • Great American Shoot-Out Basketball Tournaments (Various Events & Locations): One of the largest amateur basketball tournaments in the U.S.
  • USA Track & Field Championships (Various Events & Locations): These events bring together top track and field athletes from the country.

Fall Events, Festivals & Competitions in Texas (SEP-NOV)

September

  1. Grapevine’s Texas Wine and Grape Harvest Festival (Grapevine): An event celebrating Texas vineyards with wine tastings, grape stomping, and culinary events.
  2. Austin City Limits Music Festival (Austin): A massive music festival held over two weekends featuring a diverse lineup of big-name and emerging artists across various genres.
  3. State Fair of Texas (Dallas): Starting in late September and running into October, this is one of the largest state fairs in the U.S., famous for its unique food, games, concerts, and the iconic Big Tex statue.
  4. West Texas Fair & Rodeo (Abilene): Offers traditional rodeo events, carnival rides, livestock shows, and entertainment.
  5. Plano Balloon Festival (Plano): A family-friendly event featuring hot air balloon launches, races, and a variety of entertainment and activities.
  6. Texas Reds Steak & Grape Festival (Bryan): Celebrates Texas wine and steak with tastings, live music, and other activities.
  7. CineSol Film Festival (Rio Grande Valley): Focuses on supporting and promoting independent filmmakers from the U.S. and Latin America.
  8. Houston Hot Sauce Festival (Houston): A spicy food lover’s paradise featuring a wide variety of hot sauces, salsas, and foods.
  9. Oktoberfest (Fredericksburg): A celebration of German heritage with beer, music, food, and dancing in a town known for its German roots.
  10. Gruene Music & Wine Fest (Gruene/New Braunfels): Combines Texas wines with live music in the historic district of Gruene.

October

  • Ironman Waco in Waco, TX: A grueling triathlon challenge with international participation.
  • San Antonio’s Diwali Festival: Features Indian culture with dance, music, and fireworks.
  • Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo (Waco): Features rodeo events, craft competitions, and fair attractions.
  • Fredericksburg Food and Wine Fest: A wine festival extravaganza in Texas wine country.
  • Texas Book Festival in Austin: Showcases readings and panels with authors from around the world.

November

  • Houston Turkish Festival: Celebrates Turkish culture with cuisine, folk dances, and crafts.
  • Dia de Los Muertos Festivals in Texas (Various Locations): Honors the departed with altars, parades, and traditional music.
  • Terlingua International Chili Championship (Terlingua, TX): A famous chili cook-off attracting global participants.
  • Homestead Fair in Waco: Showcases traditional crafts, farming techniques, and more.
  • Waco Cultural Arts Fest: Celebrates artistic and cultural expressions with a variety of activities and performances.

Unspecified Dates in Fall

  • Houston Jazz Festival: A vibrant jazz music showcase with live performances and masterclasses.
  • Texas Greek Festival (Various Locations): Offers a taste of Greece with traditional dance, music, and cuisine.

Winter Events, Festivals & Competitions in Texas (DEC-FEB)

December

  • UIL Texas State High School Football Championships: Highlights Texas’s high school football culture with championship games.
  • Waco Wonderland (1st week of December): A festive event with lights, decorations, and holiday activities.
  • Christmas at The Silos (Waco): Christmas at the Silos is an annual, festive event at Magnolia Market in Waco, occurring in December. It features holiday-themed activities, shopping for unique art and home decor, ice skating, live music, and appearances by Santa Claus.

January

  1. Texas Black Film Festival (Dallas): Showcases African-American cinema with screenings and discussions.
  2. Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo (Fort Worth): One of the oldest continuously running livestock shows and rodeos, featuring livestock exhibitions, rodeo competitions, live music, and a carnival.
  3. Houston Marathon and Half Marathon (Houston): A significant running event attracting thousands of runners from around the world, featuring a marathon, half marathon, and a 5K race.
  4. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebrations (Various Locations & Dates): Parades, marches, and commemorative events in cities across Texas to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  5. Big Bend Ranch Rodeo (Alpine): Showcases the skills of real working cowboys in a competitive setting, featuring traditional rodeo events.
  6. Ice Sculpting Competition (Galveston): Held as part of Galveston’s annual Winter Wonder Island event featuring talented ice sculptors.
  7. Polar Bear Plunge (Various Locations & Dates): A fun and chilly tradition where participants take a dip in cold waters to celebrate the New Year, often for charity.
  8. Dallas Safari Club Convention & Expo (Dallas): One of the largest gatherings of hunters and conservationists, featuring exhibits, seminars, and auctions.
  9. Star of Texas Tattoo Art Revival (Austin): A tattoo convention featuring local and international artists, live tattooing, contests, and entertainment.
  10. Eagle Fest in Emory (Emory): Celebrating the seasonal migration of bald eagles to the area with guided tours, educational programs, and bird watching.

February

  • Mardi Gras Galveston (Galveston): The third-largest Mardi Gras celebration in the United States.
  • Bar-B-Que Cook-Off & Festival (San Antonio): The largest BBQ competition in Texas, featuring over 280 teams.
  • San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo (San Antonio): One of the largest livestock shows and rodeos in the country.
  • Cupid’s Chase 5k Run (Various Locations): A charity event promoting community participation and support for people with disabilities.
  • ConocoPhillips Rodeo Run (Houston): A 10k race and 5k fun run/walk held in conjunction with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
  • Legends of Texas Whiskey Festival (Waco): An event where renowned Texas whiskey distilleries showcase their craft, including limited edition whiskey elixirs, and attendees mix and mingle with professional sports athletes while surrounded by the memorabilia of legends of old.

Events With Changing Dates, Seasons or Locations

  • Krewe of Barkus (McKinney): A unique Mardi Gras parade featuring dogs in costumes.
  • Charro Days Fiesta (Brownsville): A bi-national festival celebrating the culture of the Texas-Mexico border region.
  • Austin Marathon & Half Marathon (Austin): A major running event featuring a course through Austin’s landmarks.
  • Spindletop Spin Bike Ride (Beaumont): A cycling event benefiting a local charity.
  • Whooping Crane Festival in Port Aransas: Focuses on the migration of whooping cranes and wildlife conservation.

Other Notable Annual Competitions and Events

  • Van Cliburn International Piano Competition: A prestigious classical music event attracting global pianists. The event is hosted in Forth Worth, TX in the Fall (generally October) and is only held once every four years.
  • Big Tex BBQ Fest (Pasadena & Cotton Bowl): Combines Texan culture with barbecue culinary skills in the ultimate BBQ festival. There are multiple events hosted year-round in various locations.

Each event reflects the diverse culture and interests found in Texas, offering a range of experiences from music and culinary delights to sports and cultural celebrations.