Over the next two weekends, the annual Houston International Festival (IFest) will take over the downtown space around City Hall & Sam Houston Park. It’s the 44th year of the festival that celebrates music, food, dance and culture from around the world – that these days contributes to Houston’s ever-growing multi-cultural, cosmopolitan feel.
Each year the festival chooses a country to showcase and this year it’s Australia! Tens of thousands of people are expected to enjoy highlights of Aussie music, food, wine, history, art and culture, along with five stages of world and local music, global markets and international cuisine.
The festival starts this weekend, April 26th & 27th and is on the weekend following May 3rd & 4th, from 11am – 8pm each day. Highlights include:
The Chevron Living Museum ~ Showcases Australian culture, art, environment and sports with interactive displays for children including a Sydney Opera House exhibit, Australian Gold Rush exhibit, Aboriginal Australia, Australia in Music & Film, Arts & Culture and Great Barrier Reef & Nature display. The Houston Lonestars Australian Football Club and Houston Shooting Stars Netball Club will be there 1pm-3pm demonstrating Australia’s much loved sports.
Coopers Down Under Pub & BHP Billiton Stage ~ A variety of Aussie artists and bands living in the US will be performing at different times on these two stages each day. Highlights include popular singer/songwriter Rick Price, Aboriginal artist Cameron McCarthy, country singer and band Craig Morrison, and singer/songwriters Travis Caudle and Anne McCue. Check out the stage line-ups for times.
Celebrate Australia – Thurs May 1st 6pm-9pm ~ A Texas/Aussie BBQ cook-off with some of Houston’s best restaurant chefs including local Aussie chef, Jason Gould. 200 guests will enjoy various meat and seafood BBQ creations in front of City Hall. Australian wines and live music will also be on hand.
The AACC Houston, Sister Cities(Perth) & TANZOT will also be in attendance with a variety of Aussie fun competitions, giveaways and photo ops with Kenny the Koala at 12, 3 & 6pm. Jason Gould will be serving up sausage roll tastings Sat May 3rd 1.00-1.30pm.
Proceeds from the event benefit the foundation the year-round arts and education programs reaching up to 900,000 students in the Greater Houston area and beyond.