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Best Festival Houston 2008 - Bayou City Art Festival

The Bayou City Art Festival isn't just the best in Houston — it's among the best events of its kind in the country, frequently ranking among the top five festivals in Sunshine Artist magazine, the result of a vote by participating artists. BCAF is actually two festivals, or rather one festival that happens twice a year, once downtown and once in Memorial Park. Both are juried fine-art events that attract more than 300 artists working in 19 different media, including glass, photography, sculpture and painting. There are plenty of performing artists as well, with two stages that have a full ­schedule of dance and music. There's also a Creative Zone where budding Rembrandts can try their hands at making masks, wax hand sculptures and painted rocks. While it's a lot of fun, BCAF is also serious business. During the past 37 years, the festival has raised more than $2.5 million for local charities.

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