It's shaping up to be a perfect weekend in the Houston area, with a nice mix of refined and lowbrow entertainment — some outdoors and others inside (just in case it rains) — with a healthy dose of culture added in. There's a fantasy costume contest that will bring out the faeries, sprites and elves; a chance to view important prints by Picasso; and award-winning architecture firms will spill some of the secrets to high-end design.
This year we don't have to choose between two major art fairs and that's a good thing for both viewers and area gallerists. Houston Art Fair is taking a pass this time around which places Texas Contemporary front and center for art lovers with more than 70 galleries represented. It's a great opportunity for emerging and established collectors to add to their portfolio and check out what's hot in the London, Paris, New York and Chinese art markets. Local favorite Moody Gallery (booth 301) has a site specific installation by Helen Altman, Cindy Lisica Gallery is exhibiting new works by wolf pack mama Rachel Gardner (booth 603), and a big debut by 14 Pews Contemporary Art Gallery showcases seven contemporary female artists from Houston (booth 216). Pablo Cardoza Gallery is exhibiting works by Brittney Anele, Bret Shirley, Sherwin Ovid, Terry Suprean, Melinda Laszczynski and John Duro (booth 307).
11 a.m.-7 p.m. October 5 and 6, noon-6 p.m. October 7, George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas, txcontemporary.com, $25 to $50.
The Original Greek Festival gets a jump start on the weekend, firing up the grills for souvlaki and gyros beginning Thursday evening. Come for the food but stay for the import shop, iconography display, dance program and live Greek music. Now in its 52nd year, this has become one of the most popular events in the Bayou City, so scout out the parking situation in advance or — better yet — head over via B-Cycle, METRO or ride-sharing (drop off is at Mount Vernon and Kipling).
5-10 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday, Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 3511 Yoakum, 713-526-5377, greekfestival.org, $5 (free for children under 12).
Do you think you've got what it takes to best all others in the fiery Dragon Wing eating contest? Then head on out to week two of the Texas Renaissance Festival for 1001 Dreams weekend. You're sure to see plenty of faeries, sprites, elves and other fanciful creatures, all vying for top honors in the fantasy costume contest, plus medieval jousting, Ded Bob Show and Birds of Prey. Stay as long as you can, not only to let the traffic die down but also to witness the 7:20 p.m. fire show followed by the 7:50 p.m. fireworks. The costume contest is at 2 p.m. at The Arena and the eating contest is at 4 p.m. in the New Market Music Gazebo; check in begins 15 minutes prior.
9 a.m. until 8 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and November 23, September 29 through November 25, 1778 FM 1774, Todd Mission, 800-458-3435, texrenfest.com, $12.95 to $548.
Five Montrose area architecture firms are opening their doors for the AIA Houston Interior Architecture Fall Tour. It's our kind of event — with stops at Bistro Menil for specialty-priced drinks and light bites — and a wrap up soiree at LaNova Tile. Hit all five stops in any order: BRAVE / Architecture, Dillon Kyle Architects, gin design group, Tramonte + Johnson and LaNova Tile.
10 a.m.-2 p.m. October 6, 4617 Montrose, 1500 West Alabama, 3227 Milam, 4203 Yoakum, 2325 Fannin, 713-520-0155, aiahouston.org/v/event-detail/Interior-Architecture-Fall-Tour/1an, $5 to $10.
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The only thing better than lawn bowling is lawn jazz, and Da Camera is treating us to a nice afternoon of Latin jazz with José-Miguel Yamal (keyboards), David Caceres (saxophone/vocals), Adriano Santos (drums) and Tim Ruiz (bass top) in Stop, Look and Listen! Bring a lawn chair or blanket or just throw your inhibitions to the wind and start dancing. While on the campus, be sure to travel inside for a lookie-loo at the just revamped Renzo Piano-designed main building with refinished flooring, better lighting, reconfigured galleries and more space for the museum's Surrealism collection.