The Houston Italian Festival @ University of St. Thomas
Friday–Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
This 37th annual Italian festa is ready to feed your body and soul all weekend long. Hit it for tasting tours of Italian wines and beers, "La Piccola Cucina" classes for the little ones, cooking demos and plenty of awesome Italian eats – including meatball sandwiches, baked artichoke hearts and cannoli. Entrance is $8 per adult and free for children ten and under. Mangia! Mangia!
Conroe Cajun Catfish Festival @ Downtown Conroe
Friday–Sunday, 6 p.m. to midnight Friday; 11 a.m. to noon Saturday; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday
Head to the heart of downtown Conroe for this annual three-day festival. It's now in its 26th year, and you can expect nonstop live music with local, regional and national performers on three stages alongside plenty of festival and Cajun favorites — think gumbo, boudain, red beans and rice, and funnel cake. There will also be arts and crafts vendors, a professional carnival, assorted community and educational exhibits, the annual Catfish Pageant, a KidZone, and ice-cold lemonade, soft drinks, beer and wines from the Go Texas Wine area to quench your thirst.
Kemah Oktoberfest @ Kemah City Parking Lot
6th and Harris
Houston's Oktoberfest celebrations continue with Kemah's weekend-long party, held in a 10,000-square-foot beer tent for all to enjoy. The festival brings the best of Germany to the Lone Star State, including a stellar lineup of hand-crafted brews, live entertainment and traditional German fare. Admission costs $4 on Friday and $8 on Saturday and Sunday, with children under 12 free and those dressed in Oktoberfest attire for half-price ($4).
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First Annual Rosé Festival @ Rouge Wine Bar
Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m.
Held in the French Corridor, this first annual rosé fest will feature a tasting of 20 different rosés from both the Old and New worlds. Small bites from Le Mistral Restaurant and Foody's Gourmet will also be provided, along with live music and retail deals offered for single bottles, six-packs and cases. Tickets are available for $20 per person.
The highly anticipated charity event Southern Smoke — which hopes to raise at least $100,000 for the MS Society — is finally here. Chef Chris Shepherd has invited his friends Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue; Sean Brock of Husk, McCrady’s and Minero; and Rodney Scott of Scott’s Barbecue to Houston for an event that will turn lower Westheimer into a massive street party. Guests can expect brisket, whole hog, local seafood and in-season produce. Matt Pridgen, Antonio Gianola and David Keck of Camerata have secured some incredible wine donations, and Houston's local breweries are always ready to help. Tickets can be purchased for $200 for general admission and $350 for VIP at at underbellyhouston.com or southernsmoke.org.