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FESTIVALS & EVENTS

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FESTIVALS & EVENTS

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Because every single day of the year brings events and happenings around Galveston, this is a selection of only some of the highlights. Visit galveston.com/calendarofevents for a complete, updated list of everything on offer in the city throughout the year.

January

Galveston Restaurant Week
Dozens of restaurants offer reasonably priced prix-fixe lunch and dinner menus to showcase the city's wealth of dining options.

February

Mardi Gras! Galveston
The largest Mardi Gras festival in Texas-founded in 1867 and revived by George P. Mitchell in 1985-features balcony parties, 22 parades, live entertainment and three million beads. mardigrasgalveston.com

April

Galveston Featherfest and Nature Photofest
Photographers and birders flock to Galveston’s beautiful beaches and premier birdwatching locations, where more than 200 species can be spotted. Come for the fowl, and stay for the workshops, expertled field trips and limitless photo ops.  galvestonphotofest.com

Reach And Bay - Come Out to Play
Round up your youngsters and explore Galveston Island State Park with a certified naturalist. Future environmentalists can survey the shore, go on nature walks and get hooked on fishing after learning to cast a line. galvestonislandstatepark.org

Easter in the Gardens
Hop over to Moody Gardens for this free springtime favorite, complete with a festive egg hunt on the extensive lawn, a special appearance from the Easter Bunny himself and an eggcellent brunch buffet for the young and the young at heart. moodygardens.com

The Grand Kids Festival
Open to students from kindergarten through eighth grade, this all-day event offers face painting, chalk art, rock wall climbing and more.  thegrand.com

May

Galveston Food & Wine Festival
Foodies converge on the island for a week’s worth of sipping and savoring the best fare from Galveston’s top chefs and sommeliers. With events from wine-paired dinners to live cooking demonstrations, don’t forget your appetite! galvestonfoodandwinefestival. com

Historic Homes Tour
Go knockin’ on historic doors to get an inside look at Galveston’s finest preserved residences. And don’t forget to book your tickets for History on Tap, a decadent dinner party hosted in one of the distinguished domiciles. galvestonhistory.org

Galveston Island Beach Revue
Inspired by the city’s iconic “Pageant of Pulchritude” from the 1920s, retro-clad contestants join this blastfrom- the-past bash at the Seawall, with a vintage-inspired Bathing Beauties contest, live entertainment and a barbecue cook-off. galvestonbeachrevue.com

June

AIA Houston Sandcastle Competition
You won’t find beach bums here, as more than 60 teams sharpen their shovels and construct awe-inspiring sand castles on East Beach, competing for the coveted Golden Bucket award at the Houston chapter of the Architecture Institute of America’s annual event. Come to look, and please be careful where you step. aiahouston.org

Juneteenth Celebration
Ringing in Texas’s 152nd anniversary of liberating slaves (a full two years after the Emancipation Proclamation), the island comes together to commemorate the historic event with parades, street fairs and block parties. galveston. com/juneteenth

Bands on the Sand
Every Friday and Saturday night this summer, families can kick back—whether on a beach chair or pool float—and enjoy tunes from local and national groups at Moody Gardens’ Palm Beach water park. moodygardens.com

July

Independence Day Parade and Fireworks Show
Celebrate America’s 241st birthday at this patriotic party, complete with an all-American parade down Seawall Boulevard and an explosive fireworks display over the Gulf to conclude the evening. galveston.com

August

Sand Crab 5K & 10K Night Run
No shoes, no problem at this sandsational race at East Beach in Apfel Park, where the finish line boasts cold brews and lively tunes for wave runners of all speeds. runintexas.com

September

Brewmasters Craft Beer Festival
See what’s brewing from the craft-beer set at this annual Labor Day tradition at Moody Gardens, touting the liquid creations of more than 400 local and international brewmasters. brewmastersbeerfest.com

Galveston Island Wild Texas Shrimp Festival
This festival is proudly shellfish, thanks to more than 80 cookoff teams battling for best-inshow. Take the “Gumbo Stroll” along the Historic Downtown Strand District and sample the shrimps of their labors while watching crustacean-themed parades. galvestonislandshrimpfestival.com

Redfish Rodeo
Ahoy there, ladies! This two-day, women-only fishing tournament, which touts team names like “Coastal Annies” and “Baitin’ Babes,” reels in the fun at Galveston’s Pelican Rest Marina. rrtournaments.com

Galveston Heritage Festival and Sacred Places Tour
Learn about Galveston’s storied past and its enduring impact on immigration in Texas while enjoying entertainment and refreshments from local cultural groups. Book tickets to the beloved Sacred Places Tour, which highlights the island’s rich heritage. galvestonhistory.org

October

Galveston Island Greek Festival
It’s all Greek to Galveston this weekend, as festgoers chant “Opa!” while sampling authentic dishes, dancing to traditional music and touring the Greek Orthodox church at this free family favorite. galvestongreekfestival. com

ARToberFEST
Peruse the work of more than 125 artists from across the country while strolling along the historic Postoffice and Strand Streets at this juried festival, hosted by the Grand 1894 Opera House. artoberfest.com

The Island Oktoberfest
For more than 30 years, Galveston has bid Willkommen to strudels, bratwurst and beer (lots of beer) as it shines light on the state’s German-proud roots hosted by the First Lutheran Church of Galveston. galvestonoktoberfest.com

November

Lone Star Rally
Get your motor running and head out on The Strand, where hot rod enthusiasts sport their riveting rides during the country’s largest four-day car and motorcycle show. Enjoy live music, the Miss Lone Star Rally competition and a tattoo expo. lonestarrally.com

Winter Wonder Island
With more than 1,000 holiday happenings in November and December, such as lavish ice sculptures at Moody Gardens’ ICE LAND and Victorian Christmas celebrations throughout the Historic Downtown Strand District, ’tis the season to visit the island. galveston.com/holidaymagic

December

Dickens on The Strand
This popular festival takes attendees back to merry old England, as carolers and vendors in 19th-century garb celebrate the season with a Victorian twist along The Strand. galvestonhistory.org

New Year's Eve
Ring in the New Year with a Champagne toast at Hotel Galvez & Spa, the San Luis Resort or Moody Gardens Hotel & Spa. Each event features a premium bar, dinner, music and party favors to prepare for a special balloon drop at midnight. Hotel Galvez & Spa, hotelgalvez.com; the San Luis Resort, sanluisresort.com; Moody Gardens Hotel & Spa, moodygardenshotel.com

Celebrate Your Birthday, Galveston-Style!

Opportunities abound to do something cool, different and utterly unforgettable. Here are some island venues that lend themselves to unique birthday parties. Read more.

TWELVE Photography Project Returns With Focus on "Hidden Galveston"

Since 2011, the TWELVE project has given individuals the opportunity to capture their unique viewpoints of Galveston Island through the art of photography. Read more.

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