Texas Living

February Events: Multicultural Festivals

By Abi Grise 2.1.19

There may have been six flags over Texas, but people from all over the world call the Lone Star State home. Celebrate Texas’ diverse heritage at the Ennis Czech Music Festival, MLK Community March, Sombrero Festival, and many more multicultural festivals this month.

Central Texas

Salsa Dancing, Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23, Bryan

Kick up your heels for a cha-cha-charming beginners’ introduction to salsa every Saturday night at The Village Cafe. This coffee house-art gallery-dance studio-cafe hybrid offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere to learn Cuba’s signature style of dance. After the lesson, the floor is open for all to dance as they please.

Trinity Irish Dance Company, Feb. 22, Boerne

Experience authentic Irish choreography at the Trinity Irish Dance Company’s dazzling performance. The traditional Celtic step-dancing technique of dancing high on the balls of the feet while percussively tapping their toes to the ground makes the dancers appear to float in the air. You might enjoy yourself so much that you’ll want to jig on home.

Student tickets are $20 and adult tickets begin at $30.

North Texas

Chinese New Year Festival, Feb. 9, Dallas

At the Crow Collection of Asian Art’s 20th annual Chinese New Year Festival in Dallas’ famous art gallery-mall, NorthPark Center, you can create arts and crafts projects with the kids, try your luck in giveaways, and watch the majestic dragon and lion dances ringing in the Year of the Pig.

Ennis Czech Music Festival, Feb. 9, Ennis

Czech it out: This family-friendly folk celebration features five polka bands, a fried catfish dinner, and endless opportunities to cut a rug with loved ones and kiddos. Break out your Czech kroje and join the costume parade, or bring your accordion to compete in the Texas Folk Life “Big Squeeze” Accordion Showcase (age 25 and under). RV hookups will be available, so bring the whole family!

The pre-party Feb. 8 is free. Tickets to the festival on Feb. 9 are $8 for adults and free for kids age 12 and under.

South Texas

Asian Festival, Feb. 9, San Antonio

This Lunar New Year celebration is a pig deal! Welcome the Year of the Pig at the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures. This all-day event offers music, dance, martial arts, shopping, games, and foods from mainland China and the island nations of the Pacific. Bring your game face to the mahjong table and your creative spirit to the crafting area — and don’t leave without catching a glimpse of the impressive bonsai and ikebana displays.

Adult tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the gate. Tickets for children ages 6–12 are $5, and children under 5 go free. Parties of 10 or more can score an advance group rate of $8 per person.

Sombrero Festival, Feb. 28–March 2, Brownsville

The Sombrero Festival is filled to the brim with food, music, and fun. The people of Brownsville created the original Charro Days in 1937 to celebrate their resident “dashing Mexican gentlemen cowboys.” Today, they celebrate Hispanic culture with musicians and artists from around the state. Join the fiesta and enjoy activities of all sorts, including a 5K, hat-stacking relay, jalapeño-eating contest, and tortilla Frisbee toss.

Pro tip: Arrive within the first three hours of opening for free admission and kids rides!

East Texas

SoulFest! A Black History Month Celebration, Feb. 10, Texarkana

Many voices are coming together at the Sullivan Performing Arts Center & John Thomas Theatre for this Black History Month celebration. The Texarkana Regional Chorale includes vocalists from the Grambling State University choir, Liberty-Eylau High School varsity choir, and the local community. Be transfixed by their performance of works by a diverse selection of composers, including Moses Hogan, Richard Smallwood, and more.

Mardi Gras Southeast Texas, Feb. 28–March 3, Port Arthur

Don’t let Mardi Gras roll on bayou without stopping in Port Arthur for an authentic celebration. One of Texas’ best multicultural festivals, this Southeast staple includes all your Fat Tuesday delights — indulgent foods, arts and crafts, concerts, carnival rides, and the Ms. Mardi Gras Pageant. Spot your favorite costumed characters waltzing by in the parade or meeting with fans in the Kids Zone.

West Texas

First Friday Art Trail, Feb. 1, Lubbock

Kick off February with an inspirational stroll through the Lubbock Cultural District. On the first Friday of every month, local art centers and galleries open their doors for families to peruse global artists’ creations. Observe at your leisure for free. If you work up an appetite, consider purchasing art-inspired Native American fare from the chefs of Native Veda outside of the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts.

World Dance Alliance 2019 General Assembly, Feb. 14–16, El Paso

Dance is a universal language, and the World Dance Alliance is using its choreography to encourage discussion about international relations. Come to the University of Texas at El Paso Wise Family Theater to enjoy performances exploring the role of dance in culture, activism, and education around the world.

Tickets are $9.25–$10.

For more of Texas’ cultural heritage, check out the painted churches of Little Bohemia or stories from the Comanche trail.

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