Oh, Houston summer. How we love to hate you.
I say let's embrace our sultry alter ego and shout its arrival from the roof tops with this week's event suggestions, which include summer solstice celebrations, a fabulous dance fete with reality television stars and one sassy celeb, a night walk through the woods, a day trip for classic tunes and a film festival that lauds the benefits of a pluralistic society.
Land Rover Houston Central's "Rainbow on the Green" presented by Legacy Community Health Services
The kings and queens of Houston's most absolutely fabulous scene are setting the stage for a great al fresco dance party on the grounds of Discovery Green. Alongside Mix 96.5's Chad Pitt as emcee, the entertainment lineup includes Derrick Barry (as Britney Spears), The Voice season four runner-up Michelle Chamuel and American Idol season six runner-up Blake Lewis.
Summer Solstice Observation at the Rothko Chapel
Shake up your chakras and clean up your chi ahead of the Houston summer with the help of this Rothko Chapel yearly event that celebrates the arrival of the summer solstice, which you can think of as the critical point in which the Earth's rotation signals the passing from one season to another.
Led by Bayou Bliss Yoga and with music by Bhakti House Band, guests will welcome sunrise with activities — Vedic fire rituals, Sanskrit chanting, silent meditation and yoga — that appeal for personal and cosmic healing. Return to the plaza at sunset for a family-friendly dance party helmed by Austin-based SeVana Marimba, a group known for executing energetic Zimbabwean tunes on large xylophones.
Houston Arboretum and Nature Center hosts "BBQ, Telescopes & A Night in the Woods"
It's been around for so long that it's easy to forget a bucolic gem exists within the hustle and bustle of this megalopolis. The Houston Arboretum and Nature Center is a relaxing, charming nature sanctuary that feels as though it were located a world a away from Houston's urban jungle.
Enjoy the forested setting during the longest day of the year — the summer solstice. The evening stroll includes dinner, a night hike and an opportunity to view the night sky with the help of telescopes and the guidance of the Houston Astronomical Society.
Round Top Summer Music Festival: Texas Festival Chamber Orchestra concert with conductor Linus Lerner
You may think of Round Top for antiquing. And for pies. Because no visit to the Fayette County destination is complete without stopping at Royers Cafe for a thick slice of Texas Trash pie that contains chocolate chips, pecans, caramel, coconut, graham crackers and pretzels — need I say more?
But Round Top is home to a classical music festival that welcomes international talent and promising students from around the globe. The Round Top Summer Music Festival, which runs through July 12, has an ambitious schedule of concerts, recitals and master classes, including a performance of Schubert's Symphony No. 5 in B-flat and Bartók's Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta this weekend.
10th Annual Houston Asian Pacific American Film Festival
A popular spicy sauce, a dribbling record-breaker and ukulele whiz. These three featured flicks that screen on Sunday as part of the 10th Annual Houston Asian Pacific Film Festival explore some of the remarkable contributions of Asian Pacific Islander American culture.
Sriracha by Griffin Hammond, Linsanity by Evan Jackson Leong (the Jeremy Lin movie) and Life on Four Strings by Tadashi Nakamura (on ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro) were chosen as they entertain and educate audiences with thoughtful storytelling and beautiful visuals.