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Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events — ultimate margarita fest included

"Hoedown at Haven" benefiting Urban Harvest
Fried chicken. All the fixins'. Mashed potatoes. Fried green tomatoes. Sweet potato pie.Screw your diet. Eat for a cause. Urban Harvest. Haven/Facebook
Richard Savino
Houston Early Music opens its 2012-13 season with guitarist and lutenist Richard Savino and his ensemble El Mundo. Courtesy of Houston Early Music
In Mod Mandalas: The Chakra Series, Sara Gish has re-purposed the handy hubcap to symbolize a mandala, which in Sanskrit means "circle" and "essence." Photo by George Hixson
Missionary Position
"Hoedown at Haven" benefiting Urban Harvest
Richard Savino
News_Joel Luks_head shot_column mug

On the appointment book this week are events that appeal to those who love to explore the past, those with a penchant for arts, drinking, shirtless men of religion, fried southern cuisine, one-man shows and car parts made into pious, meaningful objects.

Beyond just giving you a rundown of where to be, we make your outing planning easier. Click on the link below each event to find helpful features, download the intel to your electronic calendar, learn what about your final destination and check out other CultureMap stories that may tickle your fancy.

Houston Early Music Hispanic Heritage Series Concert: "The Kingdoms of Castille" with El Mundo

Two overused cliché words are used to describe Spanish music: Fiery and passionate. Whether you agree or disagree, there's no denying that everyone is into the saucy beats and addictive harmonies.

Houston Early Music opens its 2012-13 season with guitarist and lutenist Richard Savino and his ensemble El Mundo. The program offers 17th and 18th century court, sacred and folk music from the Iberia peninsula and from Spanish colonies in the new world, where the Latin craze began.

The deets: Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Salem Evengelical Lutheran Church; tickets are $35, $30 for seniors and $10 for students.

Houston Margarita Festival

Salt and on the rocks. In my humble opinion — read that: You should think like me — it's the one and only way to imbibe the classic tropical beverage. Because frozen, swirly ritas are for sissies.

Stepping off my soap box, know that I am open to trying new tastes, flavor profiles and textures, and that's why the Houston Margarita Festival is on this week's itinerary.

There's more than margaritas at this festival, of course. Add Mexican and Cajun cuisine, barbecue, music by local groups, a salsa dancing contest, a limbo competition and lots of vendors. The people watching will be rich. 

The deets: Saturday, noon; Discovery Green; tickets start at $10.

A Night at Market Square Park

It's as if Market Square Park is trying to prove something — and everyone benefits. This year, its night out bash is going all out with funk band Henry + the Invisibles — read that: it's a one-man crew — and hot pop sensation, New Orleans-based Royal Teeth. In addition to the photo booths, psychic readings, poetry sessions, a pop up art exhibition by FotoFest, a mini illuminated art car parade ushers in the after party at OKRA.

If you are in the historic district, here's another sudsy event for you: The Brewery Incubator's Craft Beer Quest.

The deets: Saturday, 6 p.m.; Market Square Park; admission is free.

Bayou City Art Festival Downtown 2012

It's not just visual arts fiesta but a celebration of one of the city's pride and joys. In addition to this juried festival which brings more than 300 artists from all over the country, there are interactive activities for children, a performance art stage, food, drink and live music. Heck, it's never too early for holiday shopping. For your family and for yourself. That's if you are looking for one-of-a-kind handcrafted gifts.

For the see and be seen boldface types, "Art Heist Rocks!" is the main fundraiser for the festival, Saturday at 6 p.m ($50). Chaired by Marcus Carter, Michael Coppens, Jessica Thomas and Stacy Robinson, the backstage social honors Gus and Sharon Kopriva and Melanie Lawson and John F. Guess Jr.

The deets: Saturday and Sunday; Hermann Square Park at City Hall; tickets are $10, free for children under 12 years of age.

"Hoedown at Haven" benefiting Urban Harvest

Fried chicken. All the fixins'. Mashed potatoes. Fried green tomatoes. Sweet potato pie.

Now that I have your attention, and I should have it as chef Randy Evans' deep fried southern fare has earned the respect of the demanding food-loving community, this refined hootenanny of an event is a fundraiser for the nonprofit that's responsible for offering opportunities for locals to buy from locals. Urban Harvest benefits from this gathering.

Screw your diet. Eat for a cause.

The deets: Sunday, 6 p.m.; Haven; tickets are $125 per person.

Theater LaB Houston presents Missionary Position by Steven Fales

The only thing better than a sassy double entendre is one that fuses hardcore religion with gayness, sex and shirtless, ripped men of scripture. Steven Fales' off-Broadway Confessions of a Mormon Boy assumed the position that spiritual abuse or violence in any religious settings needs to come to an end.

The regional premiere of the one-man show Missionary Position continues the saga with the author as the main character. Though I'm unsure how all this unfolds, there are Portuguese conquerors, New York porn overlords and Mormon temple ceremonies.

Right, nothing gay at all.

The deets: Sunday through Oct. 21; Theater LaB Houston; tickets start at $25.

Staff writer and all around totally awesome dude Tyler Rudick's pick: Screening of The Revisionaries

Tyler says: "In the first three months of 2010, the conservative majority on Texas' board of education made more than 100 amendments to the state's curriculum, launching a nationwide debate about the role of partisan politics in public education. The Revisionaries, a new documentary premiering at Sundance on Friday, examines the manner in which elected board members sought 'to correct' biological evolution and American history. Proceeds benefit the nonpartisan watchdog group Texas Freedom Network

The deets: Friday, 7:15 p.m.; Sundance Cinemas; tickets are $25.

Photo editor and design junkie Barbara Kuntz's pick: Garden Club of Houston's 70th Annual Bulb & Plant Mart

Barbara says: "If you want crocus, tuplia or narcissus perennials blooming in a sunny spot in your yard early winter and into the spring, get your bulbs now. And, thank goodness, the Garden Club of Houston's 70th Annual Bulb and Plant Mart is Friday and Saturday, just in time to buy top-quality bulbs for planting.

"In addition to bulbs, shoppers will find an expanded collection of unusual plants, perennials, trees, shrubs and vines. Houston Garden Club members will be on hand to answer questions, and mart-goers are encouraged to pick up an informative Horticulture Guide."

The deets: Friday and Staurday; Holly Hall Retirement Community; admission is free.

Arts smarty pants and in-the-loop beer loving' gal Nancy Wozny's pick: Sara Gish's Mod Mandalas: The Chakra Series

Nancy says: "I'll be wearing my hubcap earrings when I head over to 14 Pews to see Sara Gish's Mod Mandalas: The Chakra Series. Gish has re-purposed the handy hubcap to symbolize a mandala, which in Sanskrit means "circle" and "essence." I like the contrast between car parts and spirituality.

"We don't see that enough. As a car-based culture, it's time we bestow these  machines with a little holiness. Gish is also the known for her Hubba Hubba art car. 

The deets: On view through Nov. 18; 14 Pews; admission is free.

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