Super Bowl Week is finally here in Houston and here's plenty happening around the city leading up to the big game on Sunday.
While big-name Super Bowl events are happening all around town — think food, fashion and parties — there are also some spectacular non-Super Bowl-related events, too, like a concert by one of classical music's superstars and a couple of coming-of-age love stories.
Here are 11 of the top events happening this weekend around Houston, but you can view a full list of events on our CultureMap Events Calendar.
Thursday, Feb 2
Avid football fans will enjoy the traveling exhibit Gridiron Glory: The Best of Pro Football Hall of Fame on display at Texas Southern University through April. This exhibit gives visitors an up-close look at the history of the NFL, along with stories from pioneers in the game, including over 200 artifacts from the Pro Football Hall of Fame collection. There's even will an a room dedicated to the Houston Texans.
Enjoy some of the best barbecue in the world from famed Houston spots like Ray's Real Pit BBQ Shack, Killen's Barbecue, and Feges BBQ while sipping Texas beers, bourbon, spirits, and wine at the Big Texas Party, hosted by CultureMap, ESPN Radio, and SB Nation. Texas country music sensation Bart Crow will get Silver Street Studios jumping and expect to see a large number of NFL players among the celebrities.
For something non-Super Bowl related, check out the coming-of-age love story, Love Jones, The Musical, at the Hobby Center through Saturday. Tank, Chrisette Michele, Raheem DeVaughn, Dave Hollister, MC Lyte, and more join forces to tell the classic and iconic love story of Darius and Nina, whose lives collide in spectacular fashion in the upscale night club, Sanctuary, where an unassuming open mic event, quickly turns into an explosive spoken word give-and-take that leaves the audience speechless.
Andrés Orozco-Estrada conducts a program (also non-Super Bowl related) featuring the raucous rhythms and gorgeous melodies of Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from the updated Romeo and Julie tale, West Side Story. The Houston Symphony performance on Thursday and Friday also includes music from the Americas, featuring Revueltas’ serpentine tone poem, Sensemayá, and Piazzolla’s brooding Tangazo.
Friday, February 3
Guests at the 16th Annual Players’ Wives Association Fashion Show at Tootsies can glimpse the latest fashions, mingle with current and former NFL superstars and their wives, enjoy delicious bites catered by Caswell & Co, and bid on silent and live auction items including sports memorabilia, jewelry, spa packages and more. A percentage of the event’s proceeds will benefit Off The Field Players’ Wives Association and support Houston’s homeless youth through Covenant House.
The sold-out concert at the Super Bowl pop-up Club Nomadic features the top-selling Mars, who will no doubt perform hits like "Uptown Funk," as well as selections from his new album 24K Magic. It may be worth securing admission through a ticket agency.
Saturday, February 4
This “Cellar-bration” offers visitors to Houston's hometown brewery a unique opportunity to taste some special beers before the big game on Super Bowl Sunday. Specialty small-batch beers along with previously released Divine Reserves and Bishop Barrel beers are featured.
Extraordinary chefs from 32 NFL cities team up with Hall of Fame and current players at the Taste of the NFL's 26th Annual Party with a Purpose at the University of Houston. Besides tasting lots of good food, attendees can bid on more than 250 unique sports and celebrity memorabilia, vacation packages and other coveted auction items. The Band Perry will headline the evening, which benefits groups that fight hunger around the nation, including the Houston Food Bank.
Famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma will perform Dvorák’s powerful Cello Concerto, a masterpiece written during the time the composer spent in America. Gershwin’s jazz-influenced American in Paris will also be part of the non-Super Bowl-related program by the Houston Symphony.
Sunday, February 5
What better way to prepare for the Super Bowl than to enjoy some delicious Texas barbecue? Saint Arnold Brewing Co. delights meat lovers with its 4th Annual Super Beef Sunday event. Legendary Louie Mueller BBQ will be preparing and serving their finest smoked meats alongside Pinkerton’s Barbecue and Harlem Road Texas BBQ. Admission includes barbecue from all three restaurants, beer, and a Super Beef Sunday glass.
Super Bowl 51
Will the New England Patriots or the Atlanta Falcons take home the Vince Lombardi Trophy? More importantly to some non-football fans, what will you think of Lady Gaga's halftime performance and can Snickers pull off a live commercial without a hitch? Whether you're watching the game from NRG Stadium, at home, at a party or at one of the many bars around Houston, the biggest spectacle in America sports will be the topic of conversation all day Monday.