Houston's diversity is in the spotlight this weekend, with festivals celebrating Iran and Turkey. Speaking of festivals, Texas Txotx runs Friday through January 31. Bars, restaurants, and bottle shops throughout Texas will be pouring fine ciders and wines from the El Pais Vasco region and establishments will host tastings, dinners, and happy hours.
Here are some other fun events happening this weekend.
Thursday, January 17
College Night at Main Street Theater
For the next three Thursdays, Main Street Theater has some free theater for y'all. The theater will be having free showings of the offbeat comedy The Secretary. Visit the website to reserve your ticket and bring your ID to the show so you can get it. This is good for those who love theater but can't afford the prices or those who just want to have an entertaining night with their friends, family, or significant other. 7:30 pm.
Friday, January 18
26th Annual Iranian Film Festival
Houston's annual Iranian Film Festival, established by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and Rice Cinema, is back again for its 26th edition. This year's collection of films will be screened at both locations as well as Asia Society Texas Center. The first movie out the gate, which will be screened at the museum, is 3 Faces (Se rokh), the latest film from Jafar Panahi, who has been banned from making films in Iran. This one has him traveling to northwest Iran to help an aspiring actress. 7 pm.
2nd Annual Turkish Music Festival
Turkey isn't just a part of the world that gave us coffee, baths, and confectionery delights. There is a rich history of music that has come out of there, much of which will spotlighted at this two-day festival. This will feature a wide range of Turkish traditions, from folk music and Ottoman court music to the contemporary music of Turkey. It will be presented by The Hoppa Project and feature award-winning musicians from the traditional Turkish music and classical music worlds. 7:30 pm (8 pm Saturday).
10th Annual Yaga’s Chili Quest & Beer Fest
This two-day extravaganza will feature 100-plus varieties of craft and imported beer selections and over 65 chili cook-off teams. There will also be live music, a variety of vendors, a 5K fun run, a strand merchant walk-about, margarita and washers contests and, more importantly, a diverse crowd. 8 pm (9 am Saturday).
Saturday, January 19
Memorial Park Conservancy presents Memorial Park Arbor Day
In celebration of Arbor Day, local nonprofit Trees for Houston will host its 4th annual, Arbor Day community planning event. Volunteers will plant over 870 native trees along Memorial Park's northeastern border that will help the park's ongoing, ecological restoration efforts. Volunteers are invited to join and be part of a planting that will leave a multi-generation legacy and will impact thousands of Houstonians. 9 am.
Whiskey, Cigars and Gumbo at Barge295
It's gonna be a smoky Saturday over at Barge295. It all starts off with a First Annual Gumbo Cook-Off, where teams will be prepping their signature pots of creole magic before they get judged on aroma, consistency, color, taste, and aftertaste. There will also be a whiskey and cigar social on the same day, where folks can dive into the world of fine cigars while six whiskey brands (Larceny Bourbon, Devil's River Whiskey, etc.) pour from 3 to 6:30 pm. 10 am.
Da Camera presents Jazzmeia Horn Septet
Da Camera of Houston will be bringing in Jazzmeia Horn for a special show at Wortham Theater Center. Winner of the 2015 Thelonious Monk Competition, this Texas-born young singer arrives after recording her debut, A Social Call, an album that reveals a performer ready to take her place alongside the best headlining jazz vocalists of today. 8 pm.
Sunday, January 20
Dave Fenley at The Rustic
Dave Fenley, singer/songwriter and a finalist on The Voice, will give a free concert in Houston on Sunday. Born and raised in Lufkin, Texas, Fenley began trying his hand at guitar as a teenager, playing in bars and small music venues. He became serious about songwriting during college and, after his time on The Voice, Fenley was ready to take on the country music scene with new songs and a band to back him up. He is now taking his sound on the road, performing songs from his album The Spread Love Sessions, Vol. 1. 9 pm.