This weekend can be summed up in one word: rodeo. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is back for its 90th anniversary with a slew of events this weekend (get the full lineup here) including the cookoff, parade, trail rides, and more.
Also on tap: 50 Cent is back in Houston (after literally hanging in the Super Bowl halftime show), more Go Texan Day fun abounds, a fashion shows features furry friends, and red-hot Hamilton returns to the local stage.
Cowboy up, y'all. Here are your best bets for the weekend.
Thursday, February 24
World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest
The 90th anniversary of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo starts next week. But this weekend is all about the pre-rodeo events, and things will kick off with this delicious competition. Over the course of three days, more than 250 teams from across the state of Texas and the world will compete for champion titles in the following categories: Brisket, Ribs, Chicken, Go Texan and Dutch Oven Dessert, as well as the new Open Contest, where teams may enter their dish of choice, except desserts. 5 pm. (Noon Friday; 9 am Saturday.)
Laura Rathe Fine Art presents "Color Story" opening reception
Laura Rathe Fine Art presents this multimedia duo exhibition, featuring new work from Michael Laube and Paul Rousso. The exhibition presents new bodies of work that inventively redefine the use of color to transform our visual experience. Laube and Rousso, both working within three dimensions, use their distinct processes to dramatize painting’s materiality and amplify the visual force of color. Through Monday, March 28. 6 pm.
Memorial Hermann Broadway at the Hobby Center: Hamilton
If you haven't heard, Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony/Emmy/Grammy-winning baby is finally here in H-Town. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B, and Broadway, Hamilton has taken the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton and created a revolutionary moment in theatre — a musical that has profoundly impacted culture, politics, and education. Through Sunday, March 20. 7:30 pm (8 pm Friday; 2 and 8 pm Saturday; 2 and 7:30 pm Sunday).
Friday, February 25
Go Texan Day at The Pit Room Patio
Grab your hats and boots and come on down for Go Texan Day. The event will feature a Kendra Scott Pop-Up Shop with their limited-edition Rodeo collection, benefitting the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Educational Fund. DJ Big John will be spinning and guests can take a photo with real chicken. There will be activities for the whole family, and also enjoy famous BBQ or seasonal crawfish. They will offer complimentary face painting and twirl cotton candy for the kids. 4:30 pm.
50 Cent Bottle Signing
Fresh from hanging upside down at the Super Bowl halftime show, rapper/entrepreneur/TV producer Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson will be back in town, signing copies of his Branson Cognac and Le Chemin du Roi (The KINGS Path) spirits, at not one, but two Spec's locations. First, he'll be at the Weslayan location on Friday evening. Then, he'll head over to the Buffalo Speedway location on Saturday afternoon. 6 pm (2 pm Saturday).
DACAMERA presents Pat Metheny: Side-Eye with James Francies and Joe Dyson
As a teenager, legendary guitarist Pat Metheny regularly jammed with Kansas City’s best jazz musicians. That experience of sitting in with more mature players led to his latest project, Side-Eye. Metheny says Side-Eye is meant to give a platform to “new and upcoming musicians who have particularly caught my interest.” Houston native pianist James Francies, who is equally at home in the worlds of jazz and R&B, and up-and-coming New Orleans native drummer Joe Dyson clearly fit the bill. 8 pm.
Houston Symphony presents Elgar’s Enigma Variations
Conceived as a “musical photo album,” one of classical music's most beloved works includes as its shining centerpiece the immortal, achingly beautiful variation known as “Nimrod." These concerts also include the sparkling music from Appalachian Spring, Copland’s famed collaboration with dancer/choreographer Martha Graham, and Augusta Read Thomas’ 2021 composition Dance Foldings. The Saturday performance will be available to livestream. 8 pm (2 pm Sunday).
Saturday, February 26
Houston Art Car Parade Art Car & Art Bike Workshops
The Orange Show's two-day series of educational outreach workshops are for individuals interested in building art cars or art bikes. Experienced art car artists teach the introductory skills of art construction and design found in many art cars: welding, foam sculpting, and LED lighting. These workshops introduce participants to new skills, but also encourage and provide the tools for the creation of new creative communities and a network which students may find like-minded individuals for future projects. 10 am.
Interfaith Ministries presents 9th Annual Wags and Whiskers Brunch
This brunch will benefit Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston’s Animeals program, which provides pet food, toys and preventative vet care supplies to seniors with pets in the Meals on Wheels program. The event will feature a pet fashion show, silent auction, and more. Donning their best international attire, guests are invited to enjoy a program (emceed by Casey Curry) honoring longtime Animeals donor and volunteer Ann Kaesermann. 11:30 am.
Urban South HTX 2nd Anniversary Party
All week long, Urban South HTX has been celebrating its second anniversary, collaborating with some of its favorite craft breweries across the country (including locals Spindletap Brewery, Baa Baa Brewhouse and Rudyard’s) in releasing eight new collaborative beers to celebrate the occasion. Things will truly get zany at this anniversary party, complete with delicious food from several local vendors (even Popston!), a live DJ playing all of the best party hits and, of course, good beer. Noon.
The Everlasting Vibez present Nguzo Saba Live!
The Everlasting Vibez are coming with their debut project, for a special live performance in honor of Black History Month. Centered around the principles of Kwanzaa, this performance will be a celebration and homage to the ancestors who have paved the path for African-Americans to live and thrive today as proud, melenated people. The Vibez seek to raise the vibrational frequencies and energy through a dynamic mix of live instrumentation, dance and song. 7 pm.
Sunday, February 27
Main Street Theater presents Pete the Cat
For the next few weekends, Main Street Theater will present this family-friendly production. Everybody loves Pete, the groovy, guitar-playing cool cat. Everyone but Jimmy, the world’s most organized second grader. But all that changes when Pete the Cat and Jimmy take a once-in-a-lifetime road trip. The whole family will love Pete’s hilarious, jazzy antics in this toe-tapping musical. Recommended for Pre-K and older. Through Sunday, April 2. 12:30 and 3:30 pm.
Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series: Olga Tokarczuk
A bestselling author in her home country of Poland, whose work has been translated into more than 50 languages, Olga Tokarczuk has published nine novels, two story collections, five nonfiction works, a collection of poetry, and a children’s book. In this virtual event, Tokarczuk’s translator Jennifer Croft will give a brief reading from Tokarczuk’s new novel, The Books Of Jacob, followed by a conversation between Tokarczuk and a fellow writer. 3 pm.
Interfaith Environmental Network of Houston presents Jim Blackburn: Earth Church
Jim Blackburn, professor in the Practice in Environmental Law at Rice University, will discuss his new book he co-authored about Earth-based spirituality. It's a subject that will become much more prominent in a future defined by a changing climate and the creation of a new economic system that is circular rather than linear. At the center of Earth-based spirituality is the Earth itself, that wonderful planet without which we would not be. Blackburn weaves a narrative around the poetry and art of Earth-based spirituality. 6 pm.