houston italian festival

Buongiorno! It’s that time of the year again — the Houston Italian Festival!

Now in its 41st year, the Houston Italian Festival runs Oct. 10-13. And tickets are going fast! For as little as $5, you can take part in a family-friendly festival that celebrates everything Italian — from great food to live music. There’s even an adult grape-stomping competition that you won’t want to miss.

The festival kicks off at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, with Italian music by DJ Italia. Dinner is at 7:45 p.m., followed by more music and dancing before the festival closes for the night at 10 p.m.

It’s held every year at the University of St. Thomas campus grounds, 3800 Montrose Blvd., in Houston.


Fantastic Food and Drinks

The Houston Italian Festival is all about awesome eats. So, expect handmade pasta and plenty of cheeses. Maggano’s Little Italy and Piatto Ristorante have been on hand serving up Italian dishes, including chicken marsala, baked artichoke hearts and handmade meatballs.

And the there are the drinks. Plenty of Peroni — Italy’s best-selling beer — and a handful of Italian wine tastings will have you sipping like you’re in the Old Country! Saluti!

You can download a full menu here.


Activities Galore

While you’re enjoying that authentic Italian food and listening to great music, make sure to take part in some activities. There are plenty to partake in!

From a bocci ball tournament to the popular pasta eating contest (come hungry!) to the 13th annual I Madonnari Sidewalk Art Contest, there’s never a dull moment at the Houston Italian Festival.

What’s expected to be one of the more popular activities is the adult grape stomp contest, where you and a partner challenge other teams to see who can stomp the fastest and fill a carafe below. Cost is $20 per team. Top finishers receive a special gift. The tournament takes place on Oct. 12 and 13.

Simply put, it’s a fun weekend for everyone in the family!


The Raffle

Last, but certainly not least, is the raffle that benefits the Italian Cultural and Community Center of Houston. Tickets are $5 or $25 for six. And the potential payoff is big. The grand prize winner receives a $6,000 travel certificate for a trip to Italy. Second prize is a $1,500 certificate to tour Houston’s best Italian restaurants — 15 in all! And third place is a 50-inch HDTV valued at $500.

Be sure to check out all ticket options for the festival right here. And have a great time!


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