Houston iFest first weekend brought music, Brazilian bites and fun for the whole family

Houston iFest first weekend brought music, Brazilian bites and fun for the whole family

Credit: Christine Di Stadio

Houston iFest first weekend brought music, Brazilian bites and fun for the whole family


by KHOU.com staff


Posted on April 22, 2013 at 4:59 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 22 at 5:02 PM

Performers Bootsy Collins, Diogo Nogueira and The Wailers headlined Weekend One along with Unique Workshops and Kid-Friendly Fun

Houston, TX, April 22, 2013 – Near-perfect weather Saturday and Sunday helped the Houston International Festival celebrate Brazil and beyond on opening weekend. After a cool start Saturday, sunny skies greeted the estimated 75,000 Houstonians attending the festival, who enjoyed a musical line-up on six stages featuring headliners Bootsy Collins on Saturday and the Wailers and Latin samba star Diogo Nogueira on Sunday. These and other artists brought sweet sounds and dance moves, the markets were filled with exotic must-haves and kids had their endless pick of hands-on fun.

Local restaurants brought the best of not only Brazilian cuisine, but a variety of other international favorites to Downtown Houston. The 2013 Brazilian-themed festival will return to Downtown Houston this weekend on April 27-28 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. with headliners Aaron Neville and Los Lobos set to grace the Bud Light World Music Stage. Now in its 43rd year, the two-weekend festival continues to provide fresh fun for guests with new and exciting musical entertainment each day.

Saturday, the stages also lit up with performances by New Orleans-based Casa Samba, the KoumanKe'le' African Dance & Drum Ensemble and Texas guitar great David Grissom. Additional Brazilian guitar lessons, percussion workshops and dance how-to’s were presented on the H-E-B Cultural Stage all day Saturday, with unique cultural cooking spotlights by H-E-B Cooking Connection chefs.

On both days, the Chevron Brazil Living Museum brought the beautiful culture and history of Brazil to life. Among other cultural craft opportunities, the museum offered younger festival guests a unique spin on sidewalk chalk as they had the opportunity to decorate a Brazilian-inspired cave made exclusively for the event, seconds away from the replica of the Rio de Janeiro-based iconic Cristo Redentor statue, (Portuguese for “Christ the Redeemer”.) Visitors also had the opportunity to make a traditional ribbon “wish bracelet” from Bahia. After tying three knots in the bracelet, each visitor makes three wishes, and legend has it that when the bracelet falls off, the wishes will come true!

Sunday was Kids Free Day thanks to Kroger, meaning children 12 and under were able to attend the festival for free! For a second day, Green Mountain Energy Kids World welcomed children with hands-on lessons in art, on-the-spot science experiments, take-home art projects, activities and prizes from Radio Disney, and fun Houston Dynamo games featuring Brazil’s leading sport, soccer. The festival began Sunday with inspirational music at a special Gospel Brunch the Houston Press Rocks Off Texas Stage. Another Gospel Brunch is planned for next Sunday, April 28.

The Wailers closed out the day on the Bud Light World Music Stage with reggae favorites including “Is this Love,” “I Shot the Sheriff” and “Feel Alright” along with unique spins on other favorites such as Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got to Do With It.”

The final weekend of the Houston International Festival will be on April 27-28 as the Brazilian-inspired experience wraps up with more music, more food and more family-friendly fun.

For more information about the Houston International Festival and event schedule, visit its website, www.ifest.org or call 713-654-8808.

Connect on social media at Facebook.com/ifest and @iFest hashtag #HoustoniFest.

Download high-resolution images of past festivals, headliners, and more here.

·    Advance tickets are on sale for just $15 online. Click here to buy now!
·    See the weekend lineup here: ifest.org/2013-performance-schedules
·    Click here to view the festival map.

To schedule interviews, please contact Ashley Small at 281-827-3419 or by email at ashley@medley-inc.com.

2013 marks the 43nd year for the Festival, which is produced by a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, the Houston Festival Foundation, Inc. Festival proceeds benefit the education program of the foundation, which produces a teacher's curriculum guide on the spotlighted country's culture.  The curriculum guide reaches a potential 900,000 students at 1,471 campuses in seven Texas counties. Foundation funding is provided in part by grants from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, corporate sponsorships, private contributions, in-kind support and volunteer assistance.