HOUSTON -- Downtown Houston will turn into an outdoor art gallery this weekend with the return of the Bayou City Art Festival.
The nationally-ranked festival, framed by Houston's dramatic skyline, features a mix of visual, performing, culinary and interactive arts.
Over the two-day festival, art lovers enjoy downtown's newly fashioned pedestrian promenades in and around City Hall, Hermann Square and Sam Houston Park. Walker, Bagby and McKinney Streets will be closed to traffic and lined with artists' booths.
Children can channel their inner artist at the Capital One Bank Creative Zone where they can make art projects to take home.
This year, 850 national and international artists vied for 300 juried positions, which is up by nearly 20 percent over 2008, the previous all-time high.
"Based on our award-winning reputation, Bayou City Art Festival attracts the 'best of the best' artists from all over the U.S. to exhibit their works in Houston," said Joe Pogge, board president of the Art Colony Association, producer of the Bayou City Art Festival Downtown.
While browsing the booths, festival-goers can also enjoy multicultural musical and dance performances and a variety of food and wine cafes.
The Bayou City Art Festival won three Pinnacle Awards, the "Oscars" of the international festival industry, in 2008. It's made many top 10 lists for U.S. arts festivals over the years.
The festival is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Tickets are $10 for adults and free for children 12 and under.