HOUSTON - The 2018 Bayou City Arts Festival and the Italian Festival are both kicking off in Houston this weekend.

The Houston Italian Festival began Thursday and runs through Sunday. The following is the full festival schedule:

Friday, October 12: 11am - 10pm

(Admission free til 4pm Friday)

Saturday, October 13: 11am - 10pm

Sunday, October 14: 11am - 6pm

The festival will feature a poker tournament, live music, wine and beer tastings and more.

It will be held on the grounds of the University of St. Thomas. Visitors may park in the Moran Center Parking Garage, various surface lots and public street parking. Parking Garage and lot fees vary.

For a map of available independent surface lots and garages click here.

As for the Bayou City Arts Festival, Houstonians can head downtown for more food, beverages and entertainment during the interactive outdoor fine art festival.

The two-day outdoor event brings out more than 20,000 people and showcases the work of 300 artists from around the world. The festival will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Guests are encouraged to get creative and wear Halloween costumes. A contest for adults and the youngsters will be held on Sunday, October 14, 2018 at 2 p.m. in the Children’s Creative Zone. Prizes for best and most creative costumes will be awarded.

Online tickets are on sale until the day of the event at www.artcolonyassociation.org. Tickets online are $12 for adults and $5 for children 6 – 12; children five and under are free. Tickets at the gate are $15 for adults.

Also available online are two-day passes for $20 and family passes (two adults, two children tickets) for $30. Discounted general admission tickets are available for $10 at Greater Houston area Randall’s.

At the gate, discounted tickets for Veterans and Seniors will be available. Festival patrons are encouraged to use ride sharing. Designated ride sharing drop off / pick up point is located at Smith and McKinney.

Lyft is the official ride share sponsor of Bayou City Art Festival. For 50% off 2 rides (up to $5 per ride) use promo code: BAYOUARTS.

Parking is available at 1100 Smith Garage, the official parking sponsor for Bayou City Art Festival Downtown 2018. A $10 cash only flat rate is available to festival goers.

A portion of proceeds from the festival benefit the 2018 Bayou City Art Festival Downtown nonprofit partners: A Cause to Give us Paws, Fresh Arts, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Recipe for Success Foundation, The Arc of Greater Houston, and The University of Houston – Clear Lake Art Gallery.