Galveston has always been known for its variety of events during the year. Below is a listing of some of the more popular festivals and events that draw visitors from around the country to Galveston. Find out why Galveston is the “best keep secret” in Texas.
2017 Calendar of Events
Events Throughout the Summer
Music Venues in Galveston
To most people, Galveston is known for their beaches, sun, and The Strand. Galveston offers a great music events and venues.
Sand Crab 5K and 10K Night Run
August 12 : No shoes, no problem at this sand-sational race at East Beach in Apfel Park, where the finish line boasts cold brews and lively tunes for wave runners of all speeds. Sand Crab night run.
4th of July Celebration
July 4 : Celebrate America’s 241st birthday at Galveston’s patriotic party, complete with an all-American parade down Seawall Boulevard and an explosive fireworks display over the Gulf to conclude the evening. Galveston’s calendar event.
June 3 : You won’t find beach bums here, as more than 60 teams sharpen their shovels and construct inspiring sand castles on East Beach, competing for the coveted “Golden Bucket” award at the Houston chapter of the Architecture Institute of America’s annual event. Come to look, and please be careful where you step. AIA Sandcastle.
June 19 : 2017 rings in Texas’s 152nd anniversary of liberating slaves (a full two years after the Emancipation Proclamation), the island comes together to commemorate the historic event with parades, street fairs and block parties. For more information see the official website.
Bands in the Sand
Every Friday and Saturday night this summer, families can kick back—whether on a beach chair or pool float—and enjoy tunes from local and national groups at Moody Gardens’ Palm Beach water park. See moodygardens.com
The da Vinci Exhibit
Moody Gardens presents Da Vinci: The Exhibition from May 27, 2017 to Jan. 7, 2018 at the Discovery Museum. The exhibit follows the Renaissance master, Leonardo da Vinci, on a journey of innovation, creativity, science and wonder.
Galveston Family Beach Challenge
Family fun is taking on a new meaning this spring and summer at Galveston’s East Beach with friendly competitions between families.
The Galveston Park Board is hosting a series of seven Family Beach Challenges that will kick-off on March 19 and continue throughout the summer. Families are invited to go head to head in a series of competitions including giant Jenga, sack races and more – all to win some fantastic prizes. These events are free to the public and structured for groups of four people. The family with the most points at the end of the day will receive a $500 gift card, plus tickets to island attractions.
2016 Calendar of Events
Dickens on The Strand
In December, Galveston goes back in time to celebrate Christmas the Victorian England way. The three–day street affair features parades, carolers, bagpipers, vendors and peddlers, all wearing their finest 19th–century fashions.
Galveston Island Holiday Event Guide
There are plenty of activities and events surrounding the Christmas holidays. Cooking classes, Ice skating and musicals, Galveston has it all for you. Come and join us for the day; It is a short trip to the “Island”.
Lone Star Rally
The Strand transforms into a motorcycle-and-hot-rod-packed thoroughfare, where enthusiasts show off their unique rides. The four-day affair—the largest rally in the country—features endless car and truck shows, a tattoo expo, live music and a Miss Lone Star Rally competition. Rumbling back to the Isle November 3-6, 2016.
Winter Wonder Island
Starting in November and going through the end of the year, visitors can experience the magic of the season with ice skating, snow tubing, and the largest holiday lighting ceremony along the Gulf Coast featuring a 35-foot Christmas tree, Victorian-era carolers and an appearance by Santa Claus. 50 days of Winter wonderland events!
Artists display their works inside The Grand 1894 Opera House at this annual event offering everything from oil and watercolor paintings to handmade jewelry, much of it Galveston-made. Mark your calendars for October 15-16, 2016.
Galveston Island Greek Festival
The 33rd annual festival, includes authentic cuisine, tours of the Greek Orthodox Church and plenty of live entertainment to keep everyone in high spirits.
The Island Oktoberfest
The state’s German roots shine bright at this family-friendly fest returning October 21-22, 2016, where guests can eat their fill of hearty strudel and bratwurst, experience an extensive menu of German beers, and work it all off on the dance floor.
“Ghostly Galveston” Festivities
The place of the deadliest storm in U.S. history, Galveston Island is a popular destination for “haunted” exploration. From a 105-year-old “haunted” hotel to Galveston’s storied harbor, cemeteries and Victorian mansions, there are numerous ghost tours to be explored throughout October. Both the historic Hotel Galvez and the Galveston Historical Foundation offer haunted history tours throughout the month. Enjoy spooks year-round with Dash Beardsley’s Ghost Tours of Galveston and Texas’ only year-round haunted house, Haunted Mayfield Manor.
Brewmasters Craft Beer Festival
During Labor Day weekend at Moody Gardens, craft brew lovers will want to hit this fest, which showcases some 400 beers, many from Texas’s best breweries. The Festival is the largest, most comprehensive craft beer celebration at the beach!
Galveston Island Wild Texas Shrimp Festival
With more than 60 cook-off teams—representing both local and national restaurants—will be making their best pots of gumbo at this party celebrating everything shellfish and featuring extravagant floats, bead tossing, marching bands, live music and more. Shrimp, music , food and fun….how could you go wrong!
Galveston Home and Garden Show
Known as the “best little home show in the state,” this exhibition provides educational, informative and entertaining opportunities to view home and garden supplies and products, and serves as a venue to introduce companies to the community at large. Don’t miss the fun, September 24-25, 2016.
Galveston Heritage Festival
The 2nd annual festival transports guests to Galveston’s earlier days, highlighting the city’s immigrant communities with music, food and entertainment from the various cultures that have settled in the area.
AIA Houston Sandcastle Competition
2016 marks the 30th anniversary of AIA Sandcastle Competition. This year over 60 teams have their eyes and shovels set on winning the prestigious Golden Bucket Award. Join us on August 20, 2016.
Bands on the Sand
Local and regional bands perform every Friday and Saturday night throughout the summer months at Moody Gardens’ Palm Beach. Families can enjoy the music on beach chairs or float down the lazy river.