Tomorrow: Via Colori Takes Downtown

After a few years of meaning to, last year yours truly finally got a chance to check out the Houston Via Colori street-painting festival in Downtown Houston. Better still, I was able to drag the munchkins and witness the whole thing through their eyes.

This weekend, you can see that same wonderment for yourself, this Saturday & Sunday, November 17th-18th, in and around Hermanny Square (the square in front of City Hall).

And “wonderment” definitely is the word, believe me — I wasn’t fully prepared for the scale of the thing, with the downtown streets literally covered in artwork everywhere you look, and artists continually at work refining and expanding their paintings. I had a little bit of a hard time keeping The Kids from tromping straight through somebody’s paintings, but once they got the idea, they absolutely loved it.

I’ve been to a lot of Downtown festivals, but this one was (and is, I’m guessing) special, a one-of-a-kind experience. The Kids are a little bit young to do their own street art, at this point, but heck, after last year I found myself wishing we’d bought a square of our own, even still.

Of course, the street paintings themselves aren’t the be-all and end-all of the fest; last year we watched as an artist painted a brand-new piece (not on the ground, mind you, but on a big canvas) using her lips, something that had my 8-year-old staring in fascination, and there was plenty of other stuff for The Kids and I, as well, from face painting to ice cream to whatever. Check out this year’s full pile of activities over here.

And then, there’s the music. The Via Colori organizers have done a great job these past several years of rounding up damn talented local folks to play for the festival-goers — last year The Kids got to rock out to the late, lamented Roky Moon & BOLT!, for one — and this year’s no exception.

Tomorrow Via Colori’s lineup includes longtime Beatles tribute act Beetle, cool, neat indie-pop duo(?) Fox and Cats, rockers La Sien, and DJ Ceeplus Bad Knives, among others.

Then, on Sunday, things get even better, with roots-pop heroes Buxton, multi-instrumentalist Benjamin Wesley, spiritual folk-pop guy Tyagaraja, and melancholy country-rock outfit Second Lovers, all of which are well, well worth seeing in any setting. The full schedule’s over here

The whole thing’s free, too, which is great — it’s a benefit for The Center for Hearing and Speech, but the money comes from folks buying space on the street to do their paintings. It runs from 10AM-6PM Saturday and 10AM-5PM Sunday; oh, and the weather’s supposed to be awesome. Head on into Downtown tomorrow or the next day, eh?

Oh, and I took a few pics last year, for those who feel like looking — here goes:


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