Via Colori Paints Downtown, This Weekend

14022316_10154306080391405_7472941136988028912_nAlright, folks — I had planned to post about this yesterday…and then there was that torrential downpour that hit most of the city last night, and, um, I was afraid I’d put up the post and then immediately have to say, “welp, sorry, it’s been canceled due to the weather.” So I chickened out, I’ll admit it.

Happily, the Weather Gods have smiled upon us, and outside my house, at least, it’s currently 60 degrees, sunny, and breezy. Which means the weather is damn near perfect for hanging out downtown today for the Houston Via Colori festival. And that’s a thing you should totally do at some point today (Saturday, November 19th) or tomorrow (Sunday, November 20th).

I’ve taken the kids to this thing a couple of times myself, and it’s a pretty unique, cool, fun experience. The whole thing is a street-painting festival, where people & groups rent out chunks of asphalt and then turn ’em into sometimes astounding works of art. The effect, especially when you’re looking down an entire stretch of city street that’s covered with squares of brightly-colored chalk art, is amazing, seriously.

The festival’s a fundraiser for a great cause, to boot, The Center for Hearing & Speech; they’re a group whose mission is to teach deaf kids to learn to listen and to speak without using sign language. You can help out by sponsoring a square, donating directly to Via Colori/TCHS, or just showing up — while previous Via Coloris have been free, this year they’ve been forced to start charging admission, which is still a measly $10 for anybody over 18 (kids under 18 and college students with a college ID get in free).

Of course, just the art isn’t the whole deal — there’re musical acts each day, too, with The Mighty Orq, Sik Mule, the very cool Mind Shrine, Rex Hudson, Mojave Red, Emily Cole, Colonial Blue, & more playing today, Saturday, Nov. 19th, and The Cover Letter, The Gents, Jess Meuse, DJ Gracie Chavez, kick-ass soul band Tightn’ Up, moody, dark popsters Bang Bangz (doing a DJ set), and the flat-out awesome Young Mammals, among others, playing tomorrow, Sunday, Nov. 20th. (The full schedule’s over here.)

Oh, and there’re also puppet shows, dancers of various kinds, sidewalk games for kids, face-painting, vendors, and plenty of food and beer. All in and around City Hall & Hermann Square, with the big-ass towers of Downtown looming overhead, and brilliantly-bright chalk art on the ground beneath your feet. Get on out; it’s a good time, and a good cause.


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