When it comes to fun and exciting events, Galveston has the Texas Coastal Bend covered. Not only does Galveston have the largest Mardi Gras celebration in Texas, but this city also has show-stopping events year round. During the holiday season, get a taste of Victorian London at Dickens on the Strand. In the fall, enjoy watching the boats at the Harvest Moon Regatta during October or the thousands of motorcycles that flood Galveston in November. Enjoy the spring weather and Galveston’s art scene with the children in your life at the Grand Kids Festival. Whatever the season, you’ll find Galveston an exciting place to visit or live.
Dickens on the Strand
Dickens on the Strand is a holiday festival always held the first full weekend of December. Put on by the Galveston Historical Foundation, it emphasizes the historic preservation of downtown Galveston with enjoyable holiday activities, such as a Victorian Christmas Parade. During this weekend festival, stores and vendors located on the Strand decorate everything to look like a bustling nineteenth century thoroughfare. With everyone in Victorian-era garb during this festive time, you really get the feel of Charles Dickens’ London during Christmas time. Interspersed throughout the Strand are stages with non-stop entertainment, activities for kids, and themed costume contests, so everyone in the family can have a wonderful time.
Galveston boasts the largest Mardi Gras celebration in Texas, with two weeks full of fun activities and over three million beads thrown. Galveston goes all out, with extravagant parades, live music, and vendors of all kinds. There’s even family events, including a children’s parade and a beach front carnival. Click here for Galveston’s Mardi Gras website.
The Grand Kids Festival
In April, Galveston holds The Grand Kids Festival, a one-day event jam-packed with fun, food, and music. The festival emphasizes the arts, and the hands-on activities are meant to give kids a fun introduction into fine art. The performances include school choirs and dancers, as well as professional family-friendly entertainers. No matter what your kids are interested in, The Grand Kids Festival is sure to offer some fun!
Harvest Moon Regatta
Every year in October, Galveston holds the Harvest Moon Regatta. This close-to-the-shore race usually hosts between one and two hundred boats on a course that’s approximately 150 miles long down the Texas Gulf Coast. With several racing options for a variety of boats, the Regatta is a great time for any boating enthusiast.
Lone Star Motorcycle Rally
The Lone Star Motorcycle Rally attracts thousands of people to Galveston each November. Held in the fall, the Lone Star Rally has bike shows, headliner musicians performing, celebrity guests, the Miss Lone Star Rally pageant, and vendors of all kinds. Of course, visitors are always attracted to the Galveston’s broad array of restaurants and bars in the area, so you can enjoy some of the city’s permanent fixtures in between the special events of the Lone Star Motorcycle Rally.
Bark in the Park
Bark in the Park is a relatively new event, but it has already become an enormous success. Held in Galveston Island’s most popular historic districts at the end of April, the event has fun for the whole family, especially the furry, four-legged members! Dogs of all breeds are welcome, and their owners can enjoy the Farmer’s Market, booths providing all manner of pet-themed merchandise, face-painting, and more.
The German-theme fun of Oktoberfest is appreciated world-round, and no less so in Galveston. This two-day celebration is hosted by the First Evangelical Lutheran Church, and is filled with family games and activities, such as a petting zoo, face-painting, raffles, auctions, a moon walk, a rock climbing wall, and more. Everyone can enjoy the great music and authentic German food, and of course adults can enjoy a great variety of delicious beer! Visit Galveston’s Oktoberfest website for more information.
The Galveston Island Wild Texas Shrimp Festival
What better way to appreciate the Gulf Coast’s rich bounty of seafood than at the Galveston Island Wild Texas Shrimp Festival? This three-day event held at the end of September includes gumbo tasting, a Shrimp Gumbo Cook-Off, a free boat and RV show, a 5K Fun Run, booths and vendors, and kid’s activities like the Children’s Lil’ Shrimp Parade.