Must-Do Winter Events on the Upper Texas Coast
It seems odd to describe this time of year as “winter” since the average high temperature during this time of year ranges from 62 to 71 degrees. Some days, you’ll be wearing shorts and flip-flops, while on other days, it’s a coat and boots. Whatever the temperature, it’s always fun to experience the not-to-miss festivals and events on the Upper Texas Coast. To make your tour planning easier, below is a list of not-to-miss winter events on the Upper Texas Coast. (check for current dates and details)
Jan. 14, Drillers Reunion: Spindletop Anniversary in Beaumont. To celebrate the discovery of oil at Spindletop, reenactors commemorate the day the Lucas Gusher exploded (Jan. 10, 1901), shooting oil hundreds of feet into the air. The event features live reenactments, music, food, and blacksmithing and printing demonstrations and is held at the Spindletop-Gladys Boomtown Museum. (Jefferson County)
Feb. 16 – 18, Beaumont Mardi Gras. Beaumont considers itself the Cajun Capital of Texas and takes Mardi Gras seriously. Picture parades, concerts, a carnival, and more over four days. Concerts are held on the Great Lawn of the Event Center downtown. Options include a single-day or four-day pass to a gated entertainment area. The carnival is outside the gate, and parades are both in and outside the festival area. (Jefferson County)
Jan. 20-21, Yaga’s Chili Quest and Beer Fest in Galveston. January calls for chili and beer. This downtown festival starts with a 5K run on the beachfront, followed by chili tasting galore, with more than 40 teams competing for bragging rights. Make sure to purchase your tasting ticket and beer-tasting tickets early. (Galveston County)
Feb. 10-21, Mardi Gras! Galveston. Did you know Galveston hosts the third-largest Mardi Gras celebration in the United States? Parades, processions, balcony parties, and elegant balls span over two weekends and end on Fat Tuesday. Concerts take place in the gated entertainment district located in Galveston’s historic downtown. Parades take place on both the beachfront and downtown district. (Galveston County)
Jan. 28, Surfside Food & Art Festival. Surfside’s Food & Art Festival is a juried art festival featuring 22 art vendors. You’ll also enjoy live music, a chili cookoff with 15 competing teams, beer-tasting, and more. The festival takes place at Stahlman Park from 11 am to 5 pm. (Brazoria County)
Feb. 18, Mardi Gras Festival on Main Street Freeport. Freeport is hosting its second annual Mardi Gras festival on its Main Street, featuring a parade, gumbo cookoff, a King Cake eating contest, and live music. The festival is from 12 to 5 pm and is hosted by Freeport Main Street in partnership with the Freeport Economic Development Corporation and the Freeport Historical Museum. All-you-can-eat gumbo wristbands are $10. (Brazoria County)
Feb 11 – March 4, Matagorda County Fair at the Matagorda County Fairgrounds in Bay City. This county fair offers everything you’d expect. Fairgoers enjoy a rodeo, stock shows, a carnival, a petting zoo, a barbecue cookoff, youth rodeo clown contests, and much more. See the website for a detailed schedule. Tip: Purchase tickets early for the Bri Bagwell and Roger Creager Concert on Feb. 25. (Matagorda County).
Jan. 28, 7th Annual Wild Game and Wine Camofest in Bay City. Did you know an artist and Bay City native named Forest Clemenger Bess designed camouflage? Camofest celebrates Bay City as the “Gateway to the Great Outdoors,” offering live music, wine from local wineries, wild game tasting, and food inspired by Texas wines. Festivities are from noon to 6 pm in historic Downtown Bay City. (Matagorda County)
This list of must-do events is just a sampling of things to do in the Upper Texas Coast. For more ideas, click Things to Do and search by category.
Lone Star Coastal Alliance is committed to promoting nature and heritage tourism and outdoor recreation opportunities in Jefferson, Galveston, Brazoria, and Matagorda Counties.