Houston Community News >> Houston iFest Featuring China

4/19/2007 -- Celebrating its 36th year, the 2007 Houston International Festival spotlights China from April 21-22 & 28-29 with art markets and craft demonstrations, interactive exhibits, the return of free Friday lunchtime concerts and plenty of food and fun for all.

The Houston International Festival will continue its tradition as one of the largest presenters of world music anywhere on the planet. The 2007 event will feature hundreds of internationally acclaimed artists on nine performance venues throughout the festival site.

Stretching across 16 acres of downtown parks and streets including City Hall, Bagby Street, and Tranquility and Sam Houston Parks, this year’s outdoor event will feature seven international entertainment-themed zones including China, African-Caribbean, International, Target Kids, Texas/Latin, Louisiana and Jamaica.


The strong sights and sounds of China come to life at the China Zone spanning from City Hall to Upper Sam Houston Park. City Hall transforms into a Chinese dreamland where acrobats fly and dragon boats show their competitive colors. Featuring authentic Chinese cuisine, ice sculpture and papermaking exhibits, ping pong and a Chinese teahouse, China Zone provides Festival-goers with beautiful cultural, hands-on and educational experiences.

China Zone will host Washington Mutual Center Stage at City Hall, showcasing thrilling entertainment direct from China. The first weekend will present the incredible, dexterous Shenzhen Acrobatic Circus, a twenty-one member group with amazing choreography and stunts. The second weekend of the Festival will feature the Shaolin Kung Fu Spectacular. Twelve Shaolin Monks will demonstrate the historical art of Kung Fu using a variety of weapons including sticks, spears, swords and chi-kung to illustrate their incredible strength and technique.

Upper Sam Houston Park transforms into one of the most spectacular wonders of the Festival, home to the focal point of the China Zone. A 120’ long reproduction of the Great Wall of China allows Festival-goers to experience the magnificent winding wall and view numerous exhibits and information on the arts, culture and history of China along the way. Two towers along the wall will house exhibits, and visitors are encouraged to climb to the top of one of the towers for a great view of the Festival area.

China Zone will also feature Chinese calligraphy with demonstrations by master calligraphers, and local Chinese art students will paint and sell Chinese Zodiac paintings. The Chinese Teahouse will allow visitors to observe a traditional Chinese tea ceremony and sample a variety of teas. The Chinatown Market will also feature a variety of goods imported from China and will spotlight several vendors from Houston’s Chinatown area.

The H-E-B Cultural Stage at the China Zone will host H-E-B Cuisines of China, presenting multiple daily demonstrations and cooking lessons from local restaurateurs alongside celebrity media chefs. H-E-B Cultural Stage will also feature Dance of China showcasing cultural performances represented by the local Asian community, as well as Costumes of China, where visitors can view traditional costumes of China’s many ethnic groups.


More than 500 artists from around the world will exhibit and sell a huge array of handmade arts and crafts in eight unique arts markets scattered throughout several blocks of the Festival site. Tempting food from more than 50 of Houston's restaurants and caterers will offer a kaleidoscope of international cuisine.


The Festival will also host several additional events including free lunchtime concerts from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. during April 20 and 27 at City Hall. The Mayor’s Gala, a fundraiser for the Festival’s year-round arts, education and outreach programs, will be held on Thursday, April 19 at the Westin Galleria.


This year iFest is introducing new Festival hours. The Festival will take place Saturdays 1 p.m. – 10 p.m. and Sundays 1 p.m. – 8 p.m.


Tickets go on sale Monday, March 12 at Houston area H-E-B stores and online at IFest.org. All proceeds benefit Festival arts and education programs. The Festival suggests easy access parking in all downtown Theater District lots for $6.


Tickets for groups of 50 or more are $7.

Early Bird discount tickets are $8 until April 18.

Advance discount tickets are $10 from April 19 until April 29

Tickets at the gate are $13.

Child’s tickets (ages 4 – 11) are $3

Children 3 and under are free.

For more information on the 2007 Houston International Festival call 713-654-8808 or access the Festival’s official website at www.ifest.org.