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THINGS TO DO AND PLACES TO GO

Houston Metropolitan Chamberff Special Events

For information on these events, call (713) 666-1521.

60TH ANNIVERSARY GALA

The 60th Anniversary Gala was held at Regal Ranch in 2009. An evening of recognition, thanks and celebration of all those who generously contributed volunteer hours and sponsorships to the Chamber, it honored the outgoing chairman of the board, introduced the new chairman, and recognized outstanding businesses. Those members of 40 years or more were also recognized.

GOLF TOURNAMENT

This event gets bigger and better each year with lunch, dinner, driving range, locker room privileges, and snacks and drinks throughout the day. On-course contests and mulligans add to the fun. A steak dinner and silent auctions follow for golfers and non-golfers.

BELLAIRE FALL AND SPRING ART FESTIVAL

These events draw nearly 5,000 visitors each April and October. More than 150 artists and artisans display their handmade items near the trolley in the 5000 block of Bellaire Boulevard. Delicious food adds to these free fun family outings. For information on the festival, call (713) 662-3020.

HAUTE IN HOUSTON: A CULINARY CELEBRATION

The annual Haute in Houston event showcases more than 40 restaurants, hotels and other food and beverage providers from the area. Cooking demonstrations, live music, raffles and a culinary-themed silent auction add to the fun. This casual dine-around event is open to all.

PILLAR AWARDS LUNCHEON

This winter event honors the out-going and in-coming board chairmen as well as presenting the Pillar Award to the outstanding members of the previous year.

HOMETOWN HEROES LUNCHEON

The Chamber recognizes firefighters and police officers that serve Southwest Houston. This lovely event pays tribute to those who rarely get thanked for the daily sacrifices and the services they provide.

Other Exciting Events

BAYOU CITY ART FESTIVALS

In the fall, the festival is held downtown, while the spring show is located at Memorial Park. Both feature over 300 artists of various media in juried shows. Music, food, and drink add to the festivities. (713) 521-0133, www.bayoucityartfestival.com

HOLIDAY IN THE PARK-BELLAIRE

Santa’s official arrival in Bellaire is the highlight of this celebration sponsored by the Bellaire Parks and Recreation Department. Held the first Thursday in December, Bellaire Park (behind City Hall), is converted into a winter wonderland. Children can give Santa their wish lists and have their pictures taken with him. (713) 662-8222 / www.ci.bellaire.tx.us

AZALEA TRAIL

The Azalea Trail, Houston’s elegant showcase of Southern culture, winds through beautifully landscaped yards and gardens in the River Oaks area each March for two weekends. The River Oaks Garden Club at Westheimer and Kirby is the headquarters for the event. Trail-goers can visit the club’s gardens and buy tickets to visit various private residences. (713) 523-2483 / www.riveroaksgardenclub.org

HOUSTON LIVESTOCK SHOW AND RODEO

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, scheduled for March 2-21, 2010 offers entertainment and activities for all Houstonians, as well as an international audience that comes to town especially for this event. The main purpose of the show, which began in 1932, is for young farmers to show their stock in competition and gain financial support for their continuing education. The event is held in Reliant Stadium and Reliant Center. Country and western stars, as well as rock singers and other outstanding groups, perform throughout the rodeo. The Livestock Show features cattle, chickens, sheep, and other animals among the 28,000 entries. Held at Reliant Park, 8400 Kirby at Loop 610. (832) 667-1000 / www.rodeohouston.com

JUNETEENTH

Juneteenth is a holiday unique to Texas. It celebrates June 19, the day in 1863 when word finally reached Texas that President Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation, legally freeing all slaves. Blues and jazz performers entertain at Miller Outdoor Theatre and at other venues the weekend closest to June 19. (713) 520-3290

THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE

A favorite with children, the parade winds through the streets of downtown Houston with floats, marching bands, baton twirlers, majorettes, drummers, and of course, Santa Claus. It officially kicks off the holiday season.