Culture / Entertainment

Houston’s Ultimate Labor Day Weekend Guide — the 5 Best Things to Do

The Weekend Gurus Tackle the Holiday

BY Virginia Reynolds and Matthew Ramirez // 08.29.19

Houston weekends are packed full of events, but how many of them are truly worthy of your time? PaperCity’s new events calendar offers a curated look at all the best things to do in the area. But everyone can still use a guru — or two.

PaperCity Weekend Gurus Matthew Ramirez and Virginia Reynolds cull our calendar for your weekend must dos in this weekly series. This holiday weekend it’s all about Labor Day fun — and one last blast of summer.

Consider this your guide to Houston’s Best Labor Day Weekend events:

BrewMasters Craft Beer Festival

Labor Day always signifies the final breath of fun, sun and freedom before the stresses of the school year. Besides its legitimate and historical significance, Labor Day also seems to be a dedicated day to reward us all for surviving the first official week of school in Houston (and its side effects, like increased traffic).

This weekend is set to be an idyllic one, complete with blazing temps and full sunshine, so make the most of it and head down to Galveston for the BrewMasters Craft Beer Festival. The three-day festival begins this Friday, August 30 and runs through Sunday, September 1, giving you the Monday of Labor Day to fully recover from the damage.

There will be special events held on each day of the festival, beginning with “Nach-Yo Ordinary Tequila Tasting” on Friday, which will feature high-quality tequilas for tasting and (most importantly) a full nacho bar. The weekend will continue with a “BrewHaHa Grand Tasting” event on Saturday, and a delicious “Brew-B-Que” on Sunday (think beer, Feges BBQ, spirits and live music).

Tickets start at $8. Weekend passes are $165.

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing.

Happy Birthday Houston Celebration

The Weekend Gurus would personally like to thank the Allen Brothers for founding this great city named after former Republic of Texas president, good ol’ Sam Houston. Though Houston has been highly underrated for years, Houstonians have always known of Bayou City’s greatness. H-Town boasts exceptional arts, culinary prowess, and unmatched diversity (literally).

This Saturday, August 31, head Downtown to The Heritage Society to celebrate the city’s rich history and trailblazing ways at the Happy Birthday Houston Celebration! The party, chaired by Mister McKinney of Mister McKinney’s Historic Houston open-air bus, (alongside The Heritage Society) will be an all-things-Houston occasion, with food from renowned Bollo Woodfired Pizza, drinks from Saint Arnold Brewing Company, and a special birthday cake compliments of Houston-staple, Three Brothers Bakery.

The day will also include live music, “appearances” from the Allen Brothers and “Mother of Houston” Charlotte Baldwin Allen, plus free tours of the homes at The Heritage Society, and of course free educational tours of historic Downtown via McKinney’s Houston History Bus.

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing.

Taste of the Caribbean Festival

Ah, the Caribbean: a dreamlike retreat known for its sunny skies, crystal-blue waters and exquisite white sands. Who wouldn’t love to book an extended vacation to visit each island – tasting, living, and experiencing the beauty and splendor of the region?

But if a trip to the Caribbean isn’t quite in the cards yet, you can at least get a taste of that dream vacay this weekend at the 3rd Annual Taste of the Caribbean Festival, to be held on Sunday, September 1 in Sugar Land.

The festival will be a giant celebration of all the food, music, history and culture that make up the islands in the Caribbean. You can expect poetry, art, food highlighting each nation’s special flavors, and live reggae, soca, salsa, merengue, and other musical styles.

Tickets are $20.

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing.

¡Eso Es! Festival

It’s not entirely accurate to say that Latin music (in the pop/rock/hip-hop vein) is back, because it never went away for those with discerning ears. However, on the heels of J. Balvin, Bad Bunny, Ozuna and Rosalia all appearing on this past Monday’s MTV Video Music Awards (with Rosalia herself taking home a moon man), the audience for music recorded in Spanish or music recorded by Latinx artists is swelling.

¡Eso Es! is a great documentation of this movement – it’s a mini-festival touring only Texas headlined by chillwave maestro Neon Indian (hailing from Denton), Empress Of (her electronic 2015 album Me is a perfect 10 masterpiece, and her 2018 album Us was a poppier, bilingual affair), trap-rapper La Goony Chonga, indie rockers Luna Luna, and Bidi Bidi Banda, a tribute to the queen of Tejano music, Selena. Houston-based DJs Bombon also open the festival, which swings through White Oak Music Hall this Thursday, August 29.

Doors open at 6 pm with tickets starting at $25.50. All proceeds from the four festival dates will go towards the El Paso Community Foundation. -Matthew Ramirez

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing.

Mo Amer Mania

Mo Amer is a gregarious, insightful comedian with a lot on his mind. Born in Kuwait, his parents fled as refugees to Houston in 1990. I’ve admired Amer from afar but it wasn’t until his breakout role in the smart and sweet Hulu comedy Ramy that his star power came through.

His role on Ramy is star-making, as he channels his natural burly charm as Ramy’s blue-collar cousin who owns a Queens diner – the perfect role for Amer, who tones down his oft-brash persona for something almost Cassavetes-like in its naturalism. He’ll be at the Improv this weekend.

Read Shelby Hodge’s in-depth sit-down with Amer here for way more about the Houston comedian. -Matthew Ramirez

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing.

Burna Boy

Few musical breakouts in 2019 have been as welcome as the Nigerian-born Burna Boy, who’s gone from a feature on Drake’s 2017 “playlist” More Life to an album, African Giant, that was released to near-universal acclaim in late July, and plum placement on the Beyonce-curated soundtrack to the live-action remake of The Lion King.

African Giant‘s crowd-pleasing mix of Afrobeat (Burna Boy’s grandfather managed Nigerian icon Fela Kuti), American R&B, a splash of dancehall, and hip-hop is the soundtrack to the waning days of the summer. It’s memorable for its confident pop songwriting, as well as Burna Boy’s insistence on making his music accessible (with guest turns from Future, YG, and Jorja Smith) without watering down its African roots to whatever nebulous “world music” tropes exist.

He’ll be at Revention Music Center this Sunday, September 1. Doors open at 7 pm; tickets are $43.50. -Matthew Ramirez

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing.

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