HOUSTON, Texas -- We wouldn't blame anyone for staying in the ice-cold air conditioning this weekend, but for those who venture out, plenty of fun awaits. Thousands of locals and visitors will descend upon downtown for the biggest pop culture convention in Texas.
Francophiles can celebrate Bastille Day, while beer fans can raise a glass to a big pub crawl. Nature lovers can learn the secret life of bees, while Rick James gets his due in a funky musical. And sneakerheads can get their kicks at a cool pop-up.
Stay cool. Here are your best bets for the weekend.
Thursday, July 14
Co-organized by the Consulate General of France in Houston and The French-American Chamber of Commerce in Texas, Bastille Day Houston features French wine and offerings from Flo Paris, Magnol Bakery, La Tartine Houston, French Corner Crpes, and Arts & Crpes. There will also be family entertainment, pétanque, PSG Academy, face painting, balloon animals, and French DJ Julien Nolan. 6 p.m.
The Masked Singer National Tour will bring the No. 1 show on television to the next level on its first-ever, North American tour. It will be hosted by former contestant and Grammy-nominated singer Natasha Bedingfield. Audiences can expect to see their favorite characters brought to life, as well as surprise celebrity guests, new performances, and a can't-miss, spectacular live show. The only question remains: Who's behind the mask? See if you can guess before the end of the show. 7:30 p.m.
This is the final weekend to catch this funkafied, coming-of-age musical. Set in 1979, it follows the life of Sherman, on his journey to find his glow while working for Rick James -- aka the King of Punk Funk. While navigating college, peer acceptance, and living up to others' expectations, it takes the wild and crazy James to help Sherman learn that fitting in isn't important, but busting out is. This is a must-see for fans of James and his funk classics (or those who mostly know him from that Chappelle's Show episode where Charlie Murphy told insane stories about hanging with James). 7:30 p.m. (2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday).
Friday, July 15
The biggest pop culture-anime-gaming convention in Texas is back for a weekend of fun for locals and visitors at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Expect thousands to show up in their best cosplay for three days of celebrity panels, discussions, gaming contests, techy demonstrations, anime displays, tons of shopping, and much, much more. Don't miss the opening night party on Friday that features a dance bash and Mario Kart (64, natch) battles. Check out the full story. Starts Friday.