The 2018 Art Car Parade got topical. 

Image: Emily Jaschke

Crimes of the Heart

April 12–May 5 | Alley Theatre

Revisit this 1981 Pulitzer winner as it follows three sisters reconnecting in their Mississippi home where shots are fired, dreams are weighed, and family tested. And once you see the stage version, be sure chase it with the 1986 film starring Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange, and Sissy Spacek—you'll be hard pressed to pick a favorite. 

Tickets from $26. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas Ave. 713-220-5700. More info and tickets at alleytheatre.org.

32nd Annual Art Car Parade

April 13 | Downtown

More than 300,000 folks will line the streets from 2 to 4 p.m. for this beloved annual parade of cars and bikes and buses outfitted to look like ladybugs, airplanes, the North Pole, and anything else local artists dream up. If you want even more action, the weekend kicks off Friday with the Art Car Ball—with music, costume pageant, and plenty of drinks—and continues through Sunday, when organizers crown winners and award $15,000 in prize money.

Free. Parade begins near Allen Parkway and Bagby Street (full route available here). More info at thehoustonartcarparade.com.

The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival

April 13–14 | The Woodlands Waterway

This local mainstay offers suburban access to real-deal pieces from dozens of artists working across 14 mediums. It's grown into something of a food and wine festival, too, so even if your gallery wall is complete, there's still a compelling reason to make the trip to the Waterway.

Tickets $18. The Woodlands Town Center, 2099 Lake Robbins Dr. More info and tickets at thewoodlandsartcouncil.org. 

Japan Festival

April 13–14 | Hermann Park

Presumably timed for when the park's Ken Nakajima-designed Japanese garden is in peak season, this festival features fashion shows, karate demonstrations, tea ceremonies, and something they call a "sake village." 

Free. Hermann Park, 6001 Fannin St. More info at houstonjapanfest.org.

7th Annual Houston Barbecue Festival

April 14 | Humble Civic Center

This month, our dining editor wrote that with the addition of Blood Bros and Truth BBQ, "the Bayou City barbecue scene is positively scorching right now." Pit masters from more than 30 establishments will gather this weekend for you to see for yourself.

Tickets from $60. Humble Civic Center Arena Complex, 8233 Will Clayton Pkwy. More info and tickets via Eventbrite.

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