H-Town Global Festival's Visit to Sharpstown

H-Town Global Festival's Visit to Sharpstown
Singers performing the South Vietnamese national anthem at the H-Town Global Festival. Image Credit: Ana Garcia

On June 23, 2023, crowds buzzed inside a rectangle formed by approximately 32 booths and an entertainment stage in the parking lot east of PlazAmericas.

It was day one of the H-Town Global Festival, a three-day cultural event held by the Vietnamese Community of Houston and Vicinities (VNCH). It was packed with live performances and food vendors, representing Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican, and Filipino cultures.

The opening ceremony began around 6:10 PM with remarks in Vietnamese from an emcee in bright white pants. A woman in a black dress (blossoming with orange, purple, and blue) joined him to introduce the festival in English.

As the flags of America, South Vietnam, and Texas flew over the stage, a young woman in a red and white dress sang “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and then seven women in light green ao dai (traditional Vietnamese dresses) sang the South Vietnamese national anthem.

Next was a mournful song on saxophones. The musicians, Thein Tam Do and Thein Nhi Do, are a sister duo from the Music Family Institute on Bellaire Blvd.

Soon, District F Council Member Tiffany Thomas climbed the stairs to the stage in high heels and an ao dai of her own. She and several other speakers delivered addresses before the festival kicked off with four dancers flourishing wide, round hats and performing to a blend of traditional and electronic music.

Vendors included Boba House, which claims to be one of the first pet-friendly boba shops in Houston, Baan Thai, which has been serving Thai street food since 2021, and B&B Concession.

Bryan Chu, President of the VNCH, has been running the festival for ten years. The festival is one of the ways for the VNCH’s community center to raise funds for social work services, including free phone services, estate planning, self-defense classes, dance classes, and tax returns.

Chu’s hope for future festivals is to bring in as many ethnic groups as possible. He said that in the past the festival has been packed shoulder-to-shoulder and he hopes to recover that. He was proud of the VNCH volunteers: “No one got paid and [they] had so many people coming out to set up and work.”

Chu says he loves what he does: “I have time to give to the community. It makes me happy to see people happy.”


Kace’ Conaway is a legal studies major at Houston Christian University. She has always had a deep love for writing and is grateful for the opportunity to share that love with the Sharpener and its readers. She hopes her work will have a positive impact on campus and in the Sharpstown community.

Tyess Korsmo, the Sharpener's editor-in-chief, moved to Sharpstown in 2019 to earn his Master of Liberal Arts at HCU, where he now teaches English and history. He also teaches English in a maximum-security prison.