Taiwan Festival Houston: Puppets, DIY Boba, and More, 5/18/24

Taiwan Festival Houston: Puppets, DIY Boba, and More, 5/18/24
Image Credit: Taiwanese Heritage Society of Houston

Young and old are invited to join hands-on activities, eat unique food, and learn about Taiwanese culture at Taiwan Festival Houston 2024 on Saturday, May 18, from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

No need to worry about the heat. The festival will be indoors at the Taiwanese Community Center in Sharpstown. Evelyn Hsu, chairwoman of the Taiwanese Heritage Society of Houston, said the building can hold hundreds.

The festival celebrates Taiwanese American Heritage Week and Taiwan's diverse cultures, including the Hoklo, the Hakka, and the aboriginal people often called Formosans.

The festival includes puppet shows, balloon art, DIY booths, lunch, and more. Several booths and events are free, but all the DIY booths cost tickets. Participants can purchase tickets at the event in bundles: $15 for two tickets or $30 for five tickets.

Hsu said she wants to build "a bridge with other communities" so that they can come "celebrate with us." In the future, she also wants to cooperate to promote events for other cultures—she sees Taiwanese Americans and other Americans as a "big, big, big family."

Here are the festival details:

The Free Stuff

Balloon Art Show

  • Newcomers will be greeted by a balloon artist making dragons (or other creations) at the door.

Taiwanese Puppet Show

  • Puppeteers will perform "The Legend of Sun Moon Lake."
  • Showtimes: 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM

Taiwan Fun Facts Booth

  • Learn more about Taiwan: famous people, a famous bicycle, the tallest building, and more.

Taiwan Tea Art Booth

  • Learn about the importance of tea in Taiwanese culture.
  • Get a small, free cup of tea.

Calligraphy Live Show

  • Spencer Lee, calligrapher for 17 years, will be displaying his brush skills.
  • Free to watch, but...
  • To bring calligraphy home, participants must purchase it using tickets. Lee can teach participants how to write their names—or "anything they want," said Hsu—in calligraphy.

Photo Booth

  • Participants can take photographs in the clothing of Taiwan's aboriginal people.

Cultural Exhibit and Library

  • The Ya-Yen Lee Memorial Library will be open during the festival.
  • The collection includes several Taiwanese artifacts and books.
Two larger sky lanterns, hanging in the front entrance of TCC, made by local schoolchildren

The Not-Free Stuff

DIY Boba Milk Tea

  • Learn how to mix boba tea.
  • Ingredients prepared already—just choose how much milk tea, boba, and ice you want.
  • Cost: 1 ticket per person

DIY Daikon Lanterns

  • Participants get kits to carve traditional Taiwanese daikon lanterns out of white radishes.
  • Cost: 2 tickets per person

DIY Hakka Mochi

  • Learn how to make a special Hokka mochi (rice cake), which is different from Japanese red bean mochi.
  • Cost: 1 ticket per person

DIY Sky Lanterns

  • Make a small sky lantern.
  • Hsu clarified that these lanterns are just for decoration—they won't actually float.
  • Cost: 1 ticket per person

DIY Taiwanese Honeycomb Toffee

  • Learn how to make Taiwanese honeycomb toffee. "It's very traditional," said Hsu.
  • Cost: 1 ticket per person

Face Painting

  • Participants can create their own designs or imitate the face painting used by Taiwan's aboriginal people.
  • Cost: 1 ticket per person


  • Traditional Taiwanese food, including ba-wan and you fan, delivered by a restaurant.
  • Attendees can purchase various food items with tickets.

Just the Essential Facts...

Where: Taiwanese Community Center, 5885 Point West Dr

When: Saturday, May 18, 2024, 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Cost: some events and booths are free, but all DIY booths cost tickets ($15 for two tickets, $30 for five). Lunch costs tickets.