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Houston is a diverse city with a large and growing international community. Many annual events celebrate the diverse cultures of Houston. The largest and longest running is the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, held over 20 days from late February to early March, which is the largest anywhere in the world. Another large celebration is the annual night-time Houston Pride Parade, held at the end of June. Other annual events include the Houston Greek Festival, Art Car Parade, the Houston Auto Show, the Houston International Festival and the Bayou City Art Festival, which is considered to be one of the top five art festivals in the United States.

Houston has an active visual and performing arts scene. The Theater District is located downtown and is home to nine major performing arts organizations and six performance halls. Houston is one of few US cities with permanent, professional, resident companies in all major performing arts disciplines; Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet, Houston Symphony Orchestra, and The Alley Theater.

The Museum District has many popular cultural institutions and exhibits, which attract more than 7 million visitors a year. Notable facilities include The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, the Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Holocaust Museum Houston, and the Houston Zoo. Located outside, but within proximity of the Museum District are The Menil Collection and Rothko Chapel.

Houston has teams for nearly every major professional sport. The Houston Astros (MLB), Houston Texans (NFL), Houston Rockets (NBA), Houston Dynamo (MLS), Houston Wranglers (WTT), Houston Energy (IWFL), Houston Leones (PDL), H-Town Texas Cyclones (IWFL), Houston Power (WFA), and the Houston Lightning (SIFL) all call Houston home.