Houston City Councilmember James Rodriguez told participants at the kickoff to the 42nd Houston International Festival that the event is the ultimate showcase to countries around the world.
"City of Houston being on the international stage, welcoming people to our great city to do business, to do commerce, but also to educate our children and the International Festival does that."
Kim Stollis is festival CEO. She says patrons will get the best of Argentinean and South American history, arts and culture.
"We work two to three years out on the featured country. It's a wonderful, energetic, romantic, colorful country, and how better to salute the international flavor of Houston, and then promote our diversity outside of Houston than to salute Argentina."
And it is no coincidence that HIF begins as Fiesta in San Antonio comes to an end. She says they expect some 250,000 people to take part in the celebration.
"It is a wonderful treat, not only for Houstonians and Argentineans, but for us as as organization to provide."
Robert Navarro chairs the board of the Houston Festival Foundation.
"Not only does the festival organization create an award-winning cultural education program and an amazing entertainment venue, it also through its business programs, provides a way for Houston corporations to form international relationships with the countries of honor."
The festival is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. the next two weekends near city hall. You can find more information at www.ifest.org.