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Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Festival
Olympian Simone Biles at the Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden in Houston, TX.
| Credit: James Macari / Sports Illustrated

Houston is about to have its hottest February on record. For the first time ever, Sports Illustrated is celebrating the launch of its Swimsuit Issue with a two-day music, food and culture festival smack dab in the middle of the bustling Texas city.

"VIBES" by Sports Illustrated Swimsuit will take over Post HTX in downtown Houston from February 17–18. The event will feature live performances by Grammy-winning artists Diplo and Miguel, a food festival curated by Houston's James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Shepherd and special appearances by the models of Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Class of 2017. (Sports Illustrated is owned by Southern Living parent company Time Inc.)

The celebration kicks off Friday with a public meet and greet, giving fans a chance to come meet the models, including Olympic gold medalists Simone Biles and Aly Raisman. The ticketed portion of the event will commence that evening with a food festival featuring favorites from well-known national and regional chefs, including Houston-native Chris Shepherd.

"I love my city, and I'm so glad the folks at Sports Illustrated have fallen in love with it, too," said Chris Shepherd, chef/owner of Houston restaurants Underbelly and One Fifth. "I've subscribed to Sports Illustrated since I was a kid, and I never thought I'd ever be involved in something as iconic as the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue launch in my hometown. It's going to be an incredible weekend shining a light on Houston—the food, culture, music. I can't wait!"

Day one culminates with a VIP performance by R&B sensation Miguel. The festival lineup continues Saturday with local Houston musicians, followed by headliner Diplo.

"We couldn't be more excited to bring the SI Swimsuit experience to America's fourth-largest city less than two weeks after the Super Bowl, the biggest event in sports, takes place in Houston," SI Swimsuit editor MJ Day said in a statement. "This year's ‘VIBES' event will be an all-new and expanded experience, offering fans a cultural festival that spotlights not only the amazing stars of the iconic Swimsuit issue, but the best in food, music and more."

Tickets for "VIBES" by Sports Illustrated Swimsuit are available for purchase now at VIP All Access (Friday & Saturday): $250; VIP Friday: $150; VIP Saturday: $150; General Admission Saturday: $35