The following is a list of some of the better know annual Austin Texas events. Please check festival or event websites for updated information as dates times and venues may change.
Polar Bear SplashBarton Springs Pool 2101 Barton Springs Road • www.sosalliance.org
For the last 30+ years Austinites have been plunging into Barton Springs Pool for this annual Austin version of the Polar Bear swim sponsored by the SOS Alliance a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of Barton Springs. Worried about the cold? Barton Springs is a constant 68 degrees so our human Polar Bears are much warmer than those in say Minnesota.
First Thursday on South Congress Avenue (Monthly Event)South Congress between Barton Springs Road and Elizabeth Street • www.firstthursday.info
First Thursday is a popular monthly event with the atmosphere of a giant block party. On the first Thursday of each month South Congress stores stay open late some with special sales on items food and drinks. Booths line the street selling handcrafted jewelry photography and art pottery homemade soap clothes and more and there’s also live music and even a Volkswagen parade!
Carnaval in AustinPalmer Events Center 900 Barton Springs Road • www.sambaparty.com
Known as “Austin’s Best Party” Carnaval in Austin is one of the biggest celebrations outside Brazil. Music and wild abandon merge into relentless fun for all.
Livestrong Austin Marathon and Half MarathonAustin • 512-476-7223 • www.youraustinmarathon.com
For more than 20 years the Livestrong Austin Marathon and Half Marathon event hosts as many as 20000 runners every year and has generated more than $90 million for the local economy and $6 million for Austin non-profits. The Marathon is the 23rd largest marathon in the United States and has been host to an international field of approximately 130000 runners over the years.
Zilker Kite FestivalZilker Park Austin • 512-448-5481 • www.zilkerkitefestival.com
Started in 1929 the Zilker Kite Festival is a staple in annual Austin events and celebrates the beauty of the homemade kite. Each year thousands of kites take to the air painting the blue sky with a miasma of bright colors. While attendees are encouraged to bring their own homemade kites to participate in the event the Festival is for anyone who wants to attend. Other activities include face painting games and contests rock wall climbing moonwalks and plenty of tasty food.
Capitol 10000Austin • 512-445-3598 • www.statesman.com/cap10k/
The Statesman Capitol 10000 is the largest 10K run (or walk if you wish) in Texas and the fifth largest in the nation. In its 34th year the Capitol 10000 has become an annual rite of spring in the region.
It’s My Park! DayAustin • 512-445-3598 • www.austinparks.org/itsmypark.html
It’s My Park! Day is an annual community service day event focused on improvements to Austin’s parks. Individuals and community groups lead projects ranging from simple cleaning and repair to trail building and playground installation.
South by Southwest (SXSW)Austin • 512-467-7979 • www.sxsw.com
South by Southwest (SXSW) offers the unique convergence of original music independent films and emerging technologies. Fostering creative and professional growth alike SXSW has been a premier destination for discovery for the last 25 years.
Rodeo Austin – Star of Texas Fair & RodeoAustin • 512-919-3000 • www.rodeoaustin.com
Founded in 1938 the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo hosts the world’s fifth largest indoor regular season ProRodeo event which includes an amusement park for kids of all ages and great entertainment from artists in a range of musical genres from rock to country.
Eeyore’s Birthday Party
Austin • 512-448-5160 • www.eeyores.com
A fun event for all ages Eeyore’s Birthday Party is an annual fundraiser that benefits a multitude of Austin nonprofit groups. Besides food soft drinks and beer there are prizes for the best costume (pretty much anything goes so be creative!) facepainting live music and more.
Art City Austin
Austin • 512-609-8591 • www.artallianceaustin.org
Reflecting Austin’s intense creative energy Art City Austin is a spring celebration of the arts in the city’s popular 2ND Street District. Event includes lots of art and artists live music local eats a Kid’s Block and more.
Old Settler’s Music Festival
Austin • 512-609-8591 • www.oldsettlersmusicfest.org
The Old Settler’s Music Festival is Central Texas’ signature music event featuring Americana roots music arts and crafts camping food and more. Some of the musical genres at the Festival include acoustic jazz and blues bluegrass favorite local musicians and award-winning artists from around the world.
Annual O. Henry Pun-Off World ChampionshipAustin • www.punpunpun.com
Celebrate the lowest form of humor in high style at the O. Henry Pun-Off World Championships where participants “jest for a wordy cause!” This freestyle competition for punsters with prepared material allows 90 seconds “for creative have-wits from every crook and nanny to stuff their struts.” The festivities also include live music BBQ and a vintage book sale.
Austin Wine and Music FestivalAustin • www.austinwineandmusicfestival.com
Great music and great wine merge with seminars vendors and more at this annual Festival held near the Domain shopping area each year.
Kerrville Folk FestivalBastrop • 830-257-3599 • www.kerrville-music.com
This annual summer festival which runs from May into June features some 100 of the top folk musicians in the country. Some artists and muscial groups include 3 Penny Acre Del Rey Flyin’ A’s Guy Forsyth and Ronny Cox.
Beyond the Lights Celebrity Golf ClassicAustin • 323-359-8680 • www.beyondthelights.org
Inspired by the hit TV show Friday Night Lights the Beyond the Lights Celebrity Golf Classic raises funds to help those with spinal cord injuries. Join celebrity hosts for this fun golfing event which includes a cocktail reception live and silent auctions dinner charity presentation and entertainment.
Keep Austin Weird Fest and 5kLong Center Austin • 512-524-2953 • www.keepaustinweirdfest.com
Keep Austin Weird Fest is a salute to the nonconformist in every Austinite. True to form the event includes a variety of entertainment and events that celebrate the city’s eclectic and artistic nature including a symphonic selection of music family activities weird and wacky costumes and local food and drink vendors.
Republic of Texas Biker Rally (ROT Rally)Austin • 512-252-9768 • www.rotrally.com
The Republic of Texas Biker Rally is the biggest motorcycle rally in Texas and one of largest motorcycle events in the U.S. Come and enjoy the amazing motorcycles and the Austin nightlife during the four-day event. The Rally is known for great music too – past headliners have included Hank Williams Jr. Willie Nelson Bret Michaels Joan Jett Paul Rogers Steppenwolf David Allen Coe and Charlie Daniels.
KGSR’s Blues on the GreenAustin • www.kgsr.com/other/blues/
Bring your friends and family every other Wednesday evening between June and August to enjoy six big nights of Austin’s longest running FREE music series. Enjoy food from local restaurants and stop by the local charity area for volunteer and donation information. Blankets lawn chairs dogs on leashes and children are all welcome.
JuneteenthAustin • 512-369-2725 • www.juneteenthcentraltexas.com
Also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day Juneteenth honors African American heritage by commemorating the announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. State of Texas in 1865 and is recognized as a state holiday in 37 U.S. states. A day of both reflection and celebration the event features entertainment vendors a pageant and parade and a 2K Freedom Run/Walk.
H-E-B Austin Symphony July Fourth Concert and FireworksAustin • 512-476-6242 • www.austinsymphony.org
This yearly celebration of independence at Austin’s Town Lake is marked by music and a spectacular fireworks display. Bring a blanket and come early!
Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce FestivalAustin • 512-454-5766 • www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Market/HotSauce
Come join this beautiful confluence of music and hot culinary delights! This spicy event is free with a donation of 3 non-perishable food items for The Capital Area Food Bank of Texas.
Austin Ice Cream FestivalAustin • 512-480-5966 • www.icecreamfestival.org
The Austin Ice Cream Festival is an event centered around family fun and ice cream which harkens back to a time when ice cream trucks roamed the streets and running through sprinklers was an art form. Come out and enjoy contests music and of course iced treats.
Batfest / Night of the BatAustin • 512-441-9015
This unique celebration of one of the region’s most interesting natural wonders attracts around 40000 and features arts and crafts music food bat watching children’s activities and educational displays. Enjoy the scenic backdrop of Lady Bird Lake and downtown Austin as two million Mexican Free Tail Bats emerge for their nightly flight at this free event.
Pecan Street FestivalAustin • 512-485-3190 • www.oldpecanstreetfestival.com
The Pecan Street Festival held in both spring and fall has been an Austin tradition for more than 30 years. The show features local artisans who display and sell homemade art and craftwork. Festival attendees can find paintings sculpture woodwork candles jewelry cowboy hats clothes home decor games and other useful and whimsical household items.
Austin TriathlonAuditorum Shore • 800 West Riverside Drive • www.trirock.competitor.com
Now part of the Land Rover TriRock Triathlon Series the Austin Triathlon is an annual world-class event that attracts top local and international athletes and spectators.
Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL Fest)Zilker Park • 2100 Barton Springs Road • 512-505-4483 • www.aclfestival.com
This annual three-day musical event brings home the city’s nickname as the Live Music Capital of the World with a huge array of artists from local and international stages. In all the ACL Festival hosts more than 130 acts playing rock indie country folk electronic and more on Zilker Park’s eight stages with more than 70000 fans that attend each day.
Austin Chocolate FestivalAustin • 512-637-0479 • www.austinchocolatefestival.com
Finally! A chocolate event that’s guilt-free! The Austin Chocolate Festival is a nonprofit fundraiser for local charities that consists of local chocolatiers and chocolate experts including restaurants bakeries chocolatiers patisseries authors and catering companies. The vendors compete against each other in several categories as well as offer samples and yummy products for sale.
Austin Film FestivalAustin • 512-478-4795 • www.austinfilmfestival.com
The Austin Film Festival furthers the art and craft of filmmaking by “inspiring and championing the work of screenwriters filmmakers and all artists who use the language of film to tell a story.” This annual Austin event attracts top movie executives producers screenwriters and filmmakers.
Texas Book FestivalAustin • 512-478-4795 • www.texasbookfestival.org
Established in 1995 by former First Lady Laura Bush – a former librarian and ardent literacy supporter – the Texas Book Festival celebrates authors and their contributions to the culture of literacy ideas and imagination. This Austin event has become one of the premier literary festivals in the country annually hosting more than 200 Texas and nationally-known authors. Approximately 40000 visitors participate annually in a weekend of author readings and presentations panel discussions book signings and musical entertainment.
Austin Celtic FestivalAustin • 512-385-1670 • www.austincelticfestival.com
The Austin Celtic Festival is the largest gathering of Celts in Central Texas. Its attractions and activities run the gambit of Celtic culture including music dance athletic competitions history animals and artisans.
East Austin Studio TourAustin • 512-385-1670 • www.eastaustinstudiotour.com
Come and explore the creative enclave of East Austin in this celebration of East Austin artist studios music and more.
ThunderCloud Subs Turkey TrotZilker Park Austin • 512-479-8805 • www.thundercloud.com/index.php/trot
Every Thanksgiving Day for the past 20 years the ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot five mile race has helped to raise more than a million dollars for local charities. This unique running Austin event has something for everyone including a chip-timed five-mile run a one-mile walk and a Kids K.
Zilker Tree Lighting CeremonyZilker Park Austin • 512-972-9867 • www.ci.austin.tx.us/zilker/zhttree.htm
It’s just not the holidays until you twirl under the Zilker Tree! Come to Zilker Park every night in December and watch the spectacle of the light of the Zilker Tree which stands 155 feet tall and is composed of 39 streamers that hold more than 3300 lights. A double star at the top of the tree measures 10 feet from point to point.
Armadillo Christmas BazaarAustin • 512-477-1605 • www.armadillobazaar.com
Celebrating its 38th season in 2013 the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar is an Austin Texas tradition with an incredible selection of original work made right here in Austin by some 160 artists and artisans – from affordable gifts to high-end art. It’s the city’s favorite shopping party complete with live music and a full bar. Gift givers art collectors and music lovers can grab a beer dance a bit and have fun while they shop at the event.
North Pole FlyerCedar Park • 512-477-8468 • www.austinsteamtrain.org
The Austin Steam Train Association helps Santa Claus and Mrs Claus celebrate Christmas aboard the North Pole Flyer (Most weekends in December). This 2- to 2-1/2 hour round-trip holiday celebration train ride is sure to please young and old alike as they experience the train’s own Christmas story.