Austin is a 24-hour town populated by an upstart mix of musicians, tech experts, film pros, athletes and foodies–and our yearly events calendar shows it. For a more comprehensive event list of the variety of things happening in Austin, go to visitaustin.org/events. JANUARY FREE WEEK Various Locations, freeweek.do512.com The first week of January might be the best time for a music fan to visit Austin. Why? Hundreds of Austin bands participate in this annual event that encompasses multiple venues all over Austin. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. FESTIVAL Huston-Tillotson University, mlkcelebration.com Join the march from the MLK statue at the University of Texas campus to historic Huston-Tillotson University to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy for Austin and the world. FEBRUARY AUSTIN MARATHON & HALF MARATHON Downtown Austin, youraustinmarathon.com Austin welcomes nearly 20,000 participants from around the world for the Annual Austin Marathon & Half Marathon. This exciting event showcases Austin’s scenic urban landscape for both runners and spectators alike. BLACK HISTORY MONTH Various Locations, visitaustin.org To commemorate Black History Month there will be events, including film screenings and ceremonies throughout the city, celebrating important people and moments in time in African-American history. CARNAVAL BRASILEIRO Palmer Events Center, sambaparty.com This festival will give Austin a taste of Brazil, merging music, dance and culture into one huge party. Austin’s Carnaval is one of the biggest celebrations outside of Brazil (because everything is bigger in Texas) and everyone can participate, so bring your best samba and prepare to dance the night away. MARCH ART CITY AUSTIN Palmer Events Center, artallianceaustin.org Austin’s original fine arts festival and national juried art show of 200 locally and nationally recognized artists and galleries is a family-friendly event featuring local food trailers, beer, cocktails and interactive projects for kids of all ages. AUSTIN URBAN MUSIC FESTIVAL Auditorium Shores, urbanmusicfest.com More than 15,000 music revelers converge on Lady Bird Lake’s Auditorium Shores to enjoy Austin’s only music festival focused on R&B, neo-soul and hip-hop music. CLYDE LITTLEFIELD TEXAS RELAYS The University of Texas, texassports.com This premier track and field event brings together the best high school, college and professional athletes from across Texas, the U.S. and the world. RODEO AUSTIN Travis County Exposition Center, rodeoaustin.com Since its inception in 1938, this local event has grown from a simple stock show featuring 16 animals into one of the state’s premier rodeos. Over the course of two weeks, the Rodeo features 10 ProRodeo events, a family-friendly fair, daily concerts and more. ST. PATRICK’S DAY FESTIVAL Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farms, stpatricksdayaustin.com This family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day fest celebrates all things Irish. Come enjoy authentic Celtic music and dancers, Irish language workshops, the finest Irish imports and plenty of good craic! SXSW® MUSIC, FILM AND INTERACTIVE CONFERENCES AND FESTIVALS Various Locations, sxsw.com Austin Convention Center and more than 50 venues host noted filmmakers, musicians and multimedia artists from around the world who converge to showcase music, film and interactive media during this internationally recognized event. ZILKER GARDEN FESTIVAL Zilker Botanical Garden, zilkergarden.org For more than 60 years, the annual Zilker Garden Festival has been a one-stop garden shopping destination when spring arrives in Central Texas. A family-friendly event, the garden festival offers something for everyone, including the annual flower show, live music, gardening talks, a kid’s corner and food court. ZILKER PARK KITE FESTIVAL Zilker Park, abckitefestival.org The nation’s oldest kite festival features hundreds of kites in the air and is free to attend for people of all ages; complete with kite flying contests, food, games and more. APRIL AUSTIN FOOD + WINE FESTIVAL Auditorium Shores, austinfoodandwinefestival.com Join top chef talent, sommeliers and winemakers from across the nation and Austin’s own acclaimed gourmet scene for an indulgent, three-day epicurean adventure unlike any other, topped off with live musical performances. AUSTIN REGGAE FEST Auditorium Shores, austinreggaefest.com A fundraiser for the Capital Area Food Bank, Reggae Fest features three days of reggae, world and dub talent, along with more than 50 vendors selling food, and arts and crafts. EEYORE’S ANNUAL BIRTHDAY PARTY Pease Park, eeyores.org Live music, beer, food, acrobats and costume contests surround this annual gathering of Austin’s most eclectic locals. Eeyore’s Birthday serves as a fundraiser to benefit many local Austin nonprofits. EUPHORIA FEST Carson Creek Ranch, euphoriafest.com Live music, camping, yoga and a variety of mindful workshops come together at this immersive four-day festival. Musical styles bridge the gaps between hip-hop, electronic, ambient, tribal and experimental. FUSEBOX FESTIVAL Various locations, fuseboxfestival.com A festival of adventurous artists and projects from around the world working in a variety of different art forms taking place in various locations around the city. LEVITATION FEST Carson Creek Ranch, levitation-austin.com Mark your calendars: Levitation Fest will return to Carson Creek Ranch in 2018. Enjoy a weekend full of live music, psychedelic light shows, on-site camping and more. LOUISIANA SWAMP THING AND CRAWFISH FESTIVAL The Austin American Statesman Parking Lot, roadwayevents.com It’s a Cajun festival in Texas. More than 5,000 pounds of crawfish are consumed at this annual event, which also features zydeco, brass band, funk, blues and rock music. MOONTOWER COMEDY & ODDITY FESTIVAL Paramount Theatre and Other Locations, austintheatre.org Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival, presented by the Paramount Theatre, brings to Austin some of the funniest, wittiest and oddest world-class comics from around the globe. National headliners, up-and-comers and local Austin-based comedians ensure a hilarious night of fun. MOTOGP™ GRAND PRIX OF THE AMERICAS Circuit of The Americas™, circuitoftheamericas.com MotoGP™, the pinnacle of all motorcycle World Championships, joins the roster of racing events at the Circuit of The Americas™ track with a three-day series at the purpose-built Grand Prix venue. With the addition of this race, the new circuit is the first North American racing venue to host both two-and four-wheeled World Championship events in one year’s time. OLD SETTLER’S MUSIC FESTIVAL Dale, Texas, oldsettlersmusicfest.org Central Texas’ signature music event features Grammy-winning Americana, arts and crafts, camping, food and libations. Acoustic jazz, blues and bluegrass are all performed by oldtime local faves and award-winning artists from around the world. MAY AUSTIN FASHION WEEK Various Locations, austin.fashionx.co Austin Fashion Week showcases the work of fashion designers, photographers, hair stylists, makeup artists and models from around the state of Texas with over 100 events, including runway shows, designer meet-and-greets, themed parties and benefits for Austin nonprofits. CINE LAS AMERICAS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL Various Locations, cinelasamericas.org The festival showcases contemporary films and videos from Latin America (North, Central, South America and the Caribbean) and the Iberian Peninsula. Films and videos made by or about Latinos in the U.S. and the rest of the world, as well as films and videos by or about indigenous groups of the Americas, are also invited to participate. LATINO MUSIC MONTH Various Locations, austinlatinomusic.com The many Latino music genres are showcased during performances around town all month long. Other special events throughout the month are presented, as well. LIFETIME CAPITAL OF TEXAS TRIATHLON Lady Bird Lake, Downtown Austin, captextri.com Lifetime Capital of Texas Triathlon attracts all levels of athletes, from top-ranked professionals to first-time triathletes. The event includes the USA Paratriathlon National Championship, sprint and international distances, First Tri distance, and sprint and international distance relays. PECAN STREET FESTIVAL (SPRING) Historic Sixth Street, pecanstreetfestival.org A free family event, the Pecan Street Festival is the oldest and largest art festival in Central Texas. Musicians, food vendors, artists and crafts people turn Sixth Street–historically called Pecan Street–into a lively street fair where there is something for people of all ages. WEST AUSTIN STUDIO TOUR Various Locations, west.bigmedium.org The West Austin Studio Tour is a free, self-guided tour that celebrates Austin’s talented and wildly diverse creative community. The public is invited to discover new artistic talent; see working studios; learn about artists’ tools, techniques and inspirations; explore galleries and a variety of exhibitions; and immerse themselves in the arts and local business communities. JUNE AFRICAN AMERICAN BOOK FESTIVAL George Washington Carver Museum, aabookfest.com This free, annual literary event showcases new works by and about African- Americans. Notable speakers and authors will discuss their works and facilitate conversations. ATX TELEVISION FESTIVAL Downtown Austin, atxfestival.com ATX Festival is the first festival devoted to television’s history and future. It functions like a traditional film festival with premieres of new series, current hits and cult favorites. ATX Festival also offers access to the industry’s leading professionals, with cast and creator Q&As, and panels focusing on innovation in both production and content delivery. CENTRAL TEXAS JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION MLK Blvd. and Other Locations, juneteenthcentraltexas.com Juneteenth, also known as “Freedom Day” or “Emancipation Day,” is the oldest known African-American celebration commemorating the end of slavery. This annual event features a 2K walk/ run, parade floats, entertainment and a celebration at Rosewood Park. KEEP AUSTIN WEIRD FEST & 5K Long Center for the Performing Arts, keepaustinweirdfest.com Anything is possible at this decade-old Austin extravaganza! Run, skip or race through the streets of downtown Austin wearing the wackiest costume. Unofficially known as “the slowest 5K you will ever run,” this race is designed for amusement and fun. REPUBLIC OF TEXAS BIKER RALLY Travis County Exposition Center & Downtown Austin, rotrally.com The state’s largest motorcycle gathering attracts thousands of bikers for rides, parades and music. SOLSTICE FESTIVAL Pan Am Park and Various Locations, rotrally.com This annual music festival celebrates the local Austin music community. The festival is held at Pan Am Park, but unofficial parties are held at various venues around town during the weekend. JULY FOURTH OF JULY FIREWORKS AND SYMPHONY Auditorium Shores, roadwayevents.com The Austin Symphony hosts an annual concert of patriotic music culminating in a spectacular fireworks display over Lady Bird Lake. HILL COUNTRY GALLERIA INDEPENDENCE DAY FESTIVAL Hill Country Galleria, hillcountrygalleria.com A free celebration of Independence in the Hill Country Galleria, featuring fabulous art, live entertainment and a fireworks display. AUGUST AUSTIN CHRONICLE HOT SAUCE FESTIVAL Fiesta Gardens, austinchronicle.com If you wanna beat the heat this summer then you gotta eat the heat! Join the Austin Chronicle for one of the world’s largest hot sauce festivals, with as many as 10,000 spectators each year. AUSTIN ICE CREAM FESTIVAL Fiesta Gardens, austinicecreamfestival.com The Annual Austin Ice Cream Festival is fun for the whole family. Games, activities, contests, live entertainment and, of course, ice cream, will keep you cool and happy. AUSTIN PRIDE FESTIVAL & PARADE Fiesta Gardens, austinpride.org The PRIDE Festival is the largest annual LGBTQ advocacy and fundraising event in Central Texas! Dozens of nonprofit organizations and social clubs use the festival as a platform to inform and interact with the thousands of attendees. Each year, countless people find new organizations to join, causes to support, and opportunities to volunteer. BAT FEST Congress Avenue Bridge, roadwayevents.com Celebrate this batty event as the world’s largest urban bat colony (1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats, which take up seasonal residence beneath the Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge) takes to the skies for its nightly flight. Enjoy live music, children’s activities and a costume contest. CAPITAL CITY BLACK FILM FESTIVAL Various Locations, capcitybff.com CCBFF celebrates African-American filmmakers from across the nation and provides a stage for burgeoning talent. This festival packs in the fun with four days of events, seminars, parties, screenings and more. SEPTEMBER AUSTIN GAY AND LESBIAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ( aGLIFF) Various Locations, agliff.org aGLIFF is the oldest and largest gay and lesbian film fest in the Southwest, and it is the largest LGBTQ cultural event in Austin. Experience the festival in September and watch for monthly screenings around town. AUSTIN MUSEUM DAY Various Locations, austinmuseums.org Organized by the Austin Museum Partnership, this special day features free exhibitions and activities at participating Austin-area museums and cultural sites. AUSTIN OKTOBERFEST Various Locations, austoberfest.com Also known as Austoberfest, this fun event features live music, food, a biergarten, kids’ activities and more at the Austin Saengerrunde and Scholz Garten. FANTASTIC FEST Alamo Drafthouse, fantasticfest.com Fantastic Fest is the largest genre film festival in the U.S., specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action and just plain fantastic movies from around the world. FREE DAY OF YOGA Various Locations, freedayofyoga.com All day long, participating studios across the Austin area offer free classes as an opportunity for every age and fitness level. OUT OF BOUNDS COMEDY FESTIVAL Various Locations, outofboundscomedy.com Comedians from around the country show Austinites their comedy chops and throw down in a mini-golf tourney. PECAN STREET FESTIVAL (FALL) Sixth Street Austin, pecanstreetfestival.org A free family event, the Pecan Street Festival is the oldest and largest art festival in Central Texas. Musicians, food vendors, artists and craftspeople turn Sixth Street–historically called Pecan Street–into a lively street fair where there is something for people of all ages. TEXAS CRAFT BREWERS FESTIVAL Fiesta Gardens, texascraftbrewersfestival.org The Texas Craft Brewers Fest is the largest beer festival for and by Texas brewers. This annual event features the best of Texas craft beer, and displays the thriving beer community across the Lone Star State. ZILKER RELAYS Zilker Park, zilkerrelays.com The Zilker Relays is a 10-mile team race. Each participant runs a 2.5-mile loop from one central festival/transition area. The team concept of the Zilker Relays is not unique, but the combination of a relay, festival home base, drinks and music make this experience a favorite for runners of all calibers and ages. OCTOBER AUSTIN CITY LIMITS MUSIC FESTIVAL Zilker Park, aclfestival.com One of the country’s largest celebrations of live music, this two-weekend, six-day festival brings the magic of the famed public TV series, “Austin City Limits,” outside the studio and into Austin’s most beloved park. More than 150 musical acts will take over eight stages, along with local food vendors, brewers, artists and pop-up shops. AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL Paramount Theatre and Various Locations, austinfilmfestival.com Recognized as one of the top film festivals in the country, this cinematic event shines the spotlight on top-billed films and indies alike. DIA DE LOS MUERTOS MUSIC FESTIVAL Fiesta Gardens, austindiadelosmuertos.com This cultural celebration features renowned recording artists in the Latin and Texas music industries. The family-friendly festival will also offer local food and beverages, cultural performances, Kids Zone activities and more. FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX Circuit of The Americas™, circuitoftheamericas.com Drivers will be in Austin competing in the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix this fall. Built around a state-of-the-art 3.4-mile circuit track with capacity for 120,000 fans and an elevation change of 133 feet, the facility is designed for any and all classes of racing–from motor power to human power. IRONMAN 70.3 AUSTIN Travis County Exposition Center, ironman.com Race in Texas’ capital of cool with one of the only indoor finishes on the Ironman circuit. The swim will begin on Decker Lake, the bike ride will loop through rolling Texas farmlands, and the final run will end indoors at the Travis County Expo Center. OKTOBERFEST German Free School, germantexans.org The German-Texan Heritage Society holds this annual festival featuring live music, food, a biergarten, kids’ activities and more at the historic German Free School. TEXAS FIREWORKS DIA DE LOS MUERTOS CELEBRATION Kreig Baseball Field, planetktexasfireworks.com Light up your Halloween night with pyrotechnics at Kreig Softball Fields, presented by Planet K. TEXAS MONTHLY BBQ FESTIVAL City Terrace at the Long Center, tmbbq.com This tasty festival only has four rules: muster as many of Texas’ best BBQ joints as possible; have them serve up their specialties, side-by-side; let smoke and sauce fly for five intoxicating hours; and finally, let the people decide who made the best goods. TEXAS TEEN BOOK FESTIVAL St. Edward’s University, texasbookfestival.org The Texas Book Festival has evolved into one of the premier literary events in the country, hosting about 250 authors each year. More than 40,000 book lovers of all ages attend the festival annually, enjoying readings, panel discussions, signings, cooking demonstrations, live music, local food, YA authors, children’s activities and exhibitors from across the state. NOVEMBER AUSTIN CELTIC FESTIVAL Fiesta Gardens, austincelticfestival.com This annual festival is also the largest gathering of Celts in Central Texas. The event is home to four stages of Irish, Scottish and Breton music, dance, sports, storytelling, workshops and more. AUSTIN POWWOW Travis County Exposition Center, austinpowwow.net For more than 25 years, the Austin Powwow has featured music, dancing, food, and arts and crafts in celebration of American Indian heritage. BLUE GENIE ART BAZAAR 6100 Airport Blvd., bluegenieartbazaar.com The Blue Genie Art Bazaar is a unique holiday art show held in Austin. The bazaar features handmade artwork and gifts from over 200 local and regional artists, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Make- A-Wish® Foundation. CHRISTMAS AT THE CASWELL HOUSE Caswell House Austin, austinjuniorforum.org Christmas at the Caswell House has been an Austin community tradition since 1983. The Austin Junior Forum transforms this historic home into a winter wonderland. CHUY’S CHRISTMAS PARADE Congress Avenue, chuysparade.com This spirited holiday parade features a procession of giant balloons, marching bands, vintage cars, celebrities and floats to usher in the season of giving. EAST AUSTIN STUDIO TOUR Various Locations, east.bigmedium.org More than 70 Eastside studios open their doors for the public’s viewing and purchasing pleasure. SOUND ON SOUND FEST Sherwood Forest, soundonsoundfest.com Austin’s newest progressive music festival, Sound on Sound, takes on Sherwood Forest this November. The festival promises three days of music by local, national and international touring indie rock, hip-hop, punk and dance acts. TEXAS BOOK FESTIVAL Texas State Capitol, texasbookfestival.org The Texas Book Festival has evolved into one of the premier literary events in the country, hosting about 250 authors each year. More than 40,000 book lovers of all ages attend the festival annually, enjoying readings, panel discussions, signings, cooking demonstrations, live music, local food, YA authors, children’s activities and exhibitors from across the state. TURKEY TROT Long Center, thundercloud.com ThunderCloud Subs’ 5-mile run/1-mile walk is a good way to work up a Thanksgiving appetite. ZILKER TREE LIGHTING Zilker Park, austintrailoflights.org This Austin tradition is continuing its 50+ year run of light displays, interactive shows and holiday-themed walkthroughs. DECEMBER ARMADILLO CHRISTMAS BAZAAR Palmer Events Center, armadillobazaar.com Shades of old Austin are reflected at this market, with eclectic gifts and local entertainment from more than 160 artists and merchants. AUSTIN ASIAN AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL Various Locations, aaafilmfest.com The Austin Asian American Film Festival (AAAFF) promotes Asian and Asian- American cultures and experiences through the media arts, showcasing top-quality cinema and supporting the creative talents of Asian-American artists. AUSTIN’S NEW YEAR Auditorium Shores, do512family.com This alcohol-free, family-friendly event celebrates the diversity and creativity of the city with visual art installations, jugglers, storytellers, fire dancers and other festive performances. CHERRYWOOD ART FAIR Maplewood Elementary, cherrywoodartfair.org This neighborhood fundraiser benefits the Eastside arts scene. Enjoy local food artisans, live music, 80+ artists, kids’ crafts and a silent auction at this annual event. GERMAN-TEXAN HERITAGE SOCIETY CHRISTMAS MARKET German Free School, germantexans.org The German-Texan Heritage Society’s annual market offers shoppers handmade, imported crafts, decorations, ornaments and more. Browse the market, visit Sankt Nikolas, listen to traditional German Christmas music, and enjoy a cup of Glühwein (hot spiced wine), gingerbread cookies and other sweet baked treats. HOLIDAY SING-ALONG & DOWNTOWN STROLL Texas State Capitol, downtownaustin.com Join hundreds of carolers in front of the Capitol as the tree is lit before heading down Congress Avenue for live music, shopping, art and much more. LUMINATIONS AT THE WILDFLOWER CENTER Wildflower Center Grounds, wildflower.org Thousands of luminaries and twinkling lights turn the center into a holiday wonderland during Luminations, an Austin holiday tradition. TRAIL OF LIGHTS Zilker Park, austintrailoflights.org The Austin Trail of Lights is part of the Austin experience, lighting up the season with a celebration of community, memories and fun. With a beautiful array of lights, the tree is lit following a 5k run.
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