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Weekend Roundup

Our top weekend event picks: Go to the rodeo, hang out with NASA and more

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Austin Photo Set: News_shannon_what to do march 2013_austin rodeo
Rodeo Austin kicks off this weekend and will run through March 23.  Courtesy of Austin Rodeo
Austin Photo Set: News_WeekendRoundup_Webb Telescope_Mar 2013
A full-scale model of the new James Webb Telescope will be on display on the lawn of the Long Center all weekend. Courtesy of Courtesy of NASA
Austin Photo Set: News_WeekendRoundup_Drop_Mar 2013
Drop, ​about a drowning victim, is one of the short films being screened as part of the Texas High School Film Competition.  Courtesy of Courtesy of SXSW
Austin Photo Set: News_shannon_what to do march 2013_austin rodeo
Austin Photo Set: News_WeekendRoundup_Webb Telescope_Mar 2013
Austin Photo Set: News_WeekendRoundup_Drop_Mar 2013

It’s here. It’s happening right now. SXSW is on in earnest through next week, and if you want to do anything anywhere remotely close to downtown, be prepared for people, people and more people. People everywhere, all the time, every day.

But! There are other things going this weekend that are not related this calling for hundreds of out-of-towners. Enjoy our mix of SX and SX-free events for this weekend.

Rodeo Austin

Did you know that the rodeo is in town? You didn’t? It’s a tough gig trying to compete with the buzz of SX, sucking all the air, money and time out the city like a succubus or just a really big conference/festival/explosion. Yes, the rodeo is kicking off this weekend over at the Travis County Expo Center and will run through March 23. There’s a ton going over there, too: music, fairground activities (I spy pig races on the schedule) and plenty of food. Could be a good palate cleanser in between SX madness.

James Webb Telescope

One of the fringe benefits for the city during the nine days of festivities are the free events open to the public. NASA is setting up camp on the front lawn of the Long Center all weekend with a full-scale model of the James Webb Space Telescope. The successor to Hubble, this new ‘scope packs 100 times the power of its predecessor and will be orbit beyond the moon “to study the universe’s first galaxies as well as celestial objects hidden by clouds of cosmic dust.” A good one for science and math nerds (and their kids).

Texas High School Shorts

As part of the Texas High School Film Competition, where students enrolled in Texas high schools submit their five-minutes-or-less films to be judged by expert filmmakers and industry types, all the works created by these young filmmakers are screened for free to the public. The shorts will be screened Friday and Saturday at the George Washington Carver Museum & Cultural Center and there’s a full lineup of the films and their descriptions online.

A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

The Texas Biennial, which stages a survey exhibition of contemporary art from around the state every year, is holding a sort of salon for artists and artistic-types. Critics, art historians, curators, arts administrators, educators, museum patrons, collectors and gallerists will join to read texts and discuss major currents in the contemporary art scene, behaving like a miniature conference within the much larger conference kicking off this weekend. The talks start Sunday and will also take place Monday and Tuesday at the Austin Museum of Art; all three conferences will be live streamed online as well.

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