Margaritas, mint juleps and lemonade: Drink up the highlights of Cinco de Mayoand Derby weekend
If you thought last weekend was busy with the seven festivals happening simultaneously in our fair city, you can think of it as good practice for this weekend.
Oddly, the multitude of events this weekend seem to somehow be themed around drinking in some form or another, so it's time to put on your smart hats, everyone! Saturday is the fifth of May, or as it's known in Texas: a great reason to celebrate in huge, binge-y type ways.
How you choose to celebrate Cinco de Mayo is completely up to you. We just ask that you be safe and take a moment to recognize why you're partying. Namely, Mexico's 1862 victory over the French in the Franco-Mexican War; a major cause for celebration for Mexican independence.
With that said, Cinco de Mayo is a good-ass time in Austin. Once the kids are safe with your babysitter, and you've got a designated driver lined up: knock the hell out of some piñatas and get the cerveza flowing. There's some independence to celebrate!
To help you in this regard, La Condesa is throwing their massive annual Cinco de Mayo Block Party that will occupy a significant portion of the Second Street District around City Hall. This free family-friendly party will feature live music and DJs, street food and plenty of sponsored beer.
If huge crowds aren't your thing, there are other Cinco options. L Style G Style is throwing their latest issue release party with cocktails and tacos on the scenic patio of Uncle Billy's on Travis Lake. Or you can head over to the Alamo on South Lamar or Slaughter Lane to catch The Three Amigos, which includes an all-you-can-eat taco party.
And finally, the no-holds-barred, any-excuse-to-party Drinko de Mayo happens at Frontier Bar, with hours of live music. Amazingly, the poster even says it's "niños-friendly." So bring your babies... to a bar! On Cinco de Mayo!
Lest we forget our next reason to drink, The Kentucky Derby also saddles up for fun with big hats and finger sandwiches on Saturday. For those who couldn't make it out to Churchill Downs for the weekend, you can still share in the bourbon-soaked experience with other horse racing fans in Austin at any one of several local charity parties.
J. Black's hosts their annual Hats & Horses party, the Austin Influential Group is at Star Bar, and the Kappa Kappa Gammas are throwing another fancy Derby Day party at the Westwood Country Club.
Of course, it's another big weekend for music in the Capital City as well. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers play the Erwin Center this Saturday along with Regina Spektor, Grammy-winning jazz chanteuse Esperanza Spalding plays the Paramount the same night, the Backyard at Bee Caves hosts the hip Latin flavor of the Gipsy Kings, and it's time once again for the annual Lone Star Jam on the lawn of the LBJ Museum at UT. That covers 95 percent of your music styles; I'm sure we can rustle up some hip-hop and rap with a little more digging...
Sunday, you can recharge and support lil' future entrepreneurs of America during the annual Lemonade Day celebration across the city. Sweet, business-minded kids are setting up old fashioned lemonade stands to learn about good ol' fashioned capitalism the way our forefathers did before this economy of ours exploded. You can download a map of the participating pop-up shops and go get your refreshing, non-alcoholic drink on while meeting all the future Donald Trumps and Oprah Winfreys.
After a pleasant introduction last weekend, Fusebox Festival continues its quiet expanse throughout this weekend with a series of additional art happenings debuting all over the city. These are once-in-a-lifetime events that usually cannot exist outside of the parameters in which they happen, so experiencing them firsthand will leave an indelible mark.
Similarly, the astounding children's puppet theatre piece, The Man Who Planted Trees, plays at the State Theatre on Saturday, and really should not be missed. Combining a strong moral lesson with ingenious choreography, it's a treat for all ages.
So there you have it. A weekend that observes the past, embraces the present and strongly supports the future of art, business and culture. We're really doing it, Austin. And we just won't ever stop. (Well, if we pace ourselves and make smart choices, that is.)