Back in session: A weekend refresher course on what's so great about Austin
There's only one full weekend before students of all ages are back in their regular routines, panicking over homework and finals and vacation and graduation and looking for any kind of distraction they can find.
Whether you're here for school or live here year-round, why not enjoy your weekend with some authentically Austin activities that will help you remember why we love it here so much? From music to film to food to festivals of every kind, we've got exactly what you're looking for to remember what busy, bustling Austin feels like when it's really bumping.
That's a pretty representative mish-mash of how we roll in these parts: a whole weekend full of fresh innovation paired with proud Texas legends.
First off, there's an insanely fun film event happening all weekend across the city. Starting Friday evening and running through Sunday, 40 contestants in the Austin 48 Hour Film Project will be making a completed festival-quality film to screen the following week. Genre assignments go out to teams at 6 p.m. on Friday at the Long Center Terrace and fully completed films must be returned to the Vuka Co-op by 7:30 p.m. on Sunday to be in contention. Screenings then occur Tuesday through Thursday at the Scottish Rite Theatre.
Also Friday evening, get your taste buds ready for the Wine & Food Foundation's 10th Annual Tour de Vin at The W Austin Hotel. This passport-style event showcases flavors from across the globe, including the finest pairings of the world's best wines. Live international music, amazing silent auction prizes and celebrity chefs will round out this evening that would be any food lover's dream come true.
One of our favorite unique claims to fame is the colony of nearly two million Mexican free tail bats that live under the Congress Avenue Bridge and emerge every evening in the summer at dusk to feed. We celebrate them the best way we know how: with a rowdy festival that includes two stages of live music, bat costume contests and lots of delicious food. Known as the Night of the Bat Fest (or just Batfest, if you're in the know), this Saturday night festival is the perfect way to get indoctrinated into the culture that's keeping Austin weird.
Speaking of weird, one of our Austin icons makes his triumphant return after a quick spell in the hospital for breathing troubles last week. The unstoppable Willie Nelson will perform at a very special KOKE-FM concert at the Backyard. The Red-Headed Stranger is in fact no stranger to the progressive country station that made its return to Central Texas airwaves last month. Welcome back Willie and the station at this momentous Saturday night concert in one of the best outdoor venues in the city.
Local Latino theatre company Teatro Vivo invites you to preview their upcoming performance season at their annual fundraiser, Noche de Corazon y Alma. The exciting night of enchantment includes performances by songwriter Myrna Cabello and scenes from their upcoming bilingual play, Mariachi Girl. This special night of multicultural music, dance, food and short theatrical pieces takes place at the Mexican-American Cultural Center on Saturday evening.
Sunday morning, Ballet Austin hosts annual free dance class event, Come Dance!, at the Butler Community School. Check out the full schedule and stay all day or pick and choose the classes you're most interested in. This is the perfect way to learn about the full variety of classes available at Ballet Austin, including ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, modern, hip hop, West African and hula. Basically, everything you love about So You Think You Can Dance.
Finally, you're invited to a special conversation with historian Mark K. Updegrove, "one of the country's best historians" according to CNN, as he presents his in-depth research on the presidency and legacy of LBJ at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum on Sunday. Updegrove's book Indomitable Will is an intimate, personal look at the the Texas President's turbulent career and the lasting effects of his bulldog approach to public and foreign policy.
And there you have it. That's a pretty representative mish-mash of how we roll in these parts: a whole weekend full of fresh innovation paired with proud Texas legends. And that's pretty much how we'd like to keep it. So, fall in line, y'all, and keep up!