Longhorns, Bats and Toadies: Go wild this weekend in the ATX
Rain has finally graced this parched city of ours, so expect new life to spring forth this weekend. Maybe not the plants, but definitely the animals. Longhorns, bats and Toadies to be specific.
Being a Longhorns fan is about to get so much easier, y'all. Friday is the official launch day of the much-anticipated 24-hour ESPN channel, the Longhorn Network, dedicated entirely to University of Texas sports. The station will be based out of - where else? - the Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium and feature original series and studio shows as well as coverage of more than 200 games of 20 different sports. Literally every day can be game day.
Another iconic Austin animal will be celebrated on Saturday during the 7th Annual Austin Batfest on the Congress Avenue Bridge. Live music, food vendors, kids' activities, arts and crafts, and educational displays will line the streets while the little winged rodents sleep. The party will pause at sundown as the bats make their red carpet arrival. Then it's back to music and fun for the rest of the night. (We hear there will even be the unveiling of a new Bat-Cow on the bridge, a part of the world famous Cow Parade that moooooved into Austin this month.)
From Bat-Cow to Bat-Man, Mr. Adam West will be in attendance at the Paramount Theatre on Saturday as well. There's a screening of the original (and third best) Batman movie - y'know, the one with the Shark Repellant Batspray. Then, West will be answering questions and taking photos with his throngs of adoring fans. Sorry, Adam, that's a lot of people to have to hear say "holy bat cheese."
Don't like bats? How about toads? The Whitewater Ampitheater in New Braunfels welcomes back the Dallas-based Toadies for another Dia de los Toadies Music Festival this Friday and Saturday. Set on the beautiful banks of the Guadalupe River, this alternative music festival will also feature the sounds of The Sword, The Black Angels, UME, Quiet Company, and more. A lot of folks bring their tents and camp out for the weekend, enjoying the nature and nostalgia of the weekend.
If camping's not quite your style, you might be more inclined to take refuge in the fine art of fashion taking place at the 3rd Annual Austin Fashion Awards, wrapping up this very successful Austin Fashion Week on Saturday night. Radio personality Kim Iversen will be hosting the Golden Boot awards for local trendsetters, and two brand new collections from Rory Beca and wren will be dislpayed on the runway at the ACL Live's Moody Theater.
Whatever your tastes in fashion, you're welcome to decorate your tastebuds at the 21st Annual Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival at Waterloo Park. The lines will be long and the sun will be scorching, but it won't even compare to the mix of jalapenos, poblanos, habaneros, and chiles that will seriously burn so good at each one of the tents selling local salsas, hot sauces and more. Bring some canned goods to get in, and make sure to bring water!
If spicy foods don't get you dancing, Ballet Austin's free day of dance is back on Sunday as well. Come Dance! 2011 runs all day, featuring over 60 classes in every style of dance you've ever dreamed of taking, and maybe some you never knew about. "Move Your Axis" sounds especially saucy, but then who can say no to the Hula?
If you'd rather let others handle the dancing, Forklift Danceworks is gearing up for another edition of their mindblowing, award-winning Trash Project out at the old Mueller Airport. Just as weird and inventive as Austin is, The Trash Project features employees from The City of Austin's Solid Waste Services (yep, you read that right) dancing, singing, and driving garbage trucks around the tarmac in choreographed routines. Guaranteed, you won't find anything else like this anywhere else in the country.
It's good to live in Austin, isn't it? Now if we could just beat this 100+ degree weather streak...