Top weekend picks: Books, comedy and spooky fun this Halloween warm-up weekend
The cold weather is finally here! Rejoice! And again, I say, rejoice!
It finally feels like the holidays in Central Texas, just in time for the biggest Halloween parties and a couple of big deal festivals that you won't want to miss.
First off, the massive, star-studded Texas Book Festival takes over downtown this Saturday and Sunday, radiating out from the Capitol Chambers and lawn. See big name authors and celebrities on panels, reading from their books, discussing their creation processes and signing autographs. The TBF is the biggest weekend of the year for Texas bibliophiles of all ages, so don't miss out on the chance to meet your favorite visiting authors.
For extra literary thrills (with drinking!), the TBF Lit Crawl takes place at 8 p.m. Saturday night at six venues on or around East Sixth Street. Come see big name authors like Amelia Gray, Stephen Tobolowsky and Mark Danielewski reading and telling their best stories at two different sessions within easy walking distance of one another. A totally new way to enjoy the writing you love.
For a literary event of a totally different variety, stop by the Austin Convention Center any day this weekend to visit the stars, artists and panels of the Wizard World Comic Con. Hundreds of comic book shops from around the country will be selling back issues, toys and graphic novels in the convention space and panels will happen throughout the day, featuring some of the biggest fan favorites from popular culture TV and movies.
This year, nearly the entire original cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation will be present for photos and fan Q&A. Are you ready to... engage?
He's one of the original Comedians of Comedy with Patton Oswalt, Zach Galifianakis and Maria Bamford. He's a star of The Silver Silverman Program. And, he's the new co-writer of the hilarious Deadpool for Marvel Comics. He's Brian Posehn, and he's in town this weekend at Cap City, doing standup for the masses.
You won't get a massive dose of comedy star power like this until FFF Fest's Yellow Stage, so sop it up while you can, comedy fans!
You might also get a taste of professional comedy at its best with this live presentation at the Paramount Theatre on Friday evening. Writers from the creative staff of the country's preeminent parody newspaper, The Onion, will deliver a rousing, appropriately ridiculous evening of satirical coverage of this year's Presidential Race.
As masters in their craft, this is guaranteed to be a full evening of hilarious commentary that will appeal to both sides of the political spectrum and comedy fans alike.
And on Sunday, you don't want to miss out on Mr. Cliff Huxtable (AKA Ghost Dad) himself taking the stage at Bass Concert Hall. He's a living legend who has not lost any of his swagger, humor or impact on a stage from his formative days as a standup comic.
Now, he's got television, film and literature credits to back up his claims and to guarantee you don't forget what a major figure he's been in game for the past thirty years. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see Bill Cosby take the stage in the way only he can.
After the most successful HAAM Benefit Day to date, Good Eggs & HAAM, is throwing an epic throwdown at Antone's on Saturday night to continue the goodwill. Ashley Monical, Wild Child and The Dirty River Boys will be playing throughout the evening, and all of the proceeds raised will go to providing affordable healthcare to Austin's musicians.
Costumes are, of course, encouraged, and the bands have promised to throw a few tricks into their sets as well.
If you're ready to embrace the dark side of the season and get into the scarier sides of Austin's haunted history, the historic preservation society Save Our Cemeteries invites you out to Oakwood Cemetery on Saturday for one of its signature walking tours through the graveyard.
Your fully committed tour guides (complete in period garb and zombie makeup) will teach you about many of the odder tales surrounding the untimely deaths of some of the cemetery's inhabitants. Bring good walking shoes and an active imagination.
Salvage Vanguard Theater has expanded and improved the spooky site-specific theatre piece, Dream Cabinet, and timed it perfectly with the most ghostly time of year. Audience members follow a tale of love and tragic loss as they travel through an old Victorian home beset with surprises, tricks and treats.
The multimedia performance piece fully envelopes you, engaging you completely in every detail and moment. Maybe it's a real life haunting, maybe it's a waking nightmare. But it's undeniably thought-provoking and beautiful.
And finally, while it may not scare you as immediately as a chainsaw murder jumping out at you at a haunted house, the American Heart Association wants to keep you wary of the real life dangers posed by heart disease. As the number one killer of Americans in the U.S., the annual Austin Heart Walk is a good way to raise funds and awareness by joining the pledge fund and non-competitive 5k that takes place this Saturday on the First Avenue Bridge. Everyone is welcome to walk and help to end the looming threat that may one day affect all of us.
Of course, there are plenty of Halloween parties happening every night this weekend throughout the city. Check out our roundup of all the best Halloween parties where you have the chance to help out a charity and even win big for your costume creativity.
Just make sure you all stay warm, stay safe and don't invite any vampires into your house. Even if they ARE cute. They're real bloodsuckers. And you don't need that with Fun Fun Fun Fest right around the corner.