In the weird and wonderful spirit of Austin, let it be known the best way to motivate 5K runners is to end the race with brunch.
That’s just part of what’s on the menu for this year’s Keep Austin Weird events, which are returning to live, in-person weirdness following a pandemic-forced virtual celebration in 2020.
Taking place Sunday, September 5, the newly dubbed Keep Austin Weird Live — a series of experiential events and activations inspired by the Capital City’s long-held mantra — gets up and running with the third annual 5.12K Run to Brunch and culminates with a brand new Labor Day weekend concert at Fair Market.
Community-based running clubs St. Elmo Runners, Ready to Run, East Side Beer Runners, and Austin Front Runners will lead runners, walkers, and weirdos on a customized 5.12K route (there will be several throughout the city) that will finish with a celebration featuring drinks, bites, and swag.
Even better: Those with a Run to Brunch runner’s bib or a collectable T-shirt get 20 percent off food all holiday weekend long (September 4-6) at a variety of local restaurants, including Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden, Chicken Salad Shoppe, Comedor, Flyrite, La Condesa, L’Oca d’Oro, Local Foods, Revelry Kitchen + Bar, Southside Flying Pizza, Spread & Co., Walton’s Fancy and Staple, Z’Tejas Southwest Grill, and The Cavalier.
The 5.12K Run to Brunch has partnered with the nonprofit Southern Smoke Foundation to help raise money and awareness for Austin relief efforts, including aiding people who work in the local food and beverage industry that were impacted by COVID-19 and other crises.
Info about run registration ($25-$55) is available here. Run-packet pickup times and locations will be announced soon.
After refueling with some local brunch, Keep Austin Weirdos can burn off some more calories while dancing the night away at Fair Market, where the Labor Day Weekend Concert, featuring an all-star Texas music lineup, gets underway. On Sunday night, September 5, folk-rock duo Jamestown Revival, indie-rock duo Jane Leo, and funky songbird Aaron Stephens will take to the stage.
Doors open for the show at 6 pm, and also on hand will be some cool art, local food trucks (including Bohemian Barbecue and Amy’s Ice Creams), and drinks galore.
And, again, in true Austin form, the concert aims to raise funds and awareness for local emergency-relief grant program Banding Together ATX, which support Austin’s live music community including the workers in the music, service, hospitality, and creative sectors.
Info on concert tickets ($35-$55) is available here.
“It’s been a rough year for our local musicians and creative sector,” says Cody Cowan, executive director of the Red River Cultural District, which created the fund. “We are excited to partner with Keep Austin Weird Live to kick off a series of events that lift up our spirits, celebrate our local musicians, and benefit our beautiful music community.”
Keep Austin Weird Live is produced by local agency Forefront Networks, which also produces the Austin Trail of Lights and the University of Texas at Austin’s Bevo Blvd. Keep Austin Weird Live sponsors include Mighty Swell, Austin Eastciders, H-E-B, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Nearby ATX, and CultureMap Austin.