Along with so many other wonderful attributes, Austin is well known for its many festivals, shows, exhibits, and rallies. Too many to list in their entirety, below is a small but substantial compilation of a very diverse selection of monthly/seasonal events.
To begin the year, visitors may attend the Austin Home and Garden Show. Throughout the second week in January this grand display, hosted by the Austin Convention Center, offersa variety of exhibitions and programs which include on-site expert advice in the areas of home decorating, home repair, and outdoor landscaping, gardening, and up keep. Another option would be the Annual Tenant Show. Here guests can view (moderately priced) featured works of art from the fields of photography to jewelry to sculpture! This is event is held at the beautiful Guadalupe Arts Center.
In February the Carnival Brasiliero will bringpatronsthe opportunity to explore one of the largest extravaganzas of its kind outside the Brazilian borders. This wildly entertaining event is filled with alluring Brazilian music, brilliant costumes, and hours upon hours of adventurous fun. In other circuits, visiting tourists can attend the Motorola Marathon. This speedy expedition begins its marked course in the northwestern sector of Austin, heads through downtown toward Town Lake, and ends at Auditorium Shores. Its exciting route features several of Austin's landmarks along the way.
During the first week of March, guests can visit the Texas State Arts Festival. Throughout this celebration, artists, craftsmen, musicians and stage actors come together to celebrate Texas culture and history. This exciting event is easily located across from the Texas State History Museum. Another exhilarating occasion to be part of is the ever popular South by Southwest. Visitors may join an eclectic variety of multimedia artists, musicians and film makers as they display and advertise their creative works. For the chocolate lovers, the Austin Chocolate Festival may be just what the doctor ordered. Presented by Fat Turkey Chocolate Company, this noble cause supports the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation.
In Austin, the month of April is full of interesting adventures to be had. The Austin International Poetry Festival highlights poets from around the globe for four days of poetic bliss. Several venues participate and host a variety of sessions such as "To Rhyme Is Not a Crime" and Friday Madness. The Old Settlers Music Festival brings an array of award-winning Americana musical artists, crafts, delicious foods, and tasty beverages. This festival features acoustic jazz, blues, bluegrass, and other old time rock n' roll.
Throughout May, Austin begins to truly blossom. In early May, a glamorous event is hosted by the Parmer Events Center called the Wonderball. This enchanting evening brings together young ladiesand their fathers and grandfathers to share a magical experience. As part of its origination, Austin hosts a Taste of Mexico. This magnificent rally offers an abundance of Old Mexican cuisines developed by some of the best restaurants in the area. Its purpose is to entertain the public with a variety of eatable ensembles and to remind the locals about their city's original culture and heritage.
In early June, the Austin Museum of Art – Laguna Gloria hosts the Texas Greek Festival. This wonderful benefit celebrates the Greek culture through enticing foods and pastries, live music, and traditional Greek dancing. The Texas Hill Country Railfair & Festival is another delightful pastime to fill a summer day in Austin. Here, featured locomotives and cars from model trains to real trains are displayed in a magical "railroadiana". As an added bonus, the Hill Country Flyer rides its tracks throughout the day from Cedar Park to Burnet.
In July, The Austin Symphony performs its annual Patriotic Concert which wraps up with an astounding fireworks display over Town Lake. For the car lover, the Stone Mountain Event Center presents the Samuels Summer Sizzle Show & Shine Shindig, Austin's largest classic car show complete with fabulous door prizes and tons of fun. This event benefits such charities as Make a Wish and St. Jude's Children's Hospital. For the thrill seekers, Slick Willie's Family Pool Hall supports Midnight Madness,a treasure race taking participating teams through the winding streets of Austin. Groups of up to six players move from clue to clue throughout the city, trying to get ahead of the competition. The final clue will lead them back to home base (Willie's). Exciting prizes go to the winners, but everyone can expect to have an incredible time with plenty of food and beverages to go around.
Late summer brings one exciting event after another to the Austin area. During the first week in August, the annual Austin Ice Cream Festival invites the public and their pets to play games and enjoy live entertainment and delicious ice cream, at the lovely Waterloo Park. Batfest invites thousands of people to come to Town Lake and downtown Austin to view the magical spectacle of the flight of the bats while shopping for unique crafts and listening to exciting live bands. In September nothing says Austin tradition like the famous Austin City Limits Music Festival. This non-stop music extravaganza rolls on for more than 30 continuous hours; jam packed with set after set of rockin' music displayed on eight stages, performed by the hottest local and not so local bands.
The month of October is filled with non-stop action and fun for Austin's visitors. The Austin Film Festival compiles viewings of both Indies and top-billed films from major production studios, along with a Screenwriter's Conference allowing new writers to meet and work with seasoned writers and screenwriters. The Maker Faire is a fun-filled event that celebrates local tinkerers, inventors, builders, crafters, hackers and other creativity-minded folk. This entertaining event is held at the Travis County Expo Center. The New Belgium Brewing Company sponsors Tour de Fat, a festival developed in honor of all programs that support health awareness through cycling that features fabulous bicycle stunts, live entertainment, and lots of delicious Belgium libations. At the end of the month, Halloween on Sixth Street calls all the ghouls and goblins out to play. This spooky spectacle brings together thousands of decked-out participants to one of the largest Halloween celebrations around.
November and December light up the streets of Austin with the true spirit of the holiday season. The Chuy's Christmas Parade brings marching bands, vintage cars, celebrities and floats to Austin's holiday celebration. A Victorian Christmas on Sixth Street is a magical transformation from today's hip vibe to old world Victorian for Austin's unique downtown strip. This celebration includes parades, food/beverages, and an enormous variety of booths offering superbly hand-made crafts. Drawing closer to the year's end, the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar offers an eclectic assortment of unique gift items coupled with local amusements, old Austin style, to entertain its guests. This fantastic event is held at the Austin Music Hall. At Santa's Workshop visitors join together to indulge in wonderful music, games, crafts, and beverages, and to share a moment with the beloved…Santa Claus. Finally, the month-long festival, Trail of Lights and Zilker Park Christmas Tree Lighting, begins with the lighting of the Zilker Tree which opens the mile-long trail of lights carved through Zilker Park. Patrons are welcome to experience this whimsically-lighted fairyland throughout the holiday season.
Austin leaves no time for boredom for its many local inhabitants or curious visitors. Whatever your fancy, this fabulous city has something that's perfect for everyone.