by staff writer
on Thursday, February 11th, 2016 at 3:32am.
Austin is famous for its many live music festivals and concerts, with the city promoting itself as the "Live Music Capital of the World.” In addition, Austin plays host to a wide variety of other events, ranging from film festivals and Dragon Boat races to fireworks displays and Brazilian Carnaval celebrations.
MLK March and Festival
This annual celebration commemorates the achievements of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. and promotes multiculturalism in Austin. The event starts with a march from the University of Texas at Austin campus to Huston-Tillotson University in East Austin, where the festival is held. The festival features vendors, food stands, and live music acts. All residents of Austin are invited to participate in the march and enjoy the festival free of charge.
Held annually at the Palmer Events Center, Carnaval Brasileiro is a Brazilian Mardi Gras festival featuring samba dancing, vibrant costumes, and live music. Austin's Carnaval is one of the city's most spectacular events and, not surprisingly, is among the largest Mardi Gras celebrations outside of Brazilian borders.
South by Southwest Conferences and Festivals
South by Southwest started as a small music festival and has grown into one of the largest conferences and festivals in North America. The event features performances by over 2,000 international bands and takes place on more than 100 stages throughout central Austin. Other events during the nine-day festival include gaming expos, film screenings, and trade shows.
Dragon Boat Festival
Each year Austin hosts its own version of the 2000-year-old Chinese Dragon Boat Festival. The event, which includes live Hawaiian, Japanese, and Chinese dance performances, martial arts demonstrations and Asian food stands, takes place at Festival Beach on the banks of picturesque Lady Bird Lake.
Lone Star Jam
This 2-day music festival takes place at the University of Texas at Austin, with proceeds going to Young Texans Against Cancer – a non-profit organization that helps bring cancer awareness to the younger generation. The weekend's line-up includes around 20 of the best Country and Red Dirt musicians in the nation.
Keep Austin Weird Fest and 5k
The Keep Austin Weird Fest is a celebration of the people, organizations, and businesses that make the city a diverse, eclectic, and progressive creative center. Celebrations start off with a 5k fun-run, followed by live music, food stalls, and games. It is tradition to dress-up for the day, with residents wearing wacky costumes.
HEB Austin Symphony July 4th Concert and Fireworks
There are numerous 4th of July celebrations to attend in Austin, but the HEB Austin Symphony July 4th Concert and Fireworks is one of the most spectacular. This event is now one of the biggest Independence Day Celebration in the state of Texas, with 100,000 attending each year to watch a fireworks display backed by a live performance of symphonic classics at beautiful Lady Bird Lake.
BatFest and Night of the Bat
The highlight of this unusual festival is the emergence of 2 million Mexican free-tail bats – the world's largest urban bat colony – from under the Anne W. Richards Congress Bridge. The event also includes 2 stages of live music, and more than 75 arts and craft displays, food stands, costume contests, and children's activities.
Austin City Limits Music Festival
The Austin City Limits (ACL) Music Festival is held annually in Zilker Park. Inspired by the PBS concert series of the same name, the festival takes place over two consecutive three-day weekends. The festival features eight stages with live performances by musicians from many genres, including Folk, Rock, Indie, and Hip-Hop. The event also features food and drinks, an art market, and fun activities for kids. Approximately 450,000 people attend the festival each year.
Austin Film Festival and Conference
Held at various venues throughout the city over a period of eight days, the Austin Film Festival includes screenings of over 180 films, as well as Q&A sessions, and a screenplay competition. The conference was the first event of its kind, and the screenplay competition receives more entries annually than any other competition of its kind in the world.
Fun Fun Fun Fest
Fun Fun Fun Fest is known for its musical line-up, comedy acts, food, action sports, and poster art. The event is considered one of the most creative, laidback, and unique music festivals, showcasing underground and progressive musicians, artists and comedians.
Zilker Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
Each year the moonlight tower in Zilker Park is transformed into the Zilker Holiday Tree – a massive 155-feet-tall Christmas tree decorated with over 3,300 lights. The tree lighting ceremony is complete with food, live music, and carols. It is tradition for the tree's lights to be turned on every evening from the day of the ceremony until the end of the year.
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