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Austin’s Summer Festival Guide

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Get these fun events on your calendar right now. 

By Chelsea Pribble

Austin’s robust entertainment scene convinces newcomers to become Austinites every day. From nationally popular events like South By Southwest and the Austin City Limits Music Festival to local gems like Blues on the Green, festivals charm locals and visitors alike. If you have a fear of missing out, check out our picks for must-attend summer festivals.

11:11:2018 Drive-In

When: June 13 through 16

Where: Rogge Ranch, 3506 Rogge Lane

Scoop: Head to this electric dance festival featuring 10 Austin-based choreographers and performers, an original score by William West and food from Sonya Cote of Eden East.

Info and tickets: 1111austin.com/sell-tickets

 

2018 Austin Ice Cream Festival

When: June 23, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 to 10 p.m.

Where: Fiesta Gardens, 2101 Jesse E. Segovia Blvd.  

Scoop: Beat the heat with some of the best ice cream Austin has to offer. The daytime festival is family-friendly, and after dark, catch performances from Tameca Jones and DJ Mel.

Info and tickets: austinicecreamfestival.com

 

Fit Foodie Festival and 5K

When: June 23, 8 to 11 a.m.

Where: Mueller Lake Park, 4550 Mueller Blvd.

Scoop: If you’re a fitness and food fanatic, don’t miss this race with tasty bites at every mile. After the 5K, enjoy food and beverages, healthy eating tips, demonstrations and exercise classes.

Info and tickets: fitfoodierun.com/austin-texas.html#faq

 

29th Annual Watermelon Festival

When: July 20 and 21

Where: Hempstead Gazebo Park and Hempstead Depot Park

Scoop: If you’re looking for a daytrip destination, round up the family and hit the road. Hempstead, Texas, is less than a two-hour drive from the Austin city limits. With a watermelon-seed spitting contest, parade and carnival, this festival is sure to be reminiscent of childhood.

Info and tickets: hempsteadtxchamber.com/events/details/29th-annual-watermelon-festival-245

 

Contrast Film Festival

When: July 20 through 22 

Where: Alamo Drafthouse Ritz, 320 E. 6th Street ; Austin Film Society Cinema, 6406 N. I-35. and Cheer Up Charlie’s, 900 Red River Street

Scoop: Spotlighting female and queer creators, this three-day film, music, and performance festival celebrates genre-defying art.

Info and tickets: filmfreeway.com/contrastfilmfestival

 

Bat Fest

When: Aug. 18

Where: Congress Avenue Bridge, 100 S. Congress Ave.

Scoop: The only thing more striking than watching bats dart from beneath the Congress Avenue Bridge might be the appearance of Batman. Though the superhero isn’t likely to show, there will be a bat-costume contest and many bat-related activities.

Info and tickets: roadwayevents.com/event/bat-fest

 

The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival

When: Aug. 26

Where: Fiesta Gardens, 2101 Jesse E. Segovia St.

Scoop: If you can’t beat the heat, eat it. Sample hundreds of hot sauces paired with local foods. If you’re particularly proud of your homemade salsa, enter it in the competition.

Tickets and info: austinchronicle.com/hot-sauce

 

Waterloo Music Festival

When: Sept. 7 through 9

Where: Carson Creek Ranch, 9507 Sherman Road

Scoop: Warm up for the Austin City Limits Music Festival with the Waterloo Music Festival, a new local event. Waterloo will feature nationally recognized bands and local musicians during a weekend of camping. The venue, Carson Creek Ranch, is about 10 minutes from downtown, with views of the Colorado River on acres and acres of campground.

Tickets and info: seetickets.us/event/waterloo-music-festival/363143?afflky=waterloo

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