After Memorial Day Flood, BMX Park Almost Totally Rebuilt

The 9th Street BMX Park has been a community project since it was first built over 20 years ago.  What started as a single dirt jump constructed by local riders has grown into a whole series of jumps maintained entirely by volunteers.

“This was all flat, and there was one jump in the middle, that’s what we started with,” recalls Steven Tyler, one of the BMX riders to help construct the first jumps.  “You think, what happened, did these sprout out of the ground? No. That’s a lot of time spent digging out here, and a lot of credit needs to be given to a lot of people to have a place like this. People put a lot of work into a place like this.”

That group effort mentality is something Ty Bement instills in his students.  Bement teaches BMX lessons to those interested in taking up the sport.

“We talk about safety gear, how to push through jumps,” Bement says.  “Before we start any of that, we talk about how to use a broom and a water hose.”

The dirt jumps are constantly being torn down and reconstructed, but on Memorial Day, every jump was destroyed in a wall of water.

BMX Park Flooding

After Memorial Day, the 9th Street BMX Park was completely underwater. Photo courtesy Darren Drewitz.

“Everything was underwater. You could swim down here,” Bement recalls.  “That was a trail apocalypse for Austin.”

“It was racing through my mind, are they gonna rebuild it?” says Dakin Drewitz, a student of Bement’s. “Is it going to be the same as it used to be?”


After nearly four months and a lot of work by volunteers and community members, the answer is yes.  Most of the jumps have been reconstructed in the wake of May’s devastating flood, but this labor of love never quite wraps up.

“The dirt jumps are really never done,” Bement says. “They’re ongoing work.”





What’s happening this weekend: Sept. 18-20

Happy Friday, Austin! Here are our top picks for this mid-September weekend.

Celebrate Austin’s best student poets and artists!

On Friday night, Austin ISD and Austin Community College are hosting an awards celebration for the winners of the Vision + Voice poetry contest, featuring multilingual poetry from K-12 AISD students paired with artwork from ACC students. One winning poem and one or two honorable mentions are selected per grade level. The poems and artwork are created into posters to be displayed across the school district and the city of Austin. The Vision + Voice Celebration Reception Friday evening will feature student poetry readings and the poster gallery of the winning poems. Refreshments will be provided.

Click here for a list of contest winners, and click here to watch KLRU’s videos of 2014 contest winners.

Hours: Reception starts at 6 p.m. Admission: Free. Click here for details and to RSVP.

Tune into American Masters for a chance to win a free photography book!

In line with KLRU and PBS Hispanic Heritage Month programming, Friday night’s episode of American Masters highlights the life and work of Mexican-American photographer Pedro E. Guerrero, who collaborated with Frank Lloyd Wright and sculptors Alexander Calder and Louise Nevelson. KLRU is giving away copies of “Picturing Wright,” a book featuring photography from Guerrero’s work with Wright. If you’re interested, email for a chance to win!

Hours: The program airs from 8 to 9 p.m. Admission: Free, of course! Episode details here.

Support one of Austin’s grungiest, most beloved music venues

We’re sure by now you’ve heard the news that Hole in The Wall is at risk of closing. According to the Austin Chronicle, the 41-year-old bar and music venue’s lease expires in December, and rent is set to increase from $15,000 to $20,000 monthly. Owner Will Tanner told the Chronicle that even if he could afford the rent increase, he’s not sure he could negotiate a new lease.

None of us want HITW to close (maybe we’re a little biased since our building is right across the street), so if you’re in the mood to check out some live music or just feel nostalgic for days of Austin past, swing by for a drink or two. Click here to see the calendar of artists performing this weekend!

Last year, as HITW was preparing to celebrate its 40th anniversary, Tanner told KLRU, “The Hole in the Wall is this great place that’s been here a long time and it’s had to change a lot to survive, but I think what has been kept from the past is what makes us great. Ultimately [this] is a place for like minded, and maybe even not like minded, people to come and enjoy themselves and enjoy live art . . . eat good food and drink great local beer and just spend some of your life.” Amen, Will.

Free museum admission all day Sunday

Sunday is Austin Museum Day! That means free access to exhibits and activities at Austin-area museums. More than 40 museums in the greater Austin area will offer special programming for visitors of all ages. This is the 18th year of Austin Museum Day, organized by the Austin Museum Partnership yearly since 1998.

They’re also having an Instagram contest, which you can find details about here.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission: Free. Details and event listings here.

What’s happening this weekend: Sept. 11-13

Celebrate Mexico’s independence

Help celebrate Mexico’s independence with free games, prizes, music & food Friday night at the Metz Theatre’s Community Deiz de Seis celebration! The city is hosting the celebration and it’s free for the whole family.

Then, on Saturday, the city hosts a ¡Viva México! celebration at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center featuring guest speakers and music.

Mid-September starts Hispanic Heritage Month. Stay tuned throughout the month for special programming from PBS and KLRU. Click here for programs and air dates.

Deiz de Seis celebration Friday – Hours: 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Admission: Free. Details here. ¡Viva México! Saturday – Hours: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission: Free. Details here.

Free music at the Hill Country Galleria

If you haven’t been out to the Saturday night concert series at the Hill Country Galleria, you’re missing out. It may be a bit of a drive depending on where you live, but the outdoor ampitheater theater is charming and so is the galleria itself. The week’s rain is expected to clear up by Saturday, and the temperature isn’t supposed to get much higher than 90 degrees, so expect a nice night with vendors, food and kids’ events like face painting. Rosie Flores is playing this week!

To feel inspired and get in a musical mood, check out this story from Student Reporting Labs alumnus and KLRU intern Kennedy Huff, which aired on PBS NewsHour last week. Gardner-Betts Juvenile Justice Center serves as a probation facility for the rehabilitation of juvenile offenders. While in detention, the residents continue working toward their high school diploma, get exposure to trades, and learn a variety of arts.

Hours: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission: Free. Details here.

Let your teens officially say goodbye to summer

Last weekend was Labor Day, which we all know signifies the official end of summer. If you’re still holding on to summer days (and your teenagers are, too) the Austin Rec Center is hosting the So Long Summer Fest on Saturday featuring local teen bands and DJs, a film competition and games.

Meanwhile, PBS Parents has endless resources on parenting teenagers and preteens. Click here to get informed!

Hours: Music starts at noon. Admission: Free. Details and RSVP here.

What’s happening this weekend: Aug. 29-30

School may have started for most Austin schools, but that doesn’t mean you can’t kick back and relax this weekend. Here are some of our suggestions.

Stay in the AC with The Muppets!

Alamo Drafthouse is offering a donation-based screening of The Muppet Movie as part of its Alamo Kids Camp on Saturday. For just $1, $2 or $3, join the Drafthouse as Gonzo, Rowlf, Fozzie, Piggy, Kermit and the gang embark on a cross-country trip that shows us just how the Muppets came to be. Donations benefit the Austin Film Society’s community education program. Obviously, before you go, you should catch up on some episodes of Sesame Street and then watch this PBS NewsHour clip in which Sonia Manzano, who will leave Sesame Street after playing Maria for more than 40 years, talks about who her favorite muppet is — and why.

Hours: 12 p.m. Admission: Donation-based. Details and tickets here.

Free live music, food and fun at Fair Market

Would it truly be an Austin weekend without some sort of free festival featuring some of Austin’s best live music? Probably not. This weekend, it’s the Lone Star Beer Texas Heritage Festival at Fair Market, which is sure to fill up fast, so get there early. The festival will feature performances from Dale Watson and his Lonestars, The Black Angels, Old 97s, Grupo Fantasma and LaTasha Lee, along with vendors, a live mural painting, carnival games and more. Get in the mood and watch The Black Angels perform “Don’t Play With Guns” from their 2013 Austin City Limits performance.

Hours: 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Admission: Free. Details here and on Facebook.

Get your groove on for free!

Whether you’re a pro dancer or you’ve always wanted to learn, this weekend’s free days of dance are welcoming all skill levels at studios in Austin and Pflugerville. On Saturday, Lone Star Dance Center in Pflugerville is hosting free jazz, hip hop, ballet, lyrical and more classes for a range of age groups. Then, on Sunday, get your groove on at Come Dance! 2015 at Ballet Austin featuring Afro-Brazilian, Ballet, Bollywood, Contemporary, Fosse Jazz, Hip Hop, Horton-based Modern, Hula, Jazz, Jazz Funk, Modern, Tap, West African Dance & Drums, Videodance, Zumba, Cardio Dance, Piloxing and even some kid-friendly classes! Before you go, watch Arts in Context highlight contemporary and performance art from Austin’s Fusebox Festival. Fusebox is a space where artists and audiences can take risks, ask questions and explore ideas together, break rules, and blur boundaries. The 2012 festival features an amazing mix of local and international artists performing theater, dance and music.

Hours: Varying class times. Admission: Free! Details here for Lone Star Dance Center and here for Ballet Austin.

What’s happening this weekend: Aug. 21-23

Can you believe summer is almost over, and students go back to school next week?! If you’re looking to enjoy one last sweet, summer weekend with the family, here are our recommendations.

GirlStart Back To School STEM Saturday

GirlStart is hosting a free back-to-school party to celebrate all things STEM! The event will feature hands-on activities, mini planetarium star shows and more.

Learn more about the effort to get more girls and women involved in science, technology, engineering and math fields in Immense Possibilities — The STEM Girls: Melting the Barriers. Millions of girls are raised to believe they have no aptitude and little chance for success in the STEM disciplines, but their thinking is changing, thanks to the professional role models and volunteers determined to encourage them to dream big and then make their dreams real.

Hours: 9:30 a.m. to noon. Admission: Free. Details here.

Blow bubbles at the library

Austin Public Library’s Twin Oaks Branch is celebrating its fifth anniversary in its new location this August, and the theme of the birthday bash is bubbles! Watch a puppet show from Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre, bubble games, cake and a special talk entitled “Libraries: Humanity’s Greatest Achievement (Besides Whiskey and Chocolate),” from Owen Egerton, a local screenwriter, novelist, performer and host of the monthly KUT podcast, The Write Up. Speaking of reading, school starts Monday – how are your kids doing in the Austin Public Library and KLRU’s Summer Reading Program?

PBSKids_300x250_Anytime[1]Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission: Free. Details here.

Sweat it out at the Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival

We know it’s the middle of August, and the Austin Chronicle’s 25th Hot Sauce Festival may make you just a little hotter, but it’s worth your while. Dress light, pack a water bottle (you’ll need a refresher after sampling some of those spicy, spicy sauces) and head on down to Fiesta Gardens Sunday to sweat it out with food trucks, live music and more.

Get in the mood and watch Dale Watson perform “I Lie When I Drink” during his Austin City Limits taping. Watson and his Lonestars are performing Sunday afternoon at the Hot Sauce Festival.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission: $5 or three healthy, nonperishable food items. Details here.

Celebrate Austin’s arts scene at the Long Center

On Sunday, 14 of Austin’s arts organizations are hosting the Austin Arts Block Party celebrating more than 138 shows, concerts, exhibits and events through the 2015-2016 season! Learn more about some of Austin’s best arts organizations and experience art, dance, music and more for free. KLRU has worked with the Long Center on many arts projects — including featuring the first live-action graphic novel, The Intergalactic Nemesis, Book One: Target Earth, on Arts In Context. Created by an original comic-book story projected panel-by-panel on a video screen while three actors voiced the characters, one performer created sound-effects, and a keyboardist performed the score. Watch the documentary below!

Hours: 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Admission: Free. Details here.

What’s happening this weekend: Aug. 8-9

Stay cool this weekend with these event recommendations!

I scream, you scream, we all scream for the Austin Ice Cream Festival!

With this mid-August heat, the only way you can spend any time outside is if you’re eating or drinking something ice cold. Bring yourself, your friends, your family and even your dog to the 9th Annual Austin Ice Cream Festival on Saturday. There’s even a homemade ice cream making contest and a popsicle stick sculpture contest! Even better, the festival benefits charities like Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Austin Children’s Shelter. In case you feel like making your own ice cream before venturing over to Fiesta Gardens, check out PBS Food’s recipe for homemade soft-serve!


Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission: $10 ticket includes ice cream! Details here.

Go to a carnival! Kind of…

If you’re a bibliophile like us, this is right up your alley. Join BookPeople on Saturday for their Carnival of Books as they celebrate all things books and reading with raucous merriment, bookish carnival games, giveaways, readings of kids’ stories, free books and, of course, CAKE! Test your literary strength with trivia and old fashioned book-balancing, win prizes at Book Pong, visit a fortune teller for predictions of this year’s big fall books, and much more! They’ll also reveal their full fall author event line-up and toast the coming season with champagne.

Before you go…get in the bookish spirit with the best thing to happen on Netflix since House of Cards: volume one of Reading Rainbow is now streaming! We’re not saying to stay inside Friday night and binge-watch all of them…okay, yeah we are.


Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission: Free. Details here.

Grab the kids and cool off with Junie B. Jones

Everyone’s favorite ridiculous childhood book character is coming to life for free for 15 days this month! The Austin Summer Musical presents Junie B. Jones The Musical, based on the famous books by Barbara Park, at the Boyd Vance Theater inside the George Washington Carver Museum. The show is recommended for children between the ages of 3 and 10.


What better way to get in the spirit than by getting together with your kids and reading (or rereading) some Junie B.? PBS Parents recognizes the books as good reading material for your kids – Junie B. is fun, spunky and hilarious. All the books are clever and cute, but some of our favorites are Junie B. Jones Is Not A Crook, Junie B. Jones Is A Beauty Shop Guy, and Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy. Click here for a full list of the books!

Showtimes: Saturday at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. (The play runs weekends through August 23.) Admission: Free. Details here.  

Brave the heat for the flea market

The Summertime Austin Flea will not disappoint if you’re looking to take a look inside Austin’s creative culture and even purchase items from local artists and vendors. The Austin Flea has been featuring local, handmade, and vintage vendors in Austin since 2009, and even lived in a few iterations a few years before that. This year it’s taking place at The Highball, right next to the newly renovated Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar.

Before you go, you have to check out this episode of In Context, “Design Build Ballet.” Among other artists, sculptor Paul Reimert creates life-sized, classic figure studies out of flea market kitsch.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Admission: Free. Details here and on Facebook.

Race a duck 

Okay, not a real duck. Benefitting The Boys and Girls Club of the Austin Area, the Austin Duck Derby features 10,000 rubber ducks dropped into Lady Bird Lake from the Ann Richards Bridge on Congress Avenue. Ducks will race to the finish line, and winners will receive prizes. During the race, enjoy kids’ activities, music, food and fun at the mini festival on the grounds of the Austin American-Statesman parking lot. You can rent a duck for $5 at 

Before you go, check out what The Boys and Girls Club of the Austin Area does for low-income children during the summer months to combat “summer brain drain” in this KLRU American Graduate News Brief.

Hours: Race starts at 11 a.m. Admission: $5 to rent a duck, all other activities are free. Details here.

What’s happening this weekend: July 31-Aug. 2

Now that the summer heat has arrived in full force, we know you’re looking for ways to stay cool this weekend. We’ve got some suggestions for you!

Check out the Texas Robot Roundup

Watch high school teams from across the state compete at the fifth annual Texas Robot Roundup at the Austin Convention Center Friday and Saturday. What’s cooler than watching smart young people show off their amazing creations? Before you go, get inspired by this clip from SciTech Now and watch elementary, middle and high school students take part in robots competitions through the nonprofit organization FIRST.

Admission: Free to spectators. Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Details here.

Visit the Carver Museum’s newest exhibit
The George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center’s newest exhibit, John Yancey’s Can u see, opened Thursday. Yancey is a Chicago artist who was influenced by social and political events of the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s to create public murals and mosaics and commissioned sculptures and paintings. Yancey is currently a studio art professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Before you go, watch this clip from the 2012 episode of Juneteenth Jamboree, in which KLRU features the Carver Museum and its curator.

Admission: Free. Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday. Details here.

Extreme bird-watching in the Capital Plaza Shopping Center
If you live in Austin, chances are you’ve watched the bats come out from the Congress Avenue Bridge. But have you ever watched purple martins roost at Capital Plaza? The Travis Audubon Society has hosted purple martin parties on Friday and Saturday nights this summer. Bring a lawn chair and watch hundreds of thousands of purple martins roost in the Live Oaks near Shepler’s Western Wear at Capital Plaza. The good news is the purple martins roost at dusk, so you don’t have to worry about the summer sun — and the Travis Audubon Society says it’s even better than watching the bats! If you’d like to know more about purple martins before you go, watch this video from Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Admission: Free. Hours: 7:45 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Details here.

Landmarks Guided Tour of Bass Concert Hall
Escape the blistering summer temperatures and join The University of Texas at Austin College of Fine Arts’ Landmarks for a docent-led tour of art in Bass Concert Hall on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The collection features striking examples of postwar and contemporary sculpture from influential artists such as Magdalena Abakanowicz and Ursula von Rydingsvard. Check out Ursula von Rydingsvard’s artwork featured in Ecology, as artists explore how our understanding of the natural world becomes deeply cultural.

Admission: Free. Hours: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Details here.

What’s happening this weekend: July 17-19

Happy weekend, Austinites! Stay cool this weekend with these (mostly) local events.

Take a road trip to Winedale for UT’s annual Shakespeare productions

“Shakespeare at Winedale,” a University of Texas program which presents various Shakespeare productions in Winedale, Texas, is in its 35th year this summer. This year, the students are presenting Twelfth Night (opening July 16), Henry V (opening July 17) and Pericles (opening July 18). Established in 1970 as a UT English course, Shakespeare at Winedale has grown into a year-round program reaching many different groups. Students in the summer program spend two months in the Texas countryside, studying and performing three plays in a nineteenth-century barn converted into a theatre.

So, load up in the car this weekend and journey about 80 miles east to Winedale to appreciate the students’ hard work. But before you go, watch this episode of Shakespeare Uncovered, in which Jeremy Irons researches Shakespeare’s history plays such as Henry V, as well as the differences between the real history and the father-son drama that Shakespeare creates.

Admission: $5 with a UT ID, $10 for all others. Hours: Showtimes vary. Details and ticket information here. 

Revisit your childhood fairytales at the Blanton Museum of Art

Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm opened last week at the Blanton and features more than 30 gouache and pastel drawings by artist Natalie Frank, a New York-based Austin native. Organized by The Drawing Center in New York, this presentation explores the nineteenth-century fairy tales of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, including well-known stories such as Cinderella and Snow White, and more obscure tales such as The Lettuce Donkey and The Ungrateful Son.

Before you go, watch On Story: Reimagining The Classics as writers of re-imagined classics & popular franchises such as Ghost, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, Twins and Snow White and the Huntsman deliberate how to keep stories fresh while staying true to the original.

Admission: Free for Blanton members and UT students, faculty and staff. $9 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for college students with valid ID and youth ages 13-21, free for children 12 and under. Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Details about the exhibit can be found here.  

Dance and sing along to Hairspray at the Zilker Hillside Theatre

Zilker Theatre Productions’ annual free summer musical this year is Hairspray, and trust me, you’ll have a hard time resisting the urge to sing and dance along with the energetic characters and catchy tunes.

Before you get down with “The Nicest Kids In Town,” check out this interview with John Waters, who directed the 2007 movie.

Admission: Free. Hours: Thursday through Sunday nights beginning at approximately 8:15 p.m. Details here.

Mix up your musical interests with the Austin Chamber Music Festival

Each summer the Austin Chamber Music Center presents an exciting line-up of world-class artists, programmed by Artistic Director Michelle Schumann. The 19th annual Austin Chamber Music Festival wraps up this weekend with performances from Trio con Brio Copenhagen, Time for Three and Cactus Pear Ensemble in the Bates Recital Hall on UT campus.

Austin’s own Mother Falcon performed as part of the festival last weekend. Check out this episode of Arts In Context documenting the band’s inspiring story.

Admission: $25 for general admission, $50 for premium seating. Hours: Concert times vary. Details and ticket information here.

Love your rescue pet (and all local rescue pets) with Austin Pets Alive!

In Austin, we love our rescue pets. Local rescue Austin Pets Alive! has devoted an entire day to loving your rescue cat or dog. APA! has partnered with local businesses to help raise money to save more local pets. Click here for a list of participating businesses.

Additionally, it’s supposed to finally hit 100 degrees this weekend in Austin…so make sure to check out these tips for keeping your furry friends safe during the summer.

Shop at the biggest garage sale you’ll ever attend

Austin’s City-Wide Garage Sale is Saturday and Sunday at the Palmer Events Center. If you’re an antiques junkie or you’re just looking to get a good deal on some gently used items, it’s worth checking out. Before you go, make sure to binge-watch some of our online episodes of Antiques Roadshow. You never know when you’ll find something really valuable at a garage sale!

Admission: $6 for adults, kids 12 and under get in free, $10 for early shoppers on Saturday only. Hours: Early shopping Saturday at 8:30 a.m., all other shopping 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Details here.

What’s happening this weekend: July 10-12

TGIF! Another beautiful weekend in Austin, Texas. Here are our recommendations for how to spend it!

Free, local, live music at the Bob Bullock Museum

It wouldn’t be a weekend in Austin without your favorite local bands playing somewhere really cool for absolutely no charge. Catch Brownout and Sweet Spirit Friday night at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum as part of the “Music Under The Star” series, presented by the museum and Fun Fun Fun Fest.

Before you go, check out Brownout’s 2010 performance of “Nawlins” on Satellite Sets.

Admission: Free. Hours: Sweet Spirit will open at 6 p.m., followed by Brownout. Click here for details.

Second Saturdays at Laguna Gloria

Every second Saturday of the month, The Contemporary Austin offers hands-on art-making workshops at Laguna Gloria, inspired by the exhibitions on view. This Saturday’s theme is pinhole cameras, based on John Grade’s sculpture hanging from the trees, framing a view of the sky. Drop in and see family-friendly performances, meet local artists, make your own pinhole camera, then see how an entire room can be transformed into a giant pinhole camera! Recommended for ages 2-11. Before you go, watch this episode of Arts In Context Shorts about these relaxing experiences in a beautiful sculpture garden and the opportunity to learn about how nature influences art.

Admission: $10 per family, $5 per member family. Hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Get additional details and RSVP here.

Re-watch Jaws in probably the scariest possible way

The Alamo Drafthouse is hosting a screening of “Jaws” on Saturday, but this isn’t your average screening. Moviegoers will be floating on inner tubes in the water at the Texas Ski Ranch while the movie plays on a screen nearby. So, if you’re feeling brave…rent a floaty and pack your swimsuit. And probably bring a friend who isn’t a practical joker and won’t grab your feet under the water.

“Jaws” isn’t exactly the most factually accurate shark movie — so brush up on your shark facts here before you go, or catch up on NOVA’s “Why Sharks Attack” documentary below.

Admission: $30 for movie ticket and inner tube rental. Hours: Movie starts at 8:30 p.m. Details here.

What’s happening this weekend: July 3-5

Happy holiday weekend, Austinites! There’s no shortage of Fourth of July festivities across Central Texas this weekend, but we’ve rounded up a few suggestions here.

Celebrate Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic’s return to Austin

The Redheaded Stranger is back to celebrate the red, white and blue on Saturday in Austin at the Circuit of the Americas, and of course he’s bringing all his friends. Willie Nelson and family will headline the one-day festival, with Eric Church, Kacey Musgraves, Merle Haggard, Jamey Johnson, Jason Isbell, Asleep at the Wheel, Sturgill Simpson, Kris Kristofferson, Billy Joe Shaver, Ray Wylie Hubbard, David Allan Coe and more. Get in the spirit before you go by watching Willie perform “Pancho and Lefty” at the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame in 2014 with Lyle Lovett and Emmylou Harris.

Also, don’t miss this Antiques Roadshow clip from Austin featuring Willie Nelson memorabilia.

Admission: Tickets range from $35 to $75. Hours: Parking opens at 10 a.m., gates open at 11 a.m. Music starts at 11:15 a.m. and will go until 12:30 a.m. Fireworks display will go off at 9:45 p.m.

Watch the fireworks over Lady Bird Lake

After a brief stint at the Circuit of the Americas, the city’s annual Fourth of July fireworks display featuring the Austin Symphony is back at Auditorium Shores. The family-friendly event on Saturday has fireworks, food, drinks, local venders and a live performance by the Austin Symphony. Before you head out, make sure to set your DVRs to record the 35th anniversary of A Capitol Fourth, featuring Barry Manilow, Alabama, Nicole Scherzinger, Hunter Hayes, KC and the Sunshine Band, classical pianist Lang Lang, the National Symphony Orchestra and conductor Jack Everly.

Admission: Free. Hours: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Get out of town and head to the Nutty Brown

If you don’t feel like dealing with traffic and crowds at the city’s fireworks event, head out to the Nutty Brown Cafe for Austin City Limits artist Bob Schneider’s annual Fourth of July bash, but check out these photos from Bob’s Austin City Limits Season 36 taping here before you go.


Admission: $17 general admission. Hours: Doors open at 6 p.m.

Have your own Fourth of July barbecue!

What’s Fourth of July without a cookout? We’ve gathered some tips from Aaron Franklin of Franklin BBQ as well as recipes from PBS Food to help you keep your friends and family fed and happy. Watch the brisket episode of BBQ With Franklin below and click here for the recipes! 

Unwind with a relaxing Sunday afternoon at the museum

What’s your story? Find out the best way to share your stories, listen to new ones and create art that tells tales at the Free First Sunday: Story Telling event at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. You can also check out the museum’s roller derby exhibit, which runs through Aug. 8. Make sure to watch KLRU News Brief’s segment on the exhibit before you go!

Admission: Free. Hours: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Free First Sunday: Story Telling ends at 3 p.m. 

Click here to check out a full list of Fourth of July events in Austin and surrounding cities from Austin360.