Below is a general list of annual events held in and around Austin each year. For more specific times, dates and additional information, please visit the Events Calendar.
First Night Austin
First Night takes the ancient custom of marking the passage of time and transforms it into a citywide celebration of our cultural richness and artistic diversity. It began in 1976 as a finale to Boston’s Bicentennial events and has since expanded into a tradition that brings neighbors and communities together in a way no other celebration could.
One of the country’s premier races attracts nearly 11,000 participants from around the world.
South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival
Every March the Austin Convention Center becomes the hub of the Music, Interactive, and Film universes. Registrants, exhibitors, press, panelists, showcasing musicians, filmmakers spend five days attending the trade show, lounges, and a slew of panels, interviews, keynotes, and mentoring sessions.
Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo
Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo has grown from a Show featuring 16 animals into one of Austin’s premier events, featuring ProRodeo events, daily Concerts, Livestock Show and more.
Zilker Park Kite Festival
Hundreds of kites fill the sky at in March at the Zilker Park Kite Festival. This annual event is free to enter and categories include the smallest kite, the largest kite, the highest flying kite and the most creative kite with both adult and children’s divisions. Only homebuilt kites are eligible for competition, however you don’t have to enter the competition to fly a kite during the festival.
Old Settler’s Music Festival
Central Texas’ signature music event featuring Grammy winning Americana, arts & crafts, camping, food & libations. Acoustic jazz & blues, bluegrass, old-time local faves & award-winning artists from around the world attend the event.
Eeyore’s Birthday Party
In 1963, UT English professor Lloyd Birdwell Jr. started a Winnie the Pooh-inspired picnic dubbed Eeyore’s Birthday as a springtime party for his students before final exams. The event has since become an Austin tradition and is held in April every year at Pease Park, with costume contests, relay races, face painting, and other events for adults and children, including drum circles that spontaneously form across Pease Park.
Old Pecan Street Festival
Taking place on a Saturday and Sunday in both the Spring (May) and the Fall (September), the old Pecan Street Festival is a family event featuring arts and crafts exhibitors, vendors, music and multicultural performers in the middle of Sixth Street in downtown Austin.
Kerrville Folk Festival
Each May and June, tens of thousands of Austinites and visitors from all over the world make the two hour drive from Austin to converge at Quiet Valley Ranch in Kerrville for eighteen consecutive days of traditional folk, bluegrass, acoustic rock, blues, country, jazz, and Americana music.
Republic of Texas (ROT) Rally
The 15th annual biker event brings thousands of motorcyclists and their rides in from across the country for a weekend of festivities concluding with a rally held on the steps of the State Capitol.
Willie Nelson’s Picnic
Country Legend, Willie Nelson, holds his annual picnic around the 4th of July each year, which is a collaboration of many music legends, including Willie himself. The event is all day and is usually held just outside Austin in the Texas Hill Country.
4th of July Celebration, Downtown Austin
The “official” and largest 4th of July event in Austin is held at Auditorium Shores each year. More than 100,000 Austinites gather to see the Austin Symphony perform patriotic music, including the 1812 Overture, with the shooting of cannons by the Texas National Guard Salute Battery. Fireworks are shot over Lady Bird Lake at the end of the evening.
Austin Ice Cream Festival
The Austin Ice Cream Festival raises money for local charities such as the Austin Children’s Shelter and the Young Womens Alliance and is a way to beat the hot Texas heat.
Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival
In the nineteen years since its inception, what started as a friendly contest between Austin and San Antonio has become one of the largest annual contests in the world, the Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival will impress any foodie critic.
Taking place on the Congress Avenue Bridge in the early part of September, BatFest is a two-day festival celebrating Austin’s famous bat population. An estimated 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats live under the bridge.
Austin City Limits Music Festival
Set in downtown Zilker Park in the middle of September, the Austin City Limits Music Fest is annual three-day music and art festival that has become one of the United States premier rock festivals. Approximately 130 bands on eight stages attract crowds of around 65,000 fans to listen to music including rock, country, folk, indie, Americana, hip-hop, reggae and bluegrass.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Expo
Every Fall since 1991, the Texas Park and Wildlife Department has transformed its headquarters in Austin into an outdoor experience where visitors fish, shoot, kayak, rock climb, mountain bike, see and touch wildlife and learn about outdoor recreation and equipment.
Austin Celtic Festival
The Austin Celtic Association is a non-profit organization established to celebrate and promote Celtic culture through music, dance, language, theatre, sports, history, and the arts in central Texas.
Austin Powwow and Heritage Festival
Sponsored by the Austin Independent School District, the Annual Austin Powwow and American Indian Heritage Festival is the nation’s largest annual school event and largest American Indian annual gathering in Texas.
Zilker Park Trail of Lights
The festival, originally known as Yule Fest, began in 1965 by Mrs. Alden Mabel Davis and former Parks and Recreation Director Beverly Sheffield as a holiday gift from the Parks and Recreation Department to the citizens of Austin and its visitors. The first display, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, was initially set up in Zilker Park and still holds a prominent location on the Trail every year.
37th Street Lights
For a block of Austin’s 37th Street each year, enthusiastic residents let loose the gates of restraint and go all out to decorate their houses and yards and even the street with one of the most dynamic community Christmas light displays in the Lone Star State. Truly “Keep Austin Weird” at its finest.