African Violet Show & Sale

Now's the time to stock up. Or perhaps you'd just rather see master growers show off their best plant art. That can also be arranged. If nothing else, it will probably be the only place not inundated with live music. This year's theme is "Luck O’ the Violets." 9am-4:30pm. Admission to park is $1-3.

Austin Area Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Rd. (in Zilker Botanical Gardens), 512/365-1818

Austin by Austin

Take a break during South by and check out some of Austin's finest local businesses and creative communities. The kickoff on Saturday features lots special events including rapper SaulPaul freestyling a new song on the spot at Wheatsville Co-op on the Drag, Tiny Pies, and Joe’s Amps and Magnecord Studios. Fun events continue throughout SXSW. Through March 19. Free.

Various locations

Bazaar Brunch SXSW

Get ready for South by with hearty vegan/vegetarian food and then get your look together shopping at the local handcrafted and vintage market. Bring the dog. Thu.-Sat., March 16-18, 11am-3pm. Free.

Bouldin Creek Cafe, 1900 S. First, 512/416-1601

Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience

Muddy Waters

Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience

Austin could not be a better home for this exhibit focused on the history of music festivals. Artifacts and concert footage bring the experience alive whether it's Hendrix at Monterey or Queen at Live Aid - both featured in a video montage of the Top 10 festival performances of all-time. Artifacts include Muddy Waters' '59 Martin acoustic played at the '68 Newport Folk Festival, a poster board stenciled sign by Banksy, and Dave Navarro's Jane's Addiction stage getup. Curated by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. March 10-July 23, Mon.-Sat., 9am-5pm, Sun., 12-5pm. $9-13.

Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 Congress, 512/936-8746

Handbags for Hope: Drive for Purses

Texas Advocacy Project and the Travis County Sheriff's Office are accepting donated purses for survivors of domestic violence. The bags, adorned with 1-800-374-HOPE discreetly stitched into the lining, will be delivered to shelters across Texas. Every day, through March 31..

Travis County Sheriff's Office, 5555 Airport, 512/854-9788

Heart of Texas Rockfest

Purposely timed to intersect with SXSW, this free festival is spread across several venues, including nightclubs and outdoor stages Downtown. Unsigned indie acts, both local and national, will play alongside big names. March 15-18. Free.

Inside Gospel Live

Celebrate the best in gospel music and ministry with nationally syndicated radio host and speaker Frankie Wilson. 7pm. Free.

George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center, 1165 Angelina, 469/665-9077

Mattress Firm Foster Kids Dollar Drive

Donate in-store at one of their 77 stores or online to benefit area foster kids and families. Free.

Mattress Firm, 3910 N. Lamar

Once in a Lifetime Pipe Show

Find that special pipe artfully created by local glass blowers ATX and Grav Labs. Wed.-Sun., March 15-19, 2-8pm. Free.

Planet K @ Cox Plaza, 10938 Research

Pride & Joy: The Texas Blues of Stevie Ray Vaughan

Stevie Ray Vaughan fans will not want to miss this exhaustive exhibit guest curated by his brother, Jimmie Vaughan. Many of Vaughan's guitars (including his legendary "Number One" Fender stratocaster) will be on view as well as early family photos, concert posters, stage outfits, handwritten lyrics, exclusive archival concert footage, his famed hat, and more. March 10 through July 23. $9-13.

Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 Congress, 512/936-8746

Purchased Lives: The American Slave Trade From 1808 to 1865

This exhibit examines "the lives of individuals intertwined in the domestic slave trade by exploring slavery’s reach beyond New Orleans and Galveston, beyond Texas, beyond the South, and into the very fabric of America." Through July 9. Cost of museum admission, free for members.

Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 Congress, 512/936-8746

Resident Evil Escape Experience

Schedule your one-hour session in this interactive escape room honoring the survival horror stalwart. Through April 12. $35.

The Yard, 902 E. Cesar Chavez

Sherwood Forest Faire

Get out your corsets and chain-mail and join the fun and fantasy in the medieval village with scads of performances each day, plus food, shopping, live music, jousting, and unparalleled people watching. Through April 23, 10am-dusk.

Sherwood Forest Faire, 1883 Old Hwy. 20, McDade

St. Patrick's Day at Pioneer Farms

The Celtic Cultural Center brings international and local stars of Irish music and dance for an authentic St. Pat's celebration. 1-8pm. $15 ($5 kids 12 and under).

Pioneer Farms, 10621 Pioneer Farms Dr., 512/837-1215

St. Patrick's Day Celebration

If you don't like green beer you've got 82 other beers on tap to choose from plus live music, comfort food, bagpipes, and more. 10am. Cover charge starting at 1pm.

Jack & Ginger's Irish Pub, 11500 Rock Rose, 512/350-3738

St. Patrick’s Day at NXNW

Live music from Jeremy Steding, Pipes & drums, and Silver Thistle, special beers on tap, house-made Irish stew, and more to benefit AIDS Services of Austin.

North by Northwest Restaurant & Brewery, 10010 N. Capital of TX Hwy., 512/467-6969

Strange Land Brewery’s St. Patrick’s Day Party

Limited edition beer and Irish music are just a few of the features. 5-10pm. Free.

Strange Land Brewery, 5904 Bee Caves Rd.

SXSW Gaming Expo

The gaming arm of the SXSW Fest is back but a little different this year. There will be the usual panels, cosplay competitions, parties, and of course, games, but it's not free like it has been in years past. The kids will likely stick to the pro-gaming tournaments, virtual reality rigs, and other flashy bits. Parking Downtown will be limited (and/or expensive). Thu.-Sat., March 16-18, noon-8pm. $25 (one-day wristband), $49 (three-day wristband).

Austin Convention Center, 500 E. Cesar Chavez, 512/404-4000

The 17th Annual St. Patrick's Day Austin Festival

The Celtic Cultural Center of Texas invites you to avoid green beer and get "trad." Irish and local bands will perform, and the Gaelic League of Austin leads a language workshop. 1-8pm. $15.

Pioneer Farms, 10621 Pioneer Farms Dr., 512/837-1215

The Austin Flea Does St. Patrick's Day

Shop for local, handmade, vintage goods for St. Patty's day. noon. Free.

The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co., 1305 W. Oltorf, 512/298-2242

Tucson Truck Show

Rummage through treasures found at the International Tucson Gem & Jewelry Show, some available for wholesale and special prices. Through March 19. Free.

Nature's Treasures, 4103 N. I-35, 512/472-5015


Call for Platelet Donors

The supply of platelets has fallen to an unsafe level. Anyone who is able is urged to make a platelet donation appointment as soon as possible. Platelet donation may be done every 7 days or 24 times per year. The entire process from the time a donor walks through the doors until they leave is approximately 1 to 1.5 hours. Call to make an appointment. Open seven days a week.

We Are Blood, 4300 N. Lamar, 512/206-1266

Downtown Ghost Tours

offer nooks-and-crannies walking tours that spotlight the dead to bring Austin's history and geography to life. Fri.-Sat., 8pm.


Emancipet Free Days

This mobile spay/neuter clinic might be in your neighborhood today. Check to find out. Fri.-Sat., check-in begins 8am (first come, first served). Free.


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