Dog Toys and Puppy Sports Lead Our Recommended Community Events

Bucking broncos, drag vampires, and more highlights

Photo by Samia Liamani / Unsplash

Make Dog Toys With APA!

Thursday 8, Austin Creative Reuse

Two-time “Best of Austin” winner Austin Creative Reuse is a craft store dedicated to giving new life to items that have either already served a purpose or were just left over from another project: a magical place filled with misfit sewing notions, scraps of this and that, doodads and whatsits galore. Volunteers make it run, and on this day in Volunteer Land, you can use some of these fine materials to hand-stitch dog toys for animals residing in local shelters. Visit their website to sign up and check out other available volunteer days.  – Kat McNevins

Making Comics Workshop

Thursday 8, Terrazas Branch Library

Hey, kids – comics! You read ’em, you love ’em, and now you can learn how to make your own multipaneled masterpieces at this Eastside outpost of your friendly neighborhood Austin Public Library. Local comics creator Adam Kobetich (of The Shadow Under the Leaf fame) will show you how to channel your inner Stan Lee and Jack Kirby – or maybe Alison Bechdel or Takeshi Obata and Tsugumi Ohba – at this free workshop, where the power of sequential art is put into your narrative hands.  – Wayne Alan Brenner

Photo via Getty Images

Austin Oddities Market

Thursday 8, Elysium

Goths need love too, which is why variety show king Captain Eric Burton’s regular oddities market sets up shop at Elysium just in time for Valentine’s Day. Hard to say what special objects you’ll find at Thursday’s bazaar, but if Burton’s Fun Time Sideshow Circus is any indication, a few Fiji mermaids, jars of eyeballs, and animal skeletons are a safe bet – and live performances, of course. Obviously not a daylight affair; shopping goes from 9pm to 2am.  – Carys Anderson

Financial Literacy Workshop

Thursday 8, Willie Mae Kirk Branch Library

At this point you probably have a folder or drawer littered with opaquely numbered forms. That dreaded file is likely labeled “taxes,” and you’re refusing to make eye contact with it. Well, your friends at the public library want to help you with all those questions you might have. What’s more, they’ll help you make the most out of your refund and offer tips on saving all year round. Don’t let the tax man intimidate you; get that paper!  – James Renovitch

Chronicle dog, Hank, outside of our old offices (Photo by John Anderson)

The Chronicle Moving Sale

Friday 9 - Saturday 10, 4000 N. I-35

We’ve been in the Elgin Butler Brick Company building for almost 33 years now – more than enough time to turn junk into memorabilia. Desks, chairs, shelves, file cabinets, yes, but also other “random Chronicle things.” Posters, handbills, and fliers. The press kit from the Austin Aztex national championship season. Forty-year-old guides to life in Austin. Old issues. Really old issues. Snow globes. Softball trophies. Vintage tees, free bandanas, and branded hard hats. (And never fear; we’re not really going anywhere, just moving to the other side of the volleyball court on 40th St.)  – Nick Barbaro

Courtesy of PBR Bull Riding

PBR’s Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour

Friday 9 - Saturday 10, H-E-B Center at Cedar Park

These bulls will stomp your face! And every other part of your delicate human body! Or, as the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour promoters put it: “Each ride promises an opportunity for an unforgettable moment!” A modestly priced ticket allows the attendee to take in the aroma of hay and dung and watch emerging bull riders and superstars of the sport try to stay atop their bulls for eight seconds.  – Brant Bingamon

Pardi Gras

Friday 9 - Sunday 11, Banger’s

Look, nobody wants us to make a dumb sausage fest joke, but if the andouille fits... Banger’s annual free three-day party around Mardi Gras will feature a Cajun-forward special menu (including boudin link with red beans and rice, crawfish and sausage gumbo, gator hush puppies, and beignets), bourbon barrel beers, kid-friendly games, and live music from Chansons et Soulards, Austin Cajun Aces, Jean Pierre & the Zydeco Angels, the Numbers, and Lexi Weege & JJ Slater.  – Kimberley Jones

Love Bites: A Twilight Drag Showcase

Friday 9, Cheer Up Charlies

In November 2008, a film released that shook teens and tweens to their very core; a film based on a Mormon mom’s dream of sparkly vampires and abstinence; a film starring two little freaks barely entering their freakdom. This Aughts classic gets twisted queer-style by Austin drag elites: Lavender Thug, Iggy Bank, Munster Mash, Tangelo, Vixie St. Claire, Travis Randy Travis, Jenna Talia, Jack Rabid, Kino Kino, Gender Destruction, and host Brigitte Bandit. Hold on tight, spider monkey.  – James Scott

PrintAustin’s PrintEXPO

Saturday 10, Blue Genie Art Bazaar

PrintEXPO is PrintAustin’s annual two-day fair – free to attend! – featuring more than 100 artists, galleries, print shops, and university printmaking programs from across the United States. Experience live printmaking demonstrations, witness steamroller printing by Texas A&M Kingsville, participate in hands-on printmaking activities led by area arts educators, and purchase original artwork directly from local and, yes, even international artists. Ah, crafty polychrome exuberance, FTW! Never mind that impending singularity: Now’s the time to get down and ink-dirty with your fellow humans in this creative and material world.  –Wayne Alan Brenner

Can Buy Me Love Valentine’s Market

Saturday 10, Hotel San José

Need a last-minute Valentine’s Day gift for your honey? Head to SoCo Saturday afternoon, where Hotel San José will offer food, drinks, music by DJ Son Fjord, and a vendor market. McKinley Mazar sells handmade jewelry, Gemini & Company crafts wax candles, and Chantal Ceramics supplies vases, mugs, and bowls; elsewhere, Rancho Sueño and Third Round Vintage set up shop for the clothing-inclined. If you’re really feeling confident in your relationship, hit up permanent jewelers Link X Lou, who weld 14k gold into accessories that stay on forever.   – Carys Anderson

Photo by Erik Drost / CC BY 2.0

Puppy Bowl

Saturday 10, Yard Bar

Before the Chiefs and 49ers hit the gridiron Sunday, see some fur-ocious puppies face off “in an epic display of uninhibited cuteness.” Austin Humane Society’s 17th annual Puppy Bowl lets you showcase your fur child’s playfulness for one quarter via the Puppy Player Pass ($30 donation to AHS). That’s not the only way to contribute: $20 gets you into a raffle for some amazing prizes, such as a portable Traeger grill ($450 value) or a party for 10 people and pups at Yard Bar and Camp Out ($500 value). The big game starts promptly at 2pm, and don’t miss the first-ever Rescue Dog Halftime Show!  – Kat McNevins

Uncanny Attractions: Drag and Dropkicks

Saturday 10, Highland Lounge

Wham-bam, body slam! Austin-based all-inclusive wrestling league Uncanny Attractions puts on Show the Love, a romantic rumble at the largest gay bar in town featuring not just wrestlers but drag performances as well. Catch reigning Unchampion Billy Dixon defending his belt against debut brawler Brick Savage; a family fight between Dillon and Eddy McQueen; a tag team battle between team Living in Fashion (Devin Carter & Zakai Living) and Purple Haze (Prince Alexander & Hollywood Hellcat Hendrixx); plus tons more! Can’t catch the big show IRL? Uncanny streams live on IWTV, baybee!  – James Scott

Love on Lockhart

Saturday 10, Lockhart

Look beyond these city limits for LGBTQ fun with the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce. They’ve chartered a bus that’ll pop off from Fourth Street on a road trip to small town Lockhart. While there, you’ll explore local businesses like Barbs B Q, Loop & Lil’s Pizza, Best Little Wine & Books, and others who’re members of the chamber’s new Small Town Big Pride program, and witness a rainbow ribbon-cutting at the Caldwell County Courthouse. After this road trip, you’ll want to give Lockhart a weekly visit.  – James Scott

Photo via Getty Images / Edited by Zeke Barbaro

Queer Foursquare

Saturday 10, Alamo Pocket Park

Elementary school staple foursquare dates back to the Fifties, when its rules were laid out in a Cincinnati schoolteacher’s manual. Since then, the basics have barely changed: “Equipment: A large rubber ball [and] a court marked off into four squares.” Yet updates to this marvelous game continue, including our own local LGBTQ foursquare faction. With Punxsutawney Phil having gone sans shadow last Friday, weather will be perfect for you and yours to join them at the Alamo Pocket Park’s pavilion for a little quad court fun. No need to bring your own large rubber ball, but bringing a snack for everyone is never a bad idea.  – James Scott

Afrofuturism and the Law Symposium

Saturday 10, Eidman Courtroom at the Connally Center for Justice

Texas Law events tend to get pretty in the legal weeds, but this one is geared toward anybody with an interest in the intersection of Black culture, history, and the future of American law. Hosted by the Thurgood Marshall Legal Society and the Austin Black Lawyers Association, the free event will kick off with a keynote address from Fordham professor Bennett Capers, an expert on criminal law and critical race theory. Three panels will follow, covering policing, health, and education. Hosts will provide lunch, and the event ends with a mixer.  – Maggie Q. Thompson

Photo by Von Wycliffe Zebadiah Leones / Unsplash

Bean & Cornbread Cook-Off

Saturday 10, 12 Fox Beer

Rivalries spur some of our greatest innovations: Ford vs. Ferrari, Coke vs. Pepsi, Marvel vs. DC ... and the chefs of the Dripping Springs Cook-Off Club. Begun in 1987 with some friends who wanted to determine who made the best barbecue, the group now holds several cook-offs per year. This is the first time they’re facing off with beans and cornbread, though, and the results will certainly spice up your weekend and bring in proceeds for local charities. Join in from 8am to 3pm at 12 Fox Beer to see who reigns supreme.  – Kat McNevins

Courtesy of Meanwhile Brewing Co.

Super Bowl LVIII Watch Party

Sunday 11, Meanwhile Brewing Co.

Sure, you can watch the game at home, but wouldn’t it be nice if someone else handled the snacks? The venue’s numerous food trucks will each have specials to mark this most holy of American sports events. Bring a chair and show up early if you want a good spot in front of the outdoor screen. There’s no cover or RSVP required, just your love of pigskins and the folks who toss and catch them.  – James Renovitch

Galentine’s Drag Brunch

Sunday 11, Rules & Regs

One of the most popular fake holidays invented by a TV show, Galentine’s Day takes place on Feb. 13 in Parks and Recreation land but can be observed anytime in early February when you want to celebrate friendship. Such as on Feb. 11, with a fierce drag brunch (1-3pm) honoring pop icons and hosted by the fabulous Celia Light on a dazzling rooftop bar overlooking the Downtown skyline. Pop by the permanent jewelry station from Spark Collection so you and your besties can get matching chains (noon-3pm). Reservations required, so plan ahead!  – Kat McNevins

Bouldin Creek Cafe (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Bazaar Brunch

Sunday 11, Bouldin Creek Cafe

After a four-year hiatus, those crafty movers and shakers of Eastside Pop Up return to Leslie Martin’s excellent vegan diner on South First to offer a day (10am-2pm) of shop-’til-you-nom retail therapy among the coffee and pancakes and mimosas and more. Featuring handcrafted and vintage wares from the Little Gay Shop, Flora & Fauna, Wingtip Betty, Finery by Terra, Cousin Kenny, and other talented locals, this merry market is sure to make your last-minute Valentine’s shopping easy-peasy pecan pie.  – Wayne Alan Brenner

Photo by Erika Rich Photo

Roller Rodeo Disco

Monday 12, Playland Skate Center

Local sexual health clinic ASHwell and queer country eventstars Neon Rainbows are putting on a rollerskatin’-n’-scootin’ extravaganza – on a Monday no less! DJ Boi Orbison will bring the genre-bending country/disco mashups, plus a halftime show by none other than ATX Dolly Brigitte Bandit and known Willie impersonator Travis Randy Travis. There’ll be a couples costume contest, because ’tis the season, and a multi-vendor market with Lonestar Queer. All this could be yours for the low price of $14 – including rollerblade or skate rental!  – Lina Fisher

Digital Libraries for Thinking Machines

Monday 12, Harry Ransom Center

We’re thinking, with our own personal wetware, that the Harry Ransom Center’s jam-packed stronghold, replete with world-class collections of documents and artifacts from all over, is the perfect venue for hosting this talk by Brewster Kahle, founder and digital librarian of the Internet Archive. Kahle’s magnum opus, begun in 1996, preserves more than 99 unique petabytes of data – the books, web pages, music, television, and software of our modern cultural heritage – and works with library and university partners around the world to create a digital library that’s accessible to all.  – Wayne Alan Brenner

Photo via Getty Images

Chess Club

Tuesday 13, Willie Mae Kirk Branch Library

OK, let’s open with the classic Pawn to King’s Knight Four, then pause on the ancient board of battle to proclaim that the WMK branch of your Austin Public Library system welcomes all citizens to learn how to play chess – against other humans! Discover a world of arcane strategy on a tabletop, socialize with like-minded gamesters, and never mind the AlphaZero as you happily hone your critical thinking skills. Note: Ages 10 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.   – Wayne Alan Brenner

Erotica: a Madonna Drag Tribute

Wednesday 14, Coconut Club

Why celebrate Valentine’s Day when you can celebrate Mother Madge? Presented by sexual health center ASHwell, queens Tatiana Cholula, Harlót, Paprika, and Ryan pay tribute to the queer ally of our time and her landmark 1992 album Erotica. Need a preview? Ryan paid homage to the record’s coinciding coffeetable book Sex last year, so you know she’s got her lewks down pat. DJ Lavender Thug sets the mood before and after the show – erotic, indeed.  – Carys Anderson

AEW Dynamite & Rampage

Wednesday 14, H-E-B Center at Cedar Park

Last year left some fans clamoring for a restoration of the “feeling” All Elite Wrestling once gave them. Perennially online CEO/booker Tony Khan – whose longtime passion for pro-wrestling runs deeper than his billion-dollar pockets – recently tweeted “2024 AEW is the next 2021 AEW.” Bringing back elements that separated his action-packed promotion from its competition, like a sports-esque ranking system, has cultivated a promising start to 2024. Wrestlers currently advertised to appear include Adam Copeland (fka Edge), Jon Moxley, and Sting. With AEW building toward Sting’s retirement match next month, this taping may represent the final chance Austin residents get to behold “the Icon” live.  – Derek Udensi

Guillermo’s Classical Music Trivia Night

Wednesday 14, The Brewtorium Brewery & Kitchen

KMFA lets its weekend host Guillermo Delgado out on a weekday to challenge the classically inclined. The trivia theme is ... [checks calendar] ... love! Also, who knew the KMFA crew had a cupid squad? We didn’t, but they’ll be there. The organizers claim you don’t need any knowledge of symphonies, etudes and whatnot to have fun, but you’re probably not going to walk away with the Beethoven Bust. Aside from bragging rights, the winners walk away with tickets to an upcoming Austin Opera production.  – James Renovitch

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