The Austin Chronicle

Election Day, STEM Day, Amplify Austin Day, and More Days to Remember This Week

Our guide to community events for the week

By James Scott, Katherine McNevins, Derek Udensi, Lina Fisher, James Renovitch, Wayne Alan Brenner, Kimberley Jones, and Carys Anderson, March 1, 2024, Arts

Hay Bésame Mucho Fest en la Casa

Friday 1, Cheer Up Charlies

Look: No one is saying a lineup that includes Los Tigres del Norte, Caifanes, and Alejandra Guzmàn isn’t extremely cool. But Bésame Mucho is on March 2 – one day after rent is due! For the broke community and broke allies, Los Mentirosos and Bobby Pudrido’s event provides all the fun without turning anyone away for lack of funds. Catch trans and Latine drag royalty performances by Solovino, Ryan, Venus Rising, Ruby Knight, Aeon Mavis York, and Teo; DJ sets by La Morena and BabiBoi; and a performance from SATX panza fusion dance troupe Zombie Bazaar. Why shell out big bucks for a baller baile? Hay comida en la casa!   – James Scott

Diasporic Disco

Friday 1, Central Library

Austin Asian American Film Festival throws its first queer prom, Diasporic Disco, as a fundraiser. Hosted by the hilarious Ivy Le of the FOGO: Fear of Going Outside podcast, this groovy gathering features performances by promqueen and DJ Phamstar, child care for kiddos 5-12 years old, a prom photo booth, refreshments, and awards celebrating queer Asian American filmmakers with AAAFF. They also gathered tons of resources for pre-prom research at, so you can deep dive on disco’s influence in various Asian cultures. Highly recommended: How else will you get educated on Vietnamese New Wave?   – James Scott

Last Day of Early Voting/Election Day

Friday 1 & Tuesday 5, various locations

This week is your last chance to vote early in the March 2024 primary election before election day next Tuesday. Take advantage of the weekend to cast a ballot and make your voice heard in important races that will decide who represents us in the courts, Legislature, and U.S. Congress and Senate. Turnout is hovering around a dismally low 4%. If you ever want to see Texas turn blue, it’s just a matter of showing up. Need help deciding who to trust? We spent weeks interviewing all the candidates we could; check out detailed Chronicle endorsements online before you go, and take a short list with you to the polls.   – Lina Fisher

Rodeo Austin Cowboy Breakfast

Friday 1, Long Center

As Rodeo Austin gears up to put on the big show starting March 8, the nonprofit keeps a tradition alive with the annual Cowboy Breakfast. Y’see, back in the cattle-drivin’ days, cowboys would fuel up in the morning with an enormous breakfast because stopping midday for a meal was too much trouble. So Rodeo Austin readies for its two-week-long bronco bonanza with a massive chuck wagon buffet open to the public from 6 to 8am, offering Texas delicacies like pulled pork breakfast tacos, El Patio chips & salsa, java and hot cocoa from Texas Coffee Traders, and lots more. The Pearl Snaps turn the parking lot into a honky-tonk with their classic country tunes soundtracking the whole affair.   – Kat McNevins

Boi Orbison’s Nineties & Aughts Country Dance Party

Friday 1, Lockhart Arts & Craft

Even if I didn’t have Marketing and Engagement Manager Cassie Arredondo – aka the reason the Chron circulates in Lockhart – pinging my inbox with great out-of-town events, I’d still lob a Lockhart-located event rec to this South of Austin boot-scoot. Filling out a cowboy hat behind the turntables, DJ Boi Orbison brings country tunes and queer-friendly fun to Historic Downtown Lockhart’s First Friday. Venue Lockhart Arts & Craft brags up a menu of specialty drinks both alcoholic and sober – such as the “you work tomorrow,” which zips strawberry, pineapple, and lime flavors together with hydrating electrolytes.   – James Scott

Fight Opera Presents: Fight 4 Filth

Saturday 2, Austin Beerworks

Be ringside for the bone-breaking, heart-pounding, spine-tingling power of wrestling superstars Fight Opera, who’ve been bringing Austin storytelling body slams since 2022. It is, as they say, “the answer to the question, what if a group of artists, performers, wild animals, and feral goblins came together to put on a show, with the only constraint being that everything must take place in a wrestling ring?” On offer to the interested consumer: Brawls with narrative themes! Prop comedy! Juggling! And extremely violent mayhem! Come check ’em out at their new venue and, as Fight Opera’s Facebook event copy says, “Embrace the decadence and feel the wonder.”   – James Scott

UT-Austin Women’s Basketball vs. BYU

Saturday 2, Moody Center

Fans can celebrate Shaylee Gonzales, Shay Holle, and other seniors on Senior Night when Vic Schaefer’s team concludes its regular season against Big 12 newcomers BYU. With aspirations of a one seed in the NCAA Division I basketball tournament, the AP poll’s No. 3 ranked squad is well-positioned to play two postseason games at home. Women’s March Madness’ first two rounds are typically hosted at the home venues of the tournament’s top 16 teams (all one through four seeds). Tickets for this tilt – the second half of a doubleheader with the men’s team – currently start as low as $6 on SeatGeek.   – Derek Udensi

It’s My Park Day

Saturday, parks all over town

It really is your park, but with great enjoyment comes great responsibility. So, this biannual event gives you a chance to give back to the green spaces that give Austin its unique character. No matter where you are in the city, there are projects taking place nearby where you can clean, decorate, mulch, weed, seed, and more. Go online and find a group that suits your volunteering vibe. In return you get the satisfaction of making someone’s park experience all the more restorative ... and a T-shirt.   – James Renovitch

Brews & Boots Texas Independence Day

Saturday 2, Independence Brewing

There’s Texas, and then there’s Texas, right? This shindig rye cheer is as consarned Texas as it gets, hoss, and y’all are invited to get your Lone Star style on as ostentatiously as possible at Independence Brewing’s Western fashion show and contest (Aaron & Stacy Franklin are among the judges, boy howdy!), to hoedown to the live music of Armadillo Road and Mayeux & Broussard, to drink some tasty brews and rope yourself around the Lasso Station and photo booth – and help support the Austin Parks Foundation while you’re at it. We dare say: Yeee-HAW!   – Wayne Alan Brenner

Sherwood Forest Faire

Through April 21, 1883 Old Hwy. 20, McDade

The 15th annual Sherwood Forest Faire begins this Saturday and remains open on weekends from 10am to dusk, rain or shine, till April 21. Over 170 artisans will be peddling their wares and showing off demonstrations of the serious craft it takes to make them, ranging from glass blowers, blacksmiths, potters, and leather armor makers to weavers, jewelers, and visual artists. With over 150 live performances a day to choose from, you could witness full-contact jousting, falconry, swordplay, archery, juggling, comedy, or theatre. We all know the best part of the faire is the turkey legs though – so don yourself a cheeky costume, let the mead flow, and get thee to McDade this spring.   – Lina Fisher

ZilkerBark Pug Meetup

Saturday 2, Central Machine Works

There’s dog people, and then there’s pug people. Anyone who’s in the pug life knows this breed is special for its friendly and easygoing nature wrapped up in a wrinkly, compact package. Celebrate these canine cuties at ZilkerBark’s second annual gathering, which last year brought seemingly every pug in the city limits to one place. From noon to 4pm, CMW’s expansive biergarten will become Pug Central, with adoptable doggos from Austin Pug Rescue, a photo booth, and a 30-by-30-foot “agility course” from Zoom Room that is sure to be a riot. A group photo takes attendance at 2:45pm.   – Kat McNevins

Women’s History STEM Day

Sunday 3, Bullock Museum

Women’s History Month kicks off at the Bullock with a Free First Sunday event (10am-2pm) celebrating women’s contributions to science, technology, engineering, and math. Several local nonprofit orgs will bring activities that will showcase the work they do all year in the community: Girlstart brings hands-on science experiments; Latinitas brings interactive robots to teach about coding; Math Happens demonstrates curve stitching, a craft invented in the 1900s by mathematician Mary Everest Boole; and the Greater Austin Reading Coalition presents a storytime about women in STEM in celebration of Read Across America Day. And may we remind you: It’s all free!   – Kat McNevins

Best Little Drag Brunch in Texas

Sunday 3, Sagebrush

Polish up your boots for a brunch like no other, featuring host Brigitte Bandit in her Dolly Parton pastiche. Fillin’ up the Sagebrush stage will be fine country folk like Pam Dulce, Miss Good, Travis Randy Travis, Tatiana Cholula, and decorated San Antonian Mehgan Dlux (Miss Gay South Texas USofA Newcomer 2019, Miss Gay Alamo City 2021, and Miss SA Pride 2023). On deck with his usual country tunes will be DJ Boi Orbison. Y’all come on down now, ya hear?   – James Scott

Japanese Folk Embroidery

Tuesday 5, Willie Mae Kirk Branch Library

You may have lived in Austin for a while, reader, but the exquisite Japanese folk embroidery known as sashiko has been around since the Edo period (1603-1867) in those fabled islands. No better time than right now for the fabric of your life and that history to be sewn together, at the Eastside’s Willie Mae Kirk Library, as fiber artist Juliann Krute introduces you to the classic techniques that use just one simple stitch to reinforce cloth and wreak beauty enough to brighten your days and nights for years.   – Wayne Alan Brenner


Monday 4 - Thursday 7, Austin Convention Center

Everyone knows that children are our future, and we should teach them well, and let them lead the way. To that end, this SXSW amuse bouche gathers educators, experts, and others to share the latest innovations to help make teaching the life-changing art form it can be. Get on board for conference sessions, film screenings, competitions, and some world-class networking. Take what you learn and share it with the world. It truly is the greatest love of all.   – James Renovitch

Barking Book Buddies

Tuesday 5, North Village Branch Library

Did you ever wonder how therapy dogs get their bone-a fides? They get hours upon hours of training and interaction with an organization such as Divine Canines, a volunteer-run group of dog lovers who work intensely with these animals in order to provide free pet therapy to thousands of folks in Central Texas. For a very special 4pm yappy hour for ages 5 and up, Divine Canines will bring some friendly doggos to the library so kids can practice their reading and build confidence, because what better audience is there than a patient, furry creature who loves everything you do?   – Kat McNevins

The Drag Queen Game Show

Tuesday 5, the Highball

Come on down, potential contestants, for the draggiest game show in all of Austin. Hosted by the terrific twosome of Celia Light and Mars, this interactive event pulls its audience into myriad mini-games based around a different theme every Tuesday. Enjoy games like trivia, speed dating, and Boobie Bingo. Whether you stumble in after a movie or go for the love of the game, this party will bring all the fabulous prizes your heart desires – like a drag queen ribbing you. Wait, is that not what everybody wants?   – James Scott

Tales of the Stiletto Coast

Wednesday 6, Vigilante Gastropub

You, a gay nerd. Them, a drag D&D show. Put these two elements together, and baby: You got a nat 20 in fun! Performers Petty Cakes, Pump King, Vivi VVitch, and Tyler the Game Master bring gaming giggles to this comedy show alongside special guests Ms. Hemmi Roidz and Rose Noir. Oh, and feel free to sup on one of three special shots available during the show: health potion, mana potion, or stamina potion.   – James Scott

Twilight Trivia

Wednesday 6, the Brewtorium Brewery & Kitchen

Twilight trivia? Where the hell have you been, loca?! The pop culture vultures over at Get It Games return with a two-hour quiz based on the 2008 film that kick-started a years-long sensation, and the questions write themselves: How long have you been 17? Which indie rock band sings this soundtrack song? How did Taylor Lautner get away with playing a Native American for so long? Host the Brewtorium offers a themed menu, and costumes are encouraged. Say it out loud: You know you want to go.   – Carys Anderson

Amplify Austin Day

Wednesday 6-Thursday 7

Looking to do some good for others, citizen? Wish you had more to give than you do? This is the day in which, the online platform that makes it easy to donate to local nonprofits, supercharges their philanthropic site with special matches that will amplify the value of your gift. Amplify Austin Day is the biggest day of giving in Central Texas, raising $102.7 million for the local community since 2013, and this year you can be part of the seven-county crowd spreading funds (and, consequently, joy) across our river city.  – Wayne Alan Brenner

Why Black Museums: Exhibitions and Relations

Thursday 7, UT Campus

At a time when Texas universities are making less space, not more, for diverse representation, the Art Galleries at Black Studies’ symposium returns to honor the essential role Black and other ethnically specific museums play in our culture and communities. A morning roundtable with historians and curators Jacqueline Smith-Francis, Carre Adams, and Ulili Emore will explore their work preserving Black history in Central Texas, while the afternoon programming includes case study presentations. The whole day is free and open to the public, but you’ll need to register online to attend either in person or virtually.  – Kimberley Jones

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