The Rodeo, a Pet Pfest, Country Dance, and More Community Events

Hit the town with these non-SXSW events

BIPOC Pop 2024

Thursday 7 - Saturday 9, UT-Austin

After two years creating a space for “making and strengthening community and creative critical action today and tomorrow in the comics, gaming, animation, and multimedia storytelling arts,” Austin’s very own symposium for comic fans of color returns for three days. Explore topics like reinterpreting historical media, current Black comics as interpreted by Black scholars, and “Why Are All the Cowboys White?” All this, and workshops, animation screenings, and plenty of networking opportunities to meet other folks in the graphic narrative field.   – James Scott

Full Circle Sustainable Steak Dinner

Thursday 7, Still Austin Distillery

You know the folks at Still Austin in the Yard have a way with grain that distills it into some of the finest potent potables available in these here parts, right? Tonight, their award-winning bourbons and ryes will be paired with cuts of Double J Ranch beef from cows that were raised on Central Texas grasses and spent grain from Still Austin. (That’s why it’s called Full Circle.) ’Course, if they’re staging a steak dinner as posh as this one, they’d best have a damned good chef lined up. Would you believe: MaieB’s own chef Michael Fojtasek? Because it’s true!   – Wayne Alan Brenner

Rodeo Austin runs March 8-23 (Courtesy Rodeo Austin)

Rodeo Austin

Friday 8, Rodeo Austin HQ

You thought SXSW was the only days-long party in town promising loud music and smelly animals? Then this must be your first rodeo! OK, this one’s slightly more wholesome: Activities include a stock show, pro rodeo, petting zoo, pig races, carnival rides, and your favorite fareground vittles, plus a fresh headliner every day, including Lukas Nelson, Los Huracanes del Norte, Wynonna Judd, and Flatland Cavalry. Too wholesome? Pull on your finest shitkickers and hit the dance hall; there’s a full bar and, Rodeo Austin teases, a “chance to dance with a real cowboy.” Runs through March 23.   – Kimberley Jones

Cold Coffee Throwdown

Friday 8, Springdale General

Baristas and coffeeheads from all over town are converging at Medici Roasting in Springdale General to participate in this competition to see who can concoct the yummiest cold beverage using premium java and that new coconut milk from Califia. Of course there’s a panel of industry judges, but there’s also a crowd favorite to be decided – which is where you and your excellent taste come in, O caffeine-fueled connoisseur: right there among the tony shops and cultural flair of this Eastside marketplace.   – Wayne Alan Brenner

Austin Guinea Pig Rescue will be at Pflugerville Pet Pfest March 9 (by Yuhan Du via Unsplash)

Pflugerville Pet Pfest

Saturday 9, Pflugerville Public Library

Since 2016, P-ville has been honoring the mighty pet with a spring break fest dedicated to the creatures that enlighten our lives, from guinea pigs to alpacas. Purr-fect for the whole family, including well-behaved four-legged friends, the party from 2-4pm offers some adoptable animals as well. Guests include House Rabbit Resource Network, Austin Pug Rescue, Luck & Legends Saint Bernard Rescue, and more, with Miss Poppy the Clown bringing entertainment and Peeka Ranch Alpacas offering a “peek-a” some special alpaca friends.   – Kat McNevins

Sip & Paint at Art in ATX: Babe’s Market

Saturday 9, Batch Craft Beer and Kolaches

Here’s a fun make-it-yourself opportunity: painting your very own terra cotta planters. Join the Gallery ATX and Babe ATX in the crafting tent for their artisan market, Sip and Paint. Ticket purchasers ($20, yo) get a white terra cotta pot, brushes, and a palette of paints with a range of colors to choose from. You may, as you realize that painting a planter is challenging, sip sedatives (in the form of beer) or stimulants (coffee) and jam to the nu funk/tropical house of DJ Dámino. Local businesses will be on hand to offer baked goods, jewelry, paintings, and more.   – Brant Bingamon

Mother Hubbard Fight

Saturday 9, Pioneer Farms

What comes to mind first when seeing “Mother Hubbard Fight” might have to do with the nursery rhyme starring the lady with bare cupboards whose dog may have faked his death. But this time, it’s referring to a special program at the historic farm in honor of International Women’s Day, highlighting 1800s protests over the Mother Hubbard style of dress that had baseball players wearing frocks. There’ll also be a display of antique bicycles and a performance of the bata de cola from local flamenco studio Flamencura to complement the history lesson.   – Kat McNevins

Chupie’s No Meows Given Party

Saturday 9, Kitty Cohen’s

If you follow Chupie the Chupacabra’s Instagram, this meet & greet is already in your datebook, and if you don’t, put this paper down and give the little nugget a follow, why dontcha. This cat is something else: looks exactly like a chupacabra, horks down tacos and fries like nobody’s business, vibes tough as nails in a denim jacket, and has an absolutely DGAM attitude. Get away from the SXSW hubbub and swing by the always chic Kitty’s to meet Chupie, offer a french fry, and throw some dollars in for Austin Pets Alive!   – Kat McNevins

First Annual Pinvitational Cask Beer Fest

Saturday 9, Hold Out Brewing

In Austin, March begins a festival season that lasts all the way until Feb. 28 of the following year, so everyone should be thrilled to hear that a brand-new beer hoedown is setting up camp right at the cusp of this year’s SXSW blowout: the Pinvitational Cask Fest. The mini-festival will feature 34 powerhouse beermakers from around the city, state, and country bringing their own proprietary versions of cask-conditioned ales and lagers that are unfiltered, unpasteurized, and hand-pumped from beer vessels called pins (5.4 gallons) and firkins (10.8 gallons). No door sales, so hit Hold Out’s website to buy your tickets early.   – Eric Puga

The Kitsch Market

Sunday 10, Side Kitsch Vintage

Some of you never had a mom who dragged you around antiquing, and it shows in your Ikea-stuffed apartments. How about you liven up the joint – and your outfits, your office, your life, even – by checking out this wide array of vintage, gifts, and more? Side Kitsch, attached to local coiffeur/ses Scissor Sisters Hair Show, contains tons of kooky artifacts from cool peoples past. Explore their indoor selection as well as a new slew of vendors outside. Gonna miss this Saturday’s affair? Check back in on March 30, when they’ll be doing it all again.   – James Scott

Free Headshots

Sunday 10 - Wednesday 13, Convention Center

Heading to SXSW? Spruce up your professional portfolio with a new headshot, courtesy of Precision Camera & Video and Canon. Photographers will set up shop at the Convention Center from 9am to 4pm March 10-13. The first three days are exclusive to festival badge holders, but admission is free to the public on the final day. Organizers also promise an “immersive hands-on experience with Canon’s Cinema Line,” if you’re into that kind of thing.   – Carys Anderson

14th Annual Garden Party

Sunday 10, the Vortex

The fête champêtre, or rural party, was popular with 18th-century French nobility. According to the countess of Carnarvon’s official blog, these were set within the beautiful Gardens of Versailles and filled by all the Franco-tomfoolery favored by the powdered-wig set. You, however, don’t need to be royalty to cavort through the Vortex grounds at this upcoming fête champêtre. To enjoy the various activities – live music! Tiny Tails animal petting! Excerpts from upcoming Vortex Theater shows! – all you must be is pure of spirit and character. Oh, and if you want to bring a li’l donation to help keep the gardens running as a certified butterfly sanctuary, well. That’d be real kings and queens behavior.   – James Scott

Bazaar Brunch

Sunday 10, Bouldin Creek Cafe

Oh, my poor pocketbook. She cries for how empty she’ll become after the marvelous market Eastside PopUp’s got waiting this Sunday. Organized on the little lawn outside of vegan hotspot Bouldin Creek Cafe, the discerning shopper will find much to unburden their wallets for. Might you snap up an embroidered so-and-so from thread-smith Cousin Kenny’s, or a comfy sweatshirt that also declares your support for Texas queers by Emsbrynart? Perhaps you’ll pick a piece of porcelain turned planter from Flora & Fauna, or munch a watermelon CBD gummy from Redeemer. These and many more futures await you in this bizarre bazaar.   – James Scott

Wednesday Trivia

Sunday 10, the Velvet Casket

I’m getting a psychic premonition, much like a certain braid-wearing goth icon. With trivia questions focused on season 1 of the Tim Burton-directed and Jenna Ortega-starring Netflix show, you’ll compete against other Addams addicts to win the creepy, kooky, and altogether ooky crown. Not ready to drop the $5 pay-to-play because you’re an Addams Family Values purist? The Velvet Casket’s free to enter, as is its mother store the Glass Coffin: Shop their gothic wares and find a dark-hearted treasure. Maybe there’s a Thing in there just waiting to become your eternal companion.   – James Scott

English Country Dance

Monday 11, Hancock Recreation Center

Circle left. Strip the willow. Ladies chain. Unsure what these phrases mean? Perhaps it’s time your body got a move on over to the Traditional Austin Area Dance Association’s weekly English country dance. Here you’ll be instructed on the basics of ye olde contra dance – such that you’ve probably seen in Bridgerton, or Bridgerton foremother Jane Austen’s many filmic adaptations. While TAADA doesn’t require you bring a partner to attend, they do ask that you pay a $5 entrance fee and refrain from puffing up with perfume. This here’s a fragrance-free event, m’lady.   – James Scott

Spring Break at the Bullock

Monday 11 - Friday 15, Bullock Museum

A whole week without school? What is a curious and unoccupied mind to do? Get those kiddos down to the Bullock Texas State History Museum to stave off boredom and give them something to chat about when school’s back in session the next Monday. Each day’s unique spring break activity is included with museum admission and coincides with the current shark exhibit, meaning kids will learn fun facts about the ocean through interactive activities and get up close and personal with some very cool shark stuff such as megalodon teeth.   – Kat McNevins

Austin EDGE

Tuesday 12, dadaLab

While Downtown enjoys a big slobbery kiss with the behemoth known as South by Southwest, locals may prefer a quieter makeout among Austin area businesses. After all, you don’t have to outsource to get that grindset mindset vibe. Here, in the halls of dadaLab, will be DJ sets by Orya, Tasha, deepvelvet, and NYC’s High Waisted; panels from the folks behind Art Island, the Creative Admirer, Activation Angels, and Safe Circles; and “art experiences.” To attend these enjoyments is free, but to unlock all the fun – like an afterparty featuring even more DJs as well as all-day free drinks – just drop a cool $40 for the VIP ticket. Wait: Is that less or more than a SXSW Platinum pass? I can’t remember...   – James Scott

DIY Self-Care Pouches

Tuesday 12, St. John Branch Library

“Self-care pouches” – now there’s a term I’ve never heard before. And perhaps they’re necessary? Let’s assume that’s true and join the Austin Public Library for the latest in its Crafty Adult series – 18 years and up, so sorry kids. This week we’re making zippered pouches with the help of the Library’s Cricuts, a smart cutting machine that can personalize cards, clothing, and the pouch one must carry on their person at all times. “Fill it with fun self-care goodies,” the library recommends.   – Brant Bingamon

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