Squirrel Fest, a Bidi Bidi Birthday, and More Community Events

Plan your week with some of our recommended happenings around town

Photo by Metropolitan Transportation Authority / CC BY 2.0

City of Austin Career Expo

Thursday 11, Palmer Events Center

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Austin metro area has about a 3.7 employment rate – up from a solid 3 right around the holidays. That’s pretty good, but we can do better! If you’re in the job market, fire off a few copies of the ol’ resume, throw on some biz casual duds, and join the city for its lucky 13th annual job fair, promising presentations for job seekers and chances to meet face-to-face with over 100 employers from city and state departments, temp agencies, and lots more. Parking is free after 10:30am and the expo runs 11 to 4.   – Kat McNevins

City Council-Planning Commission Public Hearing on Land Development Code Changes

Thursday 11, Austin City Hall

If you want to hear what your neighbors have to say about big changes City Council has planned for building housing in Austin, head to City Hall at 9am for a public hearing on proposed changes to the city’s Land Development Code. Council will hold a joint public hearing with the Planning Commission to gather feedback on proposals related to what kind of housing can be built on land near Project Connect stations – aka, the massive, once-in-a-generation expansion of Austin’s public transit system – what kind of housing can be built near single-family homes, and more changes to a program known as Home Options for Middle-Income Empowerment (HOME), which Council originally authorized last year. The hearing is likely to draw dozens, if not hundreds, of speakers and is sure to last into the afternoon.   – Austin Sanders

Courtesy of Sky Candy

Cyr Wheel: Basics of Spin

Friday 12 - Saturday 13, Sky Candy

It’s time to spin right ’round, baby, right ’round, with this two-day Sky Candy workshop. Join in to learn the ups, downs, and every-which-ways of the cyr wheel. Ever wanted to feel like a human top? Or pictured yourself spinning around in a giant hula hoop? Make it a reality with expert instruction from aerial expert Jamiza Dar. Registration requires height disclosures, since provided wheels work best for those 4’11” to 5’10”. Join in for a truly 360 athletic experience.   – Cat McCarrey

DAYEATER (Photo by Ismael Quintanilla III)

Zilker Brewing Co. Ninth Anniversary

Friday 12 - Sunday 14, Zilker Brewing Co.

Zilker Brewing Co. celebrates nine years of busting barley with jam-packed festivities including local eats and a near-endless array of ales. Twangy country collective the Lonesome Heroes will put a Southern spin on Friday’s festivities with their honky-tonk ballads. Saturday expects a slew of live talent including psychedelic threepiece DAYEATER, vibrant genre-fusing sisters the Tiarras, and New Age art-rockers the Cuckoos. Soul-rock wordsmith Chief Cleopatra joins the lineup, along with the funk-fueled sonic improv deconstructions of Butter & Jam. Spend Sunday with the family and your choice of activities including arcade games, face painting, and balloon art.   – Miranda Garza

Future Front at Squirrel Fest

Saturday 13, Pease Park

Pease Park’s annual celebration of spring returns courtesy of Pease Park Conservancy and the cool folks of Future Front. Indeed, the artist-focused community org will present several open-sky all-ages creative workshops – and all for free. Work with artist Tanya Zal on making clay mushrooms; create seed balls with “drag fairy” Gothess Jasmine; paint nature pieces with artist Kayla Kennedy; make friendship bracelets; and join Where’d the Wild Things Go for Austin bird bingo. Plus: family-friendly DJ sets by locals SuperMcN4sty and Knstalgia, yoga, puppet shows, and face painting, followed by a screening of DreamWorks’ Trolls. No need to be squirrelly when you’ve got so many fun fest activities to do.   – James Scott & Madeline Duncan

Slow Fashion Festival designer Rich Prophet's runway (Photo by Madison Dee / Courtesy of Slow Fashion Festival)

Slow Fashion Festival

Saturday 13, Austin Cinemaker Space

April is really her month: Ms. Mother Earth, honored at this sustainable-style-focused fest created by eco-conscious mag SUSTAIN founder/Editor-in-Chief Reza Cristián, multidisciplinary artist & curator Leah Bury, and artists/Mutiny Market pop-up-trepreneurs Mikaela Friedman and Courtney Keville. These sustainability sirens bring to life a spring fashion show full of slow-fashion designers: UglyFlex, Faire Sauvage, Dear Ivy, YvieStyleIt, and many more. Maybe you caught the preview at South by Southwest, but nothing beats the full show. Isn’t that what Mother would want?   – James Scott

It’s a Birthing Thang

Saturday 13, ACC Eastview

There’s an alarming disparity between outcomes for white and Black birthing people, with dire statistics showing Black patients face a dramatically higher risk of pregnancy-related complications or even death. So Black Mamas Matter Alliance established Black Maternal Health Week “to build awareness, activism, and community-building to amplify the voices, perspectives and lived experiences of Black Mamas and birthing people.” As part of BMHW, which is recognized annually April 11-17, Austin Public Health’s Maternal Infant Outreach Program celebrates its 10th anniversary and presents a film screening and community discussion along with refreshments, vendors, and raffles, all running 11:30am to 4pm at the African American Cultural Center.   – Kat McNevins

Courtesy of Hill Country Conservancy

Open Preserve Weekend

Saturday 13 - Sunday 14, Karst Springs Preserve

Feel like getting out in nature and enjoying spring before it turns into an unbearably hot summer? Just about an hour away lies 1,200 acres of ecologically sensitive land packed to the brim with gorgeous scenery and protected wildlife, and the Hill Country Conservancy invites you to come explore on this open weekend. They’ll have some reps on hand to answer questions, but this will be a self-guided experience you can do at your own pace over a couple of hours, and entry times will be staggered to ensure a peaceful experience for one and all.   – Kat McNevins

Courtesy of Las Ofrendas

Bidi Bidi Birthday Celebration

Sunday 14, the Brewtorium

Seven years of markets, parties, and bolstering the Latine community has put local event organizers Las Ofrendas in the realm of icons. Fitting, then, that they celebrate their anniversary alongside Tejano queen Selena Quintanilla with all the pomp & circumstance two icons demand. Enjoy sets by DJs Helios and Kickit, over 75 Latine craft, artisan, and cultural vendors, and Brewtorium’s fine refreshments. Of course, a “bidi bidi” b-day wouldn’t be complete without drag performances and drag loteria along with Selena karaoke and a costume contest.   – James Scott

Austin Archives Bazaar

Sunday 14, Scholz Garten and Saengerrunde Halle

If you’ve ever wanted to rustle through someone else’s basement storage, you’re in luck! Live out your own Antiques Roadshow dreams, Austin-style, at the Austin Archives Bazaar. Enjoy historian speakers, DIY activities, and booths delving into vaults from local institutions. Explore the media depths from the Harry Ransom Center, oddities from the Scientific Anomaly Institute, and fantastical wonders from local libraries. And did we mention it’s at a biergarten? Grab a discounted stein and indulge every voyeuristic impulse.   – Cat McCarrey

Courtesy of ABC Kite Fest

DiscoTex at ABC Kite Fest

Sunday 14, Zilker Park

We understand the dissonance cogitating in your head: Yes, the ABC Kite Fest is the ultimate springtime celebration, but where are the chart-topping disco hits from the Seventies? This year, you get the full experience. DiscoTex, the “ultimate ABBA cover band,” will take the Zilker Park stage at 11:30am for a 40-minute set as the kites zag through the sky. [Editor’s Note: For folks more interested in kites than classic Seventies hits, the festival starts at 10:30am with tons of all-ages activities in addition to the kite contest and showcase. Pets are welcome, too, and they and kiddos can enjoy a special activity area.]   – Brant Bingamon

Photo by Jon Tyson via Unsplash

Campfire Queer Storytime

Sunday 14, the Vortex

Run by legendary host World Famous *BOB* – and yes, the asterisks have to be there; they’re load-bearing punctuation – this queer group huddle provides a safe space for storytelling. Whether you’re reading your own work or a favorite writer’s, singing a song, or leading a ritual, queer expression is encouraged with only one rule: Don’t use that precious time to hurt yourself or others. This event runs in part thanks to Rainbow Connections ATX, the LGBTQ arm of Family Eldercare. Their work helps elderly members of the queer community continue to lead happy and healthy lives as they age.   – James Scott

Photo by Ignacio Brosa via Unsplash

Fall in Love With Nature Day

Sunday 14, McKinney Falls State Park

Ever been told to get outside and touch grass? Prove those haters wrong at McKinney Falls State Park. Breathe in the best of Austin’s closest state park with structured activities and guided exploration. Try your hand at archery or birdwatching, join group hikes, and absolutely take a dip under the titular waterfalls. We won’t tell anyone if you do fall in love, promise. But you might not be able to resist screaming about nature’s bountiful beauty from the nearest trailhead.   – Cat McCarrey

GoodPop’s Good Deeds Day Fest

Sunday 14, Rosewood Neighborhood Park

Finally, a Sunday afternoon outing with purpose. Whether you’re working off the effects of Saturday night, or trying to distract the whole family, you can get out and make the world a better place at the Good Deeds Day Fest. Take a one-stop-fits-all approach and work with a veritable slew of local nonprofits. Like animals? Make shelter toys and maybe even check out adopting a dog. Into sustainability? Sort recyclables or use them for creating art. Got an overly full pantry? Bring out those extra cans for donation. Reward your virtuous actions with the provided snacks and live music. Do good and feel good about it.   – Cat McCarrey

Local Queer April Book Club: H.E. Edgmon

Monday 15, Reverie Books

South Austin’s best little queer bookstore hosts the first-ever “night with the author” event for this LGBTQ literary society. Local Queer ATX welcomes H.E. Edgmon to discuss his newest work – Godly Heathens, a young adult fantasy novel featuring nonbinary and trans teens discovering not only their true identities but also, you know, magical forces beyond comprehension. The novel features Indigenous characters, an essential element for Edgmon in his work. “In his writing and his daily life,” the author bio states, “H.E. will always prioritize the pursuit of an Indigenous future, the safety of our most vulnerable, and making a terrible joke whenever possible.” To enjoy these terrible jokes, please bring a blanket or chair as this meeting’s out of doors.   – James Scott

Photo by Shayna Douglas via Unsplash

Prom Prep DIY

Monday 15, Southeast Branch Library

How do you do, Austin-area teenagers? I am a hip and cool person who was at one time a teen, so I can confidently say the best way to celebrate le promenade is by making your own accessories. Yes, yes, I hear you: But James, you cry, what about the cheap handbag I’m obsessed with from Claire’s – where hip cool teens shop? What of the boring Goodfellow bowtie I covet every time my mom drags me to Target? Believe it or not, you will be complimented far more on a custom, self-made piece of finery – like a handbag, bowtie, boutonnière, corsage, shoe clip, or lapel pin – than any sweatshop slop a corporation begs you to buy. Reject consumerism, teens! Embrace your local library’s prom DIY crafting event!   – James Scott

LGBTQ Quality of Life Town Hall

Monday 15, Permitting & Development Center

A civic-minded queer is a happy one, as they know their actions will have a big impact on how the city’s LGBTQ community grows. At this open town hall, input is sought for a potential project many years discussed: an LGBTQ+ cultural center in Austin. No more trading whispers in Instagram DMs – it’s time to make your voice heard by the ATX City Council. Arrive early to peruse tabling by various city departments and community orgs; get your parking validated; and refresh on the LGBTQ Quality of Life Commission’s work by visiting austintexas.gov/content/lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-and-queer-quality-life-advisory-commission.   – James Scott

Photo by Knick Banas / CC BY 2.0

DAC Nights: Flower Power

Wednesday 17, Dougherty Arts Center

Spring has sprung, and even though April showers bring May flowers, we already have the blessing of bountiful bluebonnets and wonderful wildflowers lining the highways. Celebrate flowers of all forms at this arty party experimenting with several approaches to flower dyes. BYO T-shirt for a tie-dye, explore dye drawings, and try what Dougherty proclaims is best of all: flower crushing. More flower to ya!   – Kat McNevins

Austin Fashion Week

Thursday 18 - Saturday 20, the Domain

Discover new designers at the 16th annual Austin Fashion Week at the Domain Simon Center. More of a weekend, the show kicks off Thursday with Emerge, a runway show featuring up-and-coming artists. Austin Area Urban League presents the Black Designer Showcase Friday, highlighting Black designers from across the globe. Austin Fashion Week also promotes young artists: The Discover and Incubate runways celebrate student designers from Round Rock ISD, University of Texas, and Austin Community College. Finish out the weekend at Ode to the OGs, which focuses on longtime Austin Fashion Week designers. Don’t feel like buying a ticket? Drop by pop-up shops to peruse runway looks and vendors.   – Madeline Duncan

The Tortured Poets Department Listening and Smoke Sesh

Thursday 18, MARYJAE Social Club

Dropping seven albums in four years just wasn’t enough for newly christened billionaire Taylor Swift. Her new album The Tortured Poets Department arrives late Thursday night, and to revel in the excess, Local Queer ATX and MARYJAE Social Club have partnered up to throw a listening party with weed. The 21+ event will include cannabis-infused drinks and pre-rolls. Dancing starts at 9pm, and the album drops at 11pm. Tickets are, fittingly, $13.   – Maggie Q. Thompson

Photo by Yianni Mathioudakis via Unsplash

Little Texans: Trees

Thursday 18, Bullock Museum

Now that eclipse fever has died down, we can focus on solid ground again. For this special family program from the Texas history museum, the fine folks of Texas A&M Forest Service swing by to teach little ones all about trees. Kiddos will take in a woodsy storytime, learn how to identify trees, and branch out to some hands-on activities celebrating the trunked treasures that keep the world going ’round. Programming is ideal for kids ages 2 to 5, and is free with membership or museum admission from 10:30 to 11:30am.   – Kat McNevins

Regular City Council Meeting

Thursday 18, Austin City Hall

City Council returns to the dais Thursday at their usual 10am start time to take up a relatively brief agenda. But Council Members are bringing important items for a vote: including one from Council member Alison Alter that directs the city manager to “prioritize funding” for a program aimed at transforming the way the Austin Police Department responds to sexual assaults. Alter also has an item on the agenda that could reduce fees associated with city pools and other aquatic facilities, especially for people earning lower incomes.   – Austin Sanders

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