Michael Fracasso and Claire Holley (Photo By Todd V. Wolfson)
SIMS Health Fair/Caritas South by Soup FestRepublic Park/Caritas of Austin, Wednesday, March 12
The low, gray ceiling that refused to dissipate this afternoon dampened the day's activities just a bit, but not enough to keep people from plugging in and playing in the rain for a good cause. Over at Republic Square Park at Fourth and Guadalupe, locals came out to support Austin's SIMS Foundation, which in turn supports local musicians with low-cost mental health services, plus a number of other area do-gooders for the SIMS Health Fair. Choros
started things off with some delightful Latin guitar as a few folks wandered among booths manned by Hospice Austin, Planned Parenthood, the Wright House Wellness Center, and others, including the hands-down attraction of the day, Hearts and Hooves, a group that uses miniature horses as therapy animals. Hearts and Hooves visits homes and hospitals to bring comfort to those who need it courtesy of these ridiculously cute and docile animals that stand no higher than a big dog. Over at Caritas Austin, 611 Neches, the second annual South by Soup Fest did its share to feed those who need feeding and provide some music to chew by. Locals Michael Fracasso and Mark Morris (formerly of Dynamite Hack) turned in short acoustic sets, as did North Carolinian Claire Holley and Ireland native Roesy, who sounded a bit like an unaffected David Gray. The party at Caritas happens Thursday and Friday as well, 11am-12:15pm, and it's not a bad place to spend the lunch hour. If nothing else, it'll help put the buffets of other daytime parties into their proper perspective. Back at the Health Fair, there were free health services for all who came, from free HIV testing to a dental mobile that'd scare the crap out of many an unsuspecting kid and any number of other tables, most handing out food and nonalcoholic beverages along with their pamphlets. Troy Campbell, Beaver Nelson, and the Orange Mothers all did their best to lift the cover from the sky, but the spit was not to stop. No matter. Those who came left content, wet ponies and all.