We comb the depths of the Internet to find as-close-to-everything-as-possible happening in Austin, from gallery openings and festivals to concerts and theater and beyond, finding the best to recommend to you.
With Chef Zack Northcutt moving to a new job, Swift’s Attic is celebrating his legacy at the restaurant with a special edition of the over-the-top burger specials that Northcutt had always enjoyed. The burger, dubbed “a Slice of Heaven,” will feature slices of Via 313’s Cadillac pizza as the buns.
But you’ll want to get there early because the kitchen is only making 18 of them. To be guaranteed a seat and a free burger, participate in Swift’s Attic’s Facebook and Instagram contest.
What’s that? You’re not going to Willie’s picnic this year? That’s a questionable decision, but alas, there will be plenty of live music, fireworks and meat grilling happening elsewhere in the city. Here’s a quick guide to some of the holiday’s highlights.
Where to see fireworks:
Don your red, white and blue at the H-E-B Austin Symphony Concert and join the largest Independence Day celebration in the state. Find a spot on the lawn to enjoy a fireworks display over Austin’s skyline with accompaniment from the Austin Symphony’s renditions of American classics. Concert at 8:30 p.m., fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Vic Mathias Shores, 900 West Riverside Drive.
Imagine the picture-perfect views of fireworks over the downtown skyline while paddling down Lady Bird Lake. Reserve a kayak, canoe or stand up paddleboard for Monday evening to make your vision come true. The Rowing Dock, 2418 Stratford Drive.
Even many longtime Austinites might not realize that this tradition has been around since 1977, when gas shortages inspired the idea of having all garage sales in one location. The City-Wide Garage Sale has evolved since then to turn the Palmer Events Center into the vintage and collectibles marketplace, but the second-hand spirit remains the same.
Dedicated shoppers can show up at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday only for a chance at getting early-bird deals.
Details: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. $6-$12. Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road. citywidegaragesale.com.
Alex, a struggling Hollywood actor, takes a job working in Streisand’s Malibu Barbra dream house, located in an underground mall that houses her showbiz collections. Unexpectedly, the star herself comes downstairs to “shop” — but will this desperate actor ever be invited upstairs to Babs’ palatial estate?
This one-man play, the second of Zach Theatre’s summer productions, will have you doubled over with laughter.
Details: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday through Aug. 14. $29-$64. 1510 Toomey Road. 512-476-0541, zachtheatre.org.
A year after celebrating its 100th birthday, the Paramount Theatre’s popular film series has returned by ushering in a new era: the arrival of digital cinema, along with an all-new sound system and screen. The Classic Film Series, which continues Tuesday with “The Searchers” and “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” plays some of our favorite old films throughout the summer.
These are double features, with one ticket good for both films if you so choose.
There will be no American Pharoah this year, but even without the dramatic story line, the Kentucky Derby has become known as “the most exciting two minutes in sports.” But more than that, it’s an excuse to wear a big hat and sip on minty whiskey. These parties will offer you a place to do just that when the race rolls around Saturday.
Derby in the City is more than just a watch party. Take in live music from Houndmouth, Jamestown Revival and more before gathering around the jumbotron for the main event.
Brass House hosts Talk Derby to Me 2 benefiting Leukemia Lymphoma Society’s Woman of the Year candidate. Drink cocktails, play games and dress up to compete for prizes.
Don’t be the dummy who pays full price for a margarita on Cinco de Mayo. Dozens of local restaurants will be running drinks specials all day long. But if you’re looking for a little more than cheap tequila, try out one of these festive events:
Cinco de Drinko. Ok, this one’s mostly tequila. Ten different vendors will offer tastings of the agave spirit all day long. But there will also be mariachi bands from 2-5 p.m., a D.J. until 9 p.m., and a photographable miniature donkey, Jack the Mini Ass. 2-9 p.m. Pelons Tex Mex, 802 Red River Street. pelonstexmex.com.
Cheer Up Charlies party duo. For a suggested $3 donation, join the Red River establishment from 6-8 p.m. for Circo de Mayo with performances from Matthews Easter Circus, Esther’s Follies and Circo Acts. Enjoy a $4 margarita and free chips and salsa with your live entertainment. At 8 p.m., the Cinco de Mayo Fiestón begins with Peligrosa until 10 p.m., followed by Selena tribute band Bidi Bidi Banda until midnight. Peligrosa’s DJs will round out the night until close. The 21 and up night show will set you back $5. 909 Red River Street. cheerupcharlies.com.
Tacos & Tequila. Shimmy and shake to a live performance from Groupo Fantasma while sampling margaritas special to the event’s menu and nomming on free tacos from Qdoba. Music, margs and muchies: what more could you want? 7-11 p.m. $30. The Belmont, 305 West Sixth Street. thebelmontaustin.com.
Cinco de Mayo Weekend Fiesta. Thirsty Thursday doesn’t fit into your work schedule? There’s nothing wrong with a belated celebration. Join Guadalajara’s Los Master Plus, Master Blaster Sound System and the very busy Peligrosa for a fusion fiesta fit for a Friday. 8 p.m.-close. $8 in advance, $12 day of show, $20 VIP. Empire Control Room & Garage, 606 East Seventh Street. empireatx.com.
In conjunction with the Blanton Museum’s current exhibit, “Come As You Are: Art of the 1990s,” the museum is hosting the screening of a 1990s classic, “Hackers.”
The 1995 flick features teenage hackers, played by Angelina Jolie and Jonny Lee Miller, who code by day and crack corporate conspiracies by night. Stay after the film to explore the exhibit, on view through May 15, featuring the seminal works from 45 artists who explored a range of subjects from 1989 to 2001.
Details: 1 p.m. Sunday. $5-$9. 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. blantonmuseum.org.
Although Austin’s core often gets all the credit for culinary innovation and skill, some outlying cities are starting to step up their dining scenes, too, including Round Rock. The Taste of Round Rock event, which showcases area restaurants and caterers, returns this year with different menu items from old favorites and new spots alike.
Some of the participating places are Jack Allen’s Kitchen, Greenhouse Craft Food and Flix Brewhouse. There will also be a cash bar selling beer and wine.
Details: 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday. $30. Round Rock Sports Center, 2400 Chisholm Trail, Round Rock. tasteofroundrock.com.
Sunday Honk!TX. Street and brass bands from around the country dissolve the line between crowd and performers by bringing music to the public spaces of town. The three day celebration of community and creative expression spread from South Congress to the Triangle. Sunday is the final day of the fest, beginning with a parade in East Austin followed by a band revue at Pan Am Park. 12-5 p.m. Pan American Park, Fourth and Chicon Streets. honktx.org.
Tuesday ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ screening. Whether you didn’t catch the film in theaters or you couldn’t wait to see it again, almost everyone can get excited about this Weeknight Cinema feature. 6:30 p.m. Austin Public Library – North Village Branch, 2505 Steck Ave. 5120974-9960, library.austintexas.gov.
Lick Honest Ice Creams free scoop night. The local ice creamery is moving from its flagship location to a new home in the Lamar Union shopping district. Join them for a housewarming party where they’ll be scooping up free ice cream. They’ll also collect donations benefiting Hill Country Ride for AIDS throughout the week. 7-10 p.m. Lick Honest Ice Creams Lamar Union, 1100 South Lamar Blvd. ilikelick.com.
Wednesday Fusebox Festival. This unique festival celebrating live performances, visual art and film will feature over 60 different installations, talks, and events in 24 venues across Austin. Continuing through Sunday, there are plenty of weird and wonderful happenings during this atypical long weekend. Find the calendar of events at fuseboxfestival.com/calendar.
Thursday Brixton Comedy Hour. Looking for a laugh? Local comics Danny Palumbo, Amber Bixby, Yola Lu, Joey Zimmerman and Luis Flandes put on a free comedy show with happy hour specials. 8 p.m. The Brixton, 1412 East Sixth Street. 512-370-2749, thebrixtonaustin.com.
Friday Hayes Carll in-store performance. Ahead of his new ‘Lovers and Leavers’ album release, Hayes Carll will give a free show at Waterloo Records. Grab a free Shiner beer and hear some of the new tracks from the upcoming album. Anyone who pre-purchases a copy of the CD or LP will receive a priority admission wristband to the performance. 5 p.m. Waterloo Records, 600A North Lamar Blvd. waterloorecords.com
Saturday Clean Sweep. Keep Austin Beautiful! Over 4,000 volunteers will participate in the largest annual city-wide service day. More than 130 sites around town will be tended to in an attempt to remove more than 29 tons of trash from our city. Afterwards, grab a free t-shirt and lunch at the volunteer party with live music, art and other activities. 9-11 a.m. Various locations. keepaustinbeautiful.org/program/clean-sweep.