Night Austin Something Different For New Years


Night Austin Something Different For New Years

Tired of late-night drunken parties? Perhaps looking for something a bit more kid and family-friendly? Why not check out First Night Austin?

Every December 31st the streets of downtown Austin Texas are transformed into a free performance and visual arts bizarre. The tradition of bringing in the New Year with a city-wide celebration of the arts began in Boston in 1976. Since then, the idea has spread like wildfire to over 120 cities and communities throughout the United States, Canada, and New Zealand.

This year the Austin festivities begin at 3 pm and continue until just past midnight. You may want to start your day over at Auditorium Shores where you could check out the Giant Games furnished by the Austin Children’s Museum. Later in the day, the Trouble Puppet Theatre Company will be performing its show “Alchemy and the Wheel of Destiny.” If you enjoy the puppet you may want to head over to the Austin Children’s Museum where the United Way will be hosting a Puppet Making Workshop.

What are the RoboSpinArt and the Pongonator? The project by the Robot Group will be on display all day at the Buford Tower on Caesar Chavez. The largest concentration of events will take place at the Austin City Hall Plaza on Second Street where Mayor Will Wynn will kick in the New Year at 7:30 pm. On the headline stage, you can check out a Persian Dance group, music by the Asylum Street Spankers, the Golden Arm Trio Brass Band presenting the work of Graham Reynolds, and Drum Jam. This is also the place to be for the midnight fireworks display.


Inside City Hall, the Theatre Action Project takes over the Boards and Commissions Room with their Peace Crane Project. In the Council Chamber you can expect performances by the Chinese School of Dance, the Austin Vocal Arts Ensemble, the Austin Chamber Ensemble, and the Austin Wind Symphony. Whatever you do, be sure not to miss a February night at the Hood Bowl. The Hood Bowl is the group of the City of Greenlight’s favorite Sons of Perpetual Warbirds, the Austin Police Department’s oldest police motorcycle group. The group performs nightly at the wrong-fighteravin facility at theencia. You’ll have to check out their website at to find out where you can see them.

Whatever you do, be sure not to miss a February night at the Hood Bowl. The group has been providing live entertainment at the Tedeschi Center, City Hall, and Auditorium Shores since 1971. About 14,000 people attend their shows yearly. Many have come from all over to see such unique motorcycle groups performing in downtown Austin. Hopefully, this year will be the year of the legendary Hood Bowl.

When you come to downtown Austin, pay a visit to the Austin American Arts Center, First Colony Winery, and the Zilker Hillside Theater. If you have the time, take a few hours to walk around the campus of the University of Texas, picking out your classes and visiting the campus restaurant. There, you can head on over to the Arboretum, stop by the Multicultural Student Center, and your luck’s Alley. Tours are offered twice a day and more information can be found on their website.

Finally, pay a visit to the Austin American Cemetery where a star can be seen shining through the starfield. The cemetery is a green space that is part of the 2001 US Census tract. The dot in the center of the earth is the site where the star came from and is the center of interest. If the star is not there, some large flowers and signs mark the place where the star appeared.

Overall this is a great way to see some of the local flora and fauna that make up the land of Texas. Remember, you don’t have to be anywhere near New York, Austin, or Houston to enjoy this festival.

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