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Weekend street closures: Bat Fest is back

Congress Avenue Bridge will party

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Yes, Virginia, Austin is a festival town. The big ones start in October, but there are plenty of opportunities to rehearse in the meantime.

This weekend, the main event is the 14th annual Bat Fest, which fills the Congress Avenue bridge with more than 50 arts & crafts vendors, food and drinks, children’s activities, a bat costume contest, and other bat activities. There’s also live music (this year from Nina Diaz, Ghostland Observatory, The Mrs., and many more) and, everyone hopes will be the emergence of 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats from under the bridge at dusk (either to escape the ruckus or because it’s what they usually do every night this time of year).

As far as downtown/central-city road closures go, it’s pretty simple this week: Congress Avenue will be closed between Cesar Chavez Street and Barton Springs Road (which means the bridge, more or less) Saturday, August 18, from 5 a.m. until ... some time after the festival, which ends at midnight, is over.

Below is a map of the fest grounds and closures, courtesy of the Downtown Austin Alliance. Information on parking, public transportation, rules, and other stuff can be found on the city’s Bat Fest web page.