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Open Congress brings Texas politics to the street

The free Texas Tribune Fest event will close part of Congress Avenue

Domed pink granite building with blue sky behind and downtown city street in front.
The Texas Tribune Festival is downtown this weekend
Getty Images

If you’re downtown around the Capitol Saturday (and why wouldn’t you be?), you might want to know about the hubbub that will be taking place on Congress Avenue—specifically between Seventh and 11th streets. That will be Open Congress, the free and open-to-the-public portion of the Texas Tribune Festival, which takes place at several downtown venues Thursday-Saturday.

Curbed fans and city geeks might be interested in attending some or all of the Open Congress events, as they’ll address many of the issues we tackle frequently, including transportation, energy and climate change, and immigration. There’s even a panel called “Texas vs. California,” a topic that Curbed explored extensively in its United States of Texas and California feature package last year.

See the map below if you’d rather avoid the whole thing.

Walking and flying

The NAMIWalks 5K for the National Alliance on Mental Illness will also be downtown Saturday and will involve police-escorted, temporary closures only. The Komen Austin More Than Pink Walk will be Sunday around the Long Center in South Austin. Finally, the amazing Blue Lapis’s In Light performance, which features dancers suspended from the IBC Bank building downtown, will take place Friday-Sunday and involve a one-block closure downtown each night.

Texas Tribune Festival’s Open Congress

Saturday, September 28, 7 a.m. to midnight
(Street closings started Thursday, September 26, at 7 a.m. and will end at 6 a.m. Sunday, September 29)


Congress Avenue between Eighth and 11th Streets

Eighth through 11th streets one block east and one block west of Congress Avenue

NAMIWalks Austin 5K

Saturday, September 28, 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Police-escorted, temporary closures only

Komen More Than Pink Walk

Sunday, September 29, 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.


Riverside Drive South First Street to Lamar Boulevard

Lee Barton Drive from Barton Springs Road to Riverside Drive


Thursday, September 26-Sunday, September 29, 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. each night

San Antonio Street between Fifth and Sixth streets