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The Bat Fest in Austin Texas

Aug 5, 2008
Austin's amazing population of 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats is one of the most unique aspects of an already exceptionally unique city. Austin's love affair with those delightful little bug-eaters is epic, and is celebrated every year with a bat-tastic festival held right on the Congress Street Bridge, while the honorees sleep below. Bat Fest, although relatively new, has become one of the River City's most noted and well-attended events.

Bat Fest is usually held in late August or early September, when the bat population is at its highest - the females have given birth and the pups are starting to venture out on their own. The bridge is closed to traffic, allowing for the 40,000+ attendees to walk among the tents and kiosks set up on the asphalt. Beginning late, at 2PM, the festival is meant to encourage people to enjoy the festivities during the day, and to enjoy the spectacular emergence of all those bats into the night air at dusk. The revelry continues on until midnight on Saturday, 10PM on Sunday.

On Sunday, early-bats can partake of the Bat Breakfast, when Austin's finest chefs whip up delectable breakfast treats. The savvy participants of this satellite event are treated to the flip side of the celebrated evening launch - they get to view the return of the bats after a night of foraging, to their roosts under the bridge.

Keeping with Austin's other main love, the festival mounts two stages, and bands play throughout the entire festival - up to thirty of the best the Live Music Capitol of the World has to offer can be seen in one weekend. Bob Schneider, Soulhat, Breedlove, and Grady have all appeared, along with many other big names in many different genres of music.

In addition to the Bat Breakfast, food vendors offer savory and sweet treats for sale all day and throughout the evening, and beverages of all kind are available as well. Over 100 of Austin's finest artisans and craftspeople present their wares, including pottery, jewelry, fine art, woodwork, stained glass, metal sculpture, mosaics, dicrylic, photography and much more.

The entrance fee for this exciting and unique event is a paltry $5.00, and the proceeds go to local charities including Bat Conservation International. BCI is already a regular presence on the "Bat Bridge" providing information and selling bat-centric souvenirs, as well as promoting their efforts to educate the public about bats, and to protect the bat population here and throughout the world. They amplify their offering for the festival, presenting educational displays and activities for all ages. The kids will find a wealth of fun in store, including carnival rides, games, interactive exhibits, face painting, and more.

With the beauty of Lady Bird Lake (formerly Town Lake) as a back drop, the Bat Fest is a great celebration of one of Austin's greatest treasures. Done in Austin's inimitable style, the music, crafts, food and fun make this an affordable, one-of-a-kind celebration, the likes of which you won't likely find anywhere else.
About the Author
Ki is a realtor helping individuals looking for Austin real estate . His site provides information on his Austin real estate blog along with a search of the Austin MLS.
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