Some like it hot--and some like it Cajun. At the Louisiana Swamp Thing & Crawfish Festival, Austinites can test their iron stomachs against some of the fieriest fried food the bayou has to offer. About 7,000 pounds of crawfish will be given away over the course of the 11-hour event, while funk, blues, dixieland, and zydeco bands provide the entertainment. Those not in the mood for flaming-hot crustaceans will find catfish, bayou chicken, fried oysters, po'boys, frog legs, jambalaya, and anything else the cooks conjure up with their culinary voodoo.
With proceeds benefiting the local fire rescue, the Buda Fire Fest fills the weekend with a lineup of acclaimed musicians, family-friendly fun, and crowd-pleasing competitions. On Friday, the action-packed schedule kicks off at 8 p.m. with back-to-back performances from a lineup of country stars, including the Casey Donahew Band. Saturday’s all-day festivities entertain crowds with events such as the Ultimate Fire Fighter challenge, where competitors partake in feats of strength and agility, whereas local ladies see who can roar the hottest cartoon flames in the Miss Fire Fest pageant. Families pack up lawn chairs and blankets to sprawl in open outdoor seating for electrifying performances from Grammy-winners Little Joe & La Familia at 5 p.m on Sunday and lyrical tale-teller Roger Creager at 10 p.m. on Saturday. An array of activities entertains every taste, from the kids’ fun zone and junior contests to the cook-off, which sends the scent of prize-winning brisket, beans, and dragon-charred pork ribs through the park grounds.
For 12 hours, Thunderhill Raceway transforms into a frenzied dance party with dazzling light shows for the Euphoria Music Festival. Its lineup features 48 electronic dance artists from around the world spread across four stages. Check out shows from artists such as Roger Shah, White Panda, and Darth & Vader, who blast their mixes as screens and intelligent lighting add visual accompaniment. Go-go dancers and stage performers gyrate to the thudding bass of LA Riots' set as prismatic lasers shoot through the sky to project dirty limericks onto the moon. If you need a break from dancing, feel free to stop by face- and body-painting booths, interactive art installations, and a vendor's village.
The Great Urban Race is a one-day event pitting teams of two against one another in a race combining physical challenges, scavenger hunts, and puzzles. Up to 700 twosomes will traverse 4 to 8 miles of Toronto terrain on foot and by public transportation as they solve 12 challenging clues in a fun quest to reach the finish line first. Sample clues and challenges from past Great Urban Races include charades, bubble-gum chewing, pig Latin deciphering, bicycle races, and word scrambles, making this race ideal for competitive eaters and cryptographers alike. Teams are encouraged to dress up in matching outfits, and prizes will be awarded for best costume. Prizes are also given for race results, with $300 going to first place, $200 to second place, and $100 to third place. The top 25 teams will qualify for the National Championship in New Orleans in November, with the top three teams receiving free entry. Each participant gets a T-shirt and postrace refreshments of fruit, granola bars, and a run through a Perrier sprinkler. Read over the rules and FAQs for more information.
A platinum-earning singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Adam Young, a.k.a. Owl City, is a dexterous one-man band whose blend of new wave and indie pop has earned him the allegiance of eardrums near and far. Touring in support of his latest album, All Things Bright and Beautiful, Owl City swoops through soulful tunes, making appendages wobble rhythmically while brains twirl in introspection. Sharing the stage at this all-ages jubilee is Mat Kearney, who weaves his pop instincts and smart lyricism into toe-tapping tapestries, and the instrumentalists of Unwed Sailor make a musical statement without the use of words, semaphore, or Morse code.