Spectators walk along winding paths shaded by trees to explore the Sherwood Forest Faire's recreation of the Renaissance, complete with more than 100 live performances a day, 150 independent merchants, and a jousting arena. Spectators can engage in anachronistic adventure while interacting with costumed bards and actors patrolling the park. Trainers command falcons to swoop over audience members’ heads and snatch historically inaccurate cell phones during the Birds of Prey show. Armored knights face off during the joust tournament to determine who is better at keeping their seat, which the winners put up for grabs in a game of musical chairs for the title of champion.
Sweets are elevated to an art form at That Takes the Cake Sugar Art Show & Cake Competition. Bringing together expert bakers and sugar artists from across the state, the two-day event lets visitors stalk through an armada of colorful pastry masterpieces shaped like dragons, cheetahs, or cartoon characters. The competition breaks down its entrants into dozens of divisions and styles, all of which are judged according to creativity, theme, and artistry. A separate tasting competition includes entrants in the categories of angel-food cakes, moon pies, candies, and cookies.
Admirers of the sucrose arts can also learn at the feet of celebrity bakers by purchasing one of several group lessons in subjects such as cut relief, figure modeling, and how best to conceal a hacksaw inside a bundt cake.
The eclectic organizers at Red Frog Events take a lighthearted and fun-focused approach to building their adventurous events, such as obstacle courses, scavenger hunts, and themed bar crawls, to connect city dwellers with local neighborhoods. Their creative, interactive offerings include regularly occurring competitions such as the Warrior Dash, Great Urban Race, and Beach Dash, the proceeds from which usually benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Like the idea of having a pet rock, their events have grown more popular annually, and frequently spring up in cities across the United States.
Patrons descend upon the Buda Beer and Polka Fest to set eardrums in motion with lively accordion music and indulge taste buds in delectable German eats. Visitors roam the park imbibing in traditional German revelry as they fill their bellies with authentic cuisine such as schweinshaxe—the Bavarian-favorite roasted ham hock—or apfelküchle—a succulent dessert of fried apple cakes. An expansive pavilion shelters the stage from rainy weather and the sun's piercing gaze as traditional dancers do the hula to polka bands' spirited Bavarian oompah beats churned out in 2/4 time. In addition to German-inspired entertainment, such as arts and crafts, a gut-busting sausage-eating competition challenges visitors' stomach capacity and the sexiest-fräulein-costume contest encourages guests to don tantalizing lederhosen get-ups or ankle-revealing burlap sacks to impress the panel of judges.
The seventh annual Art Outside Festival quenches creative appetites with live music, artists, and a plentitude of interactive workshops and performances. Over 70 bands ally to form the three-day musical lineup, featuring musicians such as Hobotech, Stereo Is A Lie, and Pumpkin. Austin-area youths Residual Kid will move crowds with driving beats even though they aren't old enough to apply for learner's permits, and lots house art cars and geared wildlife from the Austin Bike Zoo to occupy vehicle aficionados. Lay hands on creativity through interactive video displays or marvel at artists filling the tented gallery with freshly painted pieces. Aerial-acrobatic and fire-sculpture demonstrations stretch the imagination as yoga classes stretch the body, and giant artworks stretch canvas over dilapidated barn doors.
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.