Things to do in Central Austin this weekend, Jan. 27-29

Bacon and Beer

Jan. 28 | Austin Bacon and Beer Festival

The fourth annual festival brings together area restaurants and breweries to benefit Central Texas Food Bank.
1-4 p.m. $47 (general). Brazos Hall, 204 E. Fourth St., Austin.

Jan. 28 | Austin Gorilla Run

Participants wear gorilla or banana costumes in the seventh annual 5K. Runners keep their suits after the race and proceeds benefit Mountain Gorillas.
7-8:30 a.m. (registration), 9 a.m. (5K). $15 (returning little gorilla), $30 (first-time little gorilla), $40 (returning adult gorilla), $60 (first-time adult banana), $99.95 (first-time adult gorilla), prices increase race day. Camp Mabry, 2200 W. 35th St., Austin. 720-524-0272.

Jan. 28 | Chinese New Year dinner

Chinese New Year dinnerOld Thousand hosts the event, which consists of a six-course dinner for two or an eight-course dinner for four guests. In addition, the full menu is also available at the restaurant. According to the Chinese zodiac, 2017 is the Year of the Rooster, and Old Thousand will have specially themed decor, baked goods and menu items to match. 5-11 p.m. $80 (six-course dinner), $160 (eight-course dinner). Old Thousand, 1000 E. 11th St., Ste. 150, Austin. 737-222-6637.

Jan. 28| The Braille Challenge

Braille ChallengeThe 17th annual reading and writing contest in braille for legally blind, school-age students has more than 1,100 participants throughout North America this year. Austin is among 49 cities in the U.S. and Canada holding the event. 9:15 a.m. Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, 1100 W. 45th St., Austin.

Jan. 28 | USO Operation That's My Dress

Teens in military families in the Fort Hood and Austin areas can pick out a new gown or cocktail dress from brands such as Sherri Hill, Ann Taylor and Ralph Lauren. The event also features a beauty bar with jewelry and fashion accessories and kicks off with a fashion show featuring professional models. Stylists provide on-site hair and makeup demonstrations and consultations. 12:30-8:30 p.m. Camp Mabry, 2200 W. 35th St., Bldg. 8, Austin.
By JJ Velasquez
The Central Austin editor since 2016, JJ covers city government and other topics of community interest—when he's not editing the work of his prolific writers. He began his tenure at Community Impact Newspaper as the reporter for its San Marcos | Buda | Kyle edition covering local government and public education. The Laredo, Texas native is also a web developer whose mission is to make the internet a friendly place for finding objective and engaging news content.


Overall in Travis County there has been a total of 10,695 cases since mid-March.. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Travis County adds 571 COVID-19 cases; new restriction put in place ahead of holiday weekend

Overall in Travis County there has been a total of 10,695 cases since mid-March.

The First Street Foundation's dataset includes a forecast models that anticipate the effects of climate change and sea level rise. (Screenshot via First Street Foundation)
Analysis: FEMA may be undercounting national total flood risk by as much as 70%

The new dataset includes an interactive Flood Factor dashboard that anyone can use to assess the risk of flooding over a 30-year period for any address.

A photo of a person wearing a medical mask
Travis County Judge supports state masking order, says county will enforce

After Gov. Greg Abbot's statewise mandate to wear masks that cover mouth and nose, Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe voiced his support.

A statue of Willie Nelson sits in front of ACL Live at the Moody Theater at the corner of Lavaca and Second streets.
Austin police will no longer arrest for low-level marijuana possession

Austin police will no longer arrest or issue citations for most marijuana possession offenses under 4 ounces.

Neighborhood Sushi is now open on South Congress Avenue. (Photo courtesy McGuire Moorman Hospitality)
Neighborhood Sushi from McGuire Moorman Hospitality now open on South Congress

The new sushi spot is the latest from the Austin-based hospitality group, which also operates restaurants such as Perla's Oyster Bar and Elizabeth Street Cafe.

Be More Pacific owners Giovan Cuchapin and Mark Pascual will keep their Houston location open but have no plans to reopen in Austin. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Business closings in Central Austin: Be More Pacific, Daruma Ramen, Troublemaker will not reopen doors

The Central Austin restaurants all recently announced their permanent closures, as did another Red River music venue and a North Central Austin gym.

Gov. Greg Abbott
Gov. Greg Abbott: Texans must wear masks in public starting July 3

"COVID-19 is not going away," Gov. Abbott said. "In fact, it is getting worse."

Whole Foods Market opened in the Plaza Saltillo development on June 29. (Courtesy Endeavor)
Whole Foods opens Plaza Saltillo location

Additional businesses including Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ and Poke Austin are set to open in the East Austin development this summer.

When interest rates are low, homeowners may look to save money by refinancing, which means getting a new mortgage with a better term or interest rate to lower payments. (Source: Matt Frankel/Community Impact Newspaper)
'Refinancing isn't free:' How to navigate refinancing a mortgage

When interest rates are low, homeowners may look to save money by refinancing, which means getting a new mortgage with a better term or interest rate to lower payments.

Man looking at plants in a greenhouse garden store
Garden Seventeen opens its doors in North Central Austin

The new greenhouse and garden store comes from Native Edge Landscape owner Rodney Stoutenger.

Episcopal Health Foundation
Survey: Texans support emphasis on improving economy, safety, pollution to address overall health

“COVID-19 is clearly showing what Texans already know: the state needs to address underlying, non-medical conditions that have a dramatic impact on their health,” Episcopal Health Foundation President and CEO Elena Marks said.

Try Hard Coffee shop
Try Hard Coffee now open in East Austin

The new spot is serving coffee, pastries and tacos on its outdoor patio as construction work continues inside.