16 things to do in Central Austin this March

Emma Freer/Community Impact Newspaper
Emma Freer/Community Impact Newspaper

Emma Freer/Community Impact Newspaper

Image description
Courtesy ABC Kite Fest
Image description
Courtesy Rodeo Austin
Updated Feb. 27 at 12:15 p.m. to correct the amount of money Amplify Austin Day raised in 2019

March 5-6

Help Amplify Austin

Amplify Austin Day, the city’s day of giving run by nonprofit I Live Here I Give Here, returns for its eighth year with a 24-hour period to support area nonprofits. Last year, the event raised over $11.2 million for more than 700 organizations.

6 p.m.-6 p.m. Areawide. 512-717-4190.


March 7

Parade for Texas

Local nonprofit Celebrate Texas hosts its annual parade, this year in honor of the 184th anniversary of Texas’ declaration of independence from Mexico. 9:30-10:30 a.m. Free. Texas State Capitol, 1100 Congress Ave.


March 7

Volunteer at a local park

Austin Parks Foundation hosts It’s My Park Day, a semiannual citywide park cleanup. Last year, more than 3,000 volunteers worked on nearly 100 projects across town. Times and locations vary. Free. 512-477-1566. www.austinparks.org

March 7

Launch a water lantern

The family-friendly Water Lantern Festival includes food trucks and live music, a chance to design your own lantern and a nighttime launch. It occurs in cities around the world, including Athens, Greece; Bogota, Colombia; and Hanoi, Vietnam. 4-10 p.m. $45.99 (until March 6), $55.99 (day of). Mueller Lake Park, 4550 Mueller Blvd.


March 8-9

See a traveling film festival

The “Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour” returns to Austin with screenings of the best films shown at the 2019 festival in Alberta, Canada. Proceeds benefit Texas state parks. 6 p.m. (Sun.), 7 p.m. (Mon.). $22.03. Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave. 512-472-5470.


March 13-22

Plan your SXSW

South by Southwest Conference & Festivals returns. Speakers include musician Diplo, artist Gabo Arora and researcher Brené Brown. Times and locations vary. $485-$1,475.

512-467-7979. www.sxsw.com

March 14-28

Giddy-up to the rodeo

Rodeo Austin is an annual festival featuring professional rodeo events, a livestock show and live music over the course of two weeks. This year’s headliners include country singer Aaron Watson and boy band 98 Degrees. Times vary. $20-$175. Travis County Exposition Center, 9100 Decker Lane. 512-919-3000. www.rodeoaustin.com•

March 15

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

This event includes Celtic musicians; Irish dancers; a menu featuring fish and chips, corned beef and cabbage, and Guinness; and horse-and-carriage rides. Noon-6 p.m. $7 (children), $15 (adults on or before March 9); $10 (children), $20 (adults after March 9). Pioneer Farms, 10621 Pioneer Farms Drive. www.stpatricksdayaustin.com

March 15-May 15

Catch the bats at the bridge

As many as 1.5 million Brazilian free-tailed bats make their home in the crevices beneath the Congress Avenue bridge. During peak season, crowds wait to see them fly out at dusk to feed. Merlin Tuttle, a local bat conservationist, said the best times to see them are from mid-March to mid-May and from late July to late August. Dusk. Free. Congress Avenue Bridge. www.merlintuttle.org

March 18-21

Attend a free show

South x San José returns to the Hotel San José parking lot for its 21st year, with live music and local vendors. Past performers include Alabama Shakes, the Tings Tings and Houndmouth. Noon. Free. Hotel San José, 1316 S. Congress Ave.

512-444-7322. www.sanjosehotel.com

March 21

Improve your child’s reading skills

Children can read stories to trained therapy dogs from the Certified Dog Alliance. This program helps children of all reading levels improve their communication skills. 10-11:30 a.m. Free. Central Library, 710 W. Cesar Chavez St. 512-974-7400.


March 25-28

Watch the 93rd annual Texas Relays

The Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays are an annual track and field competition for high school, college, university and invitational divisions. Times vary. Free. Mike A. Myers Stadium, 707 Clyde Littlefield Drive. www.texassports.com

March 25-29

See the PGA Tour’s best

Dell Match Play returns as part of the World Golf Championship and is one of only four contests to use a match play format, where players earn points for each hole they best their opponents, as opposed to stroke play. Times vary. $120-$625. Austin Country Club, 4408 Long Champ Drive. www.pgatour.com

March 27-28

Celebrate 15 years at the Urban Music Fest

The music festival brings together lovers of R&B, jazz, neo-soul and gospel in Austin from an Afrocentric perspective. Showtimes vary. $5-$150. Auditorium Shores, 900 W. Riverside Drive.


March 28

Dress up your dog

This year’s Mighty Texas Dog Walk theme is “Dogs Are Magic.” Costumes are encouraged, and trophies are awarded for largest team, best individual costume, best team costumes and look-a-like pair. Proceeds benefit Service Dogs Inc. 9 a.m.-noon. $10-$100. Austin American-Statesman, 305 S. Congress Ave. 512-858-1495.


March 29

Bring out your kite

ABC Kite Fest, an annual, family-friendly event offers a kite-flying contest, a fun run and a children’s music contest. Founded in 1929 by the Exchange Club of Austin, a service organization, this event is the country’s longest-running festival of its kind. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.. Free. Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Road. 512-837-9500. www.abckitefest.org•
By Emma Freer

Emma Freer began covering Central Austin for Community Impact Newspaper in 2017. Her beat includes the Travis County Commissioners Court and local business news. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School in 2017.


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