Austin in August 2017: Summer Fun with Bats, Hot Sauce and Ice Cream

August may be the hottest month of the year. But that doesn’t slow down the city’s flow of celebrations, concerts or even hot sauce festivals.

Perhaps it’s because August is the last month before the kids head back to school — that last month of summer fun. Whatever the case may be, Austin has a dizzying lineup of fun events going on.

Early in the month, you can head down to Zilker Park for free concerts and a production of “The Wizard of Oz.” The, Austin kicks off its late summer festivals with big gatherings for ice cream, hot sauce, bats and more.

So, get family and friends together, pack the cooler and head out for a few more summer adventures this month. Now, let’s check out that lineup.

August 1-12

You still have time to catch Zilker HIllside Theatre’s production of “The Wizard of Oz.” Bring the family down to the amphitheater on Thursdays and Sundays to see the show and enjoy the great outdoors. The shows start around 8:15 p.m., but you’re asked to arrive early to get seated without interrupting the experience.

When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Rd
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August 2

Blues on the Green is an Austin summer tradition. And the last of the free concerts comes up on the first Wednesday of August. KGSR and the rest of the sponsors are closing out the 2017 run with The Digital Wild opening the show and The Bright Light Social Hour headlining. Bring the whole family, including the dog, if you wish. You’ll probably want some folding chairs or a blanket, as well as a cooler with water, snacks and your favorite adult beverages.

When: Music starts at 8 p.m., but many people show up an hour or so early.
Where: Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Rd
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August 12

It’s been a blazing hot Texas summer. So why not celebrate with some ice cream? The Austin Ice Cream Festival, which has been going on for years, includes live music, a bunch of food vendors and, of course, loads of ice cream and plenty of shade.

When: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Where: Fiesta Gardens, 2101 Jesse E. Segovia St.
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August 19

Batman may live in Gotham. But Austin has the claim to the world’s largest urban bat colony, with something like 1.5 million Mexican Free-Tailed Bats living under the Congress Street Bridge. You can see them stream out from the bridge almost any evening around sunset. But only once a year will you get a chance to party on the bridge and celebrate the bats all night. Bat Fest features three stages of live music, dozens of arts and crafts vendors, plenty of food options, drinks galore, a bat costume contest and, of course, a mass viewing of the bats daily departure from the bridge.

When: 4 p.m. to midnight
Where: Ann Richards Congress Street Bridge
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August 19-20

If you love pets, the Austin Pet Expo will have everything you can imagine and more to make life with your cat, dog or you-name-it a bit more enjoyable. From adoptions to oddball vendors, you’ll see thousands of pet businesses represented and have a chance to check out the latest pet products.

When: All weekend
Where: Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd
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August 20

Some like it hot. And some like it even hotter. You’ll find these spice-tolerant people in droves at the Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival. It’s a marathon of chili-induced pain and pleasure. And it’s also one of the nation’s biggest hot sauce festivals, drawing 10,000 or more people to celebrate the heat.

When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Fiesta Gardens, 2101 Jesse E. Segovia St.
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August 26

Austin’s largest LGBTQ festival and fundraiser, PRIDE Festival, celebrates the city’s diverse culture and raises money for several nonprofit organizations. You’ll see dozens of performers, and have plenty of options for food and drink. The festival has helped raise more than $125K for nonprofits through the Austin PRIDE Cares program.

When: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Fiesta Gardens, 2101 Jesse E. Segovia St.
More information