Austin in August 2016: Hot Sauce, Pet Expos and a Whole Lot of Music

August may be the hottest month of the year, but it’s also one that is packed with some of the coolest events. And what better time to get the whole family out before the school year starts.

This month, you’ll find festivals that celebrate everything from bats to ice cream. And there’s a nearly endless stream of live music opportunities to keep your feet stomping. Speaking of which, you could stomp your way onto the label of a bottle of wine at the Dry Comal Creek Grape Stomp.

So, pull up your calendar and make time for a few family outings before that first day of school


August 3

All good things must come to an end, at least for the season. That’s the case for Blues on the Green, the free, summertime music series held once a month on Wednesday evenings at Zilker Park. This summer’s final show features Sweet Spirit and The Suffers. Bring a picnic blanket or a camping chair, a few cold drinks and a snack or two to enjoy during the show.

When: Music starts at 8 p.m., but it’s best to arrive about an hour early.
Where: Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Road
More information


August 6-7

Get your stomp on, then follow it with a few sips. The Dry Comal Creek Grape Stomp is part of a two-week tradition that involves couples competing in the grape stomp for the chance at having your name printed on the label of Dry Comal Creek’s “Foot Pressed” red wine. Not too many people can claim that kind of hard-earned fame. And, even if you don’t win, you can show off your style at the Trash the Dress show, which features women wearing grape-stained dresses, typically an old wedding or prom dress.

When: Noon
Where: 1741 Herbelin Rd, New Braunfels, TX
More information


August 13

Fight the heat with everyone’s favorite summertime treat. The Austin Ice Cream Festival features dozens of vendors selling a wide-variety of icy treats — not to mention plenty of other eats. The festival brings in bands, craft vendors and artists to provide a little something for everyone in the family. And there’s plenty of shade under the pavilion if your ice cream is melting too fast. Tickets are $15, and they include three ice cream tastings.

When: 10 a.m. to sundown
Where: Fiesta Gardens, 2101 Jesse E. Segovia St.
More information


August 20

One of the strangest tourist attractions in Austin is the massive colony of Mexican Free-Tailed Bats that live under the Congress Avenue Bridge. Add some live music, a ton of vendors and games and you have Bat Fest, an annual celebration of the bats where they close the bridge off from traffic and party all evening long, including the bats’ epic departure from under the bridge just before sundown. This year’s musical acts include: Blue October, American Authors, Ace Frehley, The Mowgli’s, Coleman Hell, Puddle of Mudd, Warren G, Alpha Rev, Vallejo and more.

When: 4 p.m. to midnight
Where: Congress Avenue Bridge in downtown Austin
More information


August 20

Here’s one to bark at. The Austin Pet Expo features vaccinations, pet toys, contests and much more for the whole furry family. There’s even a costume contest.

When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road
More information


August 21

Some like it hot. Others like it even hotter. Whatever your pleasure, the Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival can surely find the right temperature for you, even it it’s no hot sauce and just a cold beer. Aside from the spicy competitions, you’ll also find other bites, drinks and live music. This year’s lineup includes Joe King Carrasco, A. Sinclair, Bombasta, Mayeux and Broussard and La Vida Buena.

When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Fiesta Gardens: 2101 Jesse E Segovia St., Austin
More information


August 27

One of Texas largest celebrations of gay pride happens at Fiesta Gardens each year at the PRIDE Festival and Parade. The music and performances help fuel nonprofit organizations that work toward equality. The festival includes a big lineup of music and entertainment, including Big Freedia, Cynthia Lee Fontaine, Book of Love and more.

When: Parade at 11 a.m., festivities throughout the day
Where: Fiesta Gardens: 2101 Jesse E Segovia St., Austin
More information