August 2018 in Austin: Bats, Queso and Hot Sauce

While much of the country looks at Austin temperatures and thinks we must be cowering in the air-conditioned comfort of our homes, Austinites are notoriously active — even in the midst of summer heatwaves.

The city embraces the warmth with a queso festival, as well as a hot sauce festival, both of which draw thousands of people and feature live bands and more. Meanwhile, there are plenty of options for those who want to keep cool. RTX Fest, a production of Austin’s video gaming and comedy online empire, kicks off early in the month with a huge festival.

Whether you want to enjoy the sun or keep cool, the city has plenty to offer as summer begins to wind down and we gear up for an influx of University of Texas students and younger kids starting their school year.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the best events — and be sure to plot out any favorites on your calendar.

August 3-5

Until relatively recently, Austin-based Rooster Teeth was unknown to most adults. But the media and entertainment company is now producing big web series hits and its annual festival has grown to have more than 20,000 attendees. Their festival is a blend of comedy and gaming and technology. You can attend in person or watch live streams much of their content.

When: Aug. 3-5 all day

Where: Austin Convention Center

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August 8

If you enjoy the great outdoors and the folk rock songs of The Oh Hellos or the bouncing jams of Bidi Bidi Banda, you won’t want to miss Blues on the Green. The free, summertime concert series will have its final event of the summer on August 8. You can bring coolers with canned beverages and lawn chairs — and don’t forget plenty of water to stay cool.

When: 8 p.m. (people start arriving around 6 p.m.)

Where: Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Rd.

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August 10-12

Get ready for that back to school shopping. The Texas State Legislature has designated August 10 – 12 as the state’s annual tax holiday. That means you can get most clothing, including shoes, and other standard school supplies without paying any sales tax. Enjoy a little savings.

When: All weekend

Where: Anywhere in Texas

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August 18

You don’t have to be in Austin long before someone tells you about the bats under the Congress Avenue Bridge. Our 1.5 million Mexican Free-Tailed Bats are, in their own way, famous. So, now there’s a big festival to celebrate them at Bat Fest, which is now in its 14th year. You’ll find tons of food and drinks, as well as live music and entertainment. There’s also a bat costume contest. This year’s headliners include Dharma Kings, Ghostland Observatory, Cracker, Cory Morrow and Roger Creager.

When: Saturday, Aug. 18, 4 p.m. – midnight

Where: Congress Avenue Bridge

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August 25

To outsiders, queso sounds like nothing more than a bowl of melted cheese. But, for folks in Austin — and all across Texas — queso is something that comes in many varieties. With that in mind, the Quesoff will bring together chefs, home cooks and hungry tasters for a queso contest. A queso champ will be named, and you’ll have a chance to try practically every variety of queso you can think of — and then some.

When: Saturday, Aug. 25, 1 p.m.

Where: Mohawk, 912 Red River

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August 26

Some like it hot. Some like it really, really hot. We’ll find out who’s who at the 28th annual Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival. Thousands of heat-seeking eaters will be there to sample the pepper-laced delights. Plus, you’ll hear performances by Grammy winning artists Little Joe y La Familia, as well as sets by El Tule, Altamesa, Big Wy’s Brass Band and Chulita Vinyl Club.

When: Sunday, Aug. 26, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Mohawk, 912 Red River

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August 30 – September 2

Austin is a well-known film town. And one of the great festivals to bloom from this growing scene is the Capital City Black Film Festival. It features full-length films, documentaries, shorts and music videos from across Texas — and beyond. This year, Leon and Malik Yoba will be on hand for a 25th anniversary screening of “Cool Runnings.”

When: Thursday, Aug. 30 to Sept. 2

Where: Austin Convention Center

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