Over the years, other cities have tried to claim the slogan as their own (we see you, Portland), but ‘Keep Austin Weird’ remains uniquely Austin.
With an ever-growing influx of visitors and a growing tech scene, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the Live Music Capital of the World might be losing its weird edge. Fortunately, however, Austinites are not backing down from the fight to retain the spirit that Leslie Cochran best embodied, and which the city has refused to let die with him. Here are 10 traditions that keep Austin weird.
Since 1963, Eeyore, the melancholy donkey in AA Milne’s children’s classic Winnie the Pooh, has been the guest of honor as thousands of Austinites flock to Pease Park to celebrate his birthday. The event resembles a cross between a hallucinatory dream and a field day at your local elementary school. Drum circles, drugs and a fair amount of nudity dominate one side of the park, and families, maypoles and children’s games the other. In another city it would be a recipe for disaster, but Austin makes it seem downright wholesome.
Christmas at Lala’s Little Nugget
It’s Christmas all year round at Lala’s. Elaborate Christmas decorations, including a roof with a reindeer and festive Christmas lights, transform this bar into a Central Texas North Pole. Since its founding in 1972, the bar has served classic Texan fare. On its current menu you’ll find barbecue and Tex-Mex cuisine.
Tamales for Christmas and Thanksgiving
Mexican food is at the heart of Texan cuisine. From late November through the end of the year, homemade tamales are a hot commodity, with local favorites like Tamale House East and Curra’s Grill cranking out thousands of them for customers.
Maudie’s Moonlight Margarita Run
The run, now in its 15th year, raises money for The Trail Foundation to help protect and enhance the trails around Lady Bird Lake and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail. The runners don’t actually drink margaritas before the run; they just join the guests for food and libations following the race.
If you’re keen on doing more in Austin, check out our guide to the best attractions and things to do in Austin.
In 1894, Austin purchased 34 Moonlight Towers, and they have shed their light on the city ever since. (The only exception was from 1993 to 1995, when they were dismantled and restored, bolt by bolt.) Now, only 15 remain. Over the years they have starred in a number of movies, including appearing alongside Mathew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused (1993).