Polar Bear Splash
Barton Springs Pool, 2101 Barton Springs Road • www.sosalliance.org
For the last 30-plus years, Austinites have been plunging into Barton Springs Pool for this annual
Austin version of the Polar Bear swim. The event is sponsored by the SOS Alliance, a nonprofit
dedicated to the preservation of Barton Springs. Worried about the cold? Barton Springs is a
constant 68 degrees, so our human polar bears are much warmer than those in, say, Minnesota.
3M Half Marathon
Gateway Shopping Center (race start) • www.tinyurl.com/2w2jbh
One of the most popular of Austin’s road races because of its consistently stellar goody bag
(think LOTS of Post-Its and other practical household items by 3M), the 3M Austin Half
Marathon also draws a speedy international field and offers plenty of fun family activities.
First Thursday on South Congress Avenue (Monthly Event)
South Congress between Barton Springs Road and Elizabeth Street • www.firstthursday.info
First Thursday is a popular monthly event with the atmosphere of a giant block party. On
the first Thursday of each month, South Congress stores stay open late, frequently offering
special sales on merchandise, food, and drinks. Booths line the street selling handcrafted
jewelry, photography and art, pottery, homemade soap, clothes and more, and there’s also
live music and even a Volkswagen parade!
Photo By H. Chase Seal
Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road • www.sambaparty.com
Touted by Texas Monthly as Texas’ “best public bash” Carnaval in Austin is one of the
biggest celebrations outside of Brazil. Music and wild abandon converge in a festival of
fun, music, dancing, and traditional food.
Austin Marathon and Half Marathon
Austin • 512-476-7223 • www.youraustinmarathon.com
2013 marks the 22nd running of the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon. The event has hosted
as many as 20,000 runners a year and has generated more than $90 million for the local
economy and $6 million for Austin non-profits. The Marathon is the 23rd largest marathon in the
United States and has been host to an international field of approximately 130,000 runners over
the years. It was named “Greenest Race in North America” in 2008 by Runner’s World magazine.
Zilker Kite Festival
Zilker Park, Austin • 512-312-4056 • www.zilkerkitefestival.com
Started in 1929 by the Austin Exchange Club the Zilker Kite Festival is a staple annual
Austin event, which celebrates the beauty of the homemade kite. Each year thousands of
240 AUSTIN RELOCATION GUIDE – SUMMER | FALL 2013