Eeyores Birthday Party

by Dominic Mondragon

Eeyores 54th annual celebration will be held on April 29th, 2017 at Pease Park in Austin, TX.

Photos by Brian Stage

Eeyore’s Birthday Party is a day-long festival taking place annually in Austin, Texas since 1963. It typically occurs on the last Saturday of April in Austin’s Pease District Park. It includes live music, food and drink vending, which benefit local non-profit organizations, attendees in colorful costumes, and very large drum circles. The event is frequented by children and families, with specific events presented for them by the event organizers. The festival is named in honor of Eeyore, a character in A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh stories. (from wiki).

This is probably one of the first free events I went to when I first moved to Austin and still one of my favorites. Drum circles, Adam and Steve, The silver guy, the maypole, a real Eeyore, people dancing everywhere, and these days, a great way to support nonprofits by purchasing beer and food from them on site. Bring cash, sunscreen, instruments, love, dogs, blankets, friends, etc. Yes these days this has become a family friendly event with kids running everywhere, but make sure you understand this is Austin, and people will be weird and fun!

 

Eeyore’s Parking: The best way to get to the fest is to use public transportation. Since it is located in West Campus off of Lamar, the park is not parking friendly. Cap Metro will drop you off via the 338 (Lamar/45th route) which runs on Lamar and stops at Martin Luther King. It runs until 11:00pm. You can also always bike it, or ride share.

If you drive: There is always free parking which includes a free shuttle on 17th street and Colorado at the State parking garage “E” and “Lot 3”. It may take a little longer to get there later in the afternoon using the shuttle. Click here for a map to the FREE Shuttle Bus Pickup location. Also, If you want to drive and park super close,  you can park with the Pease Park Conservancy for $15. All proceeds will benefit Pease Park. They will be parking cars at MLK and Lamar at the T3 Parking garage, located just across the street from the festivities.

Eeyores Birthday Party is a fundraiser to benefit non-profit groups in Austin. Some of these groups will be selling hot and cold food (including vegetarian), soft drinks, juices, spring water, and Texas beert. Look for commemorative Eeyore’s Birthday Party T-shirts.

  • Wear a costume. There will be costume contests and other games with prizes for children of all ages.
  • Artists will be doing face painting, henna, and temporary tattoos.
  • Musicians playing non-amplified instruments are invited to play.
  • There will be Maypoles for the young and young at heart.
  • Children’s Area from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
  • LIVE MUSIC from 12 noon to 6 p.m.
  • ALWAYS FREE ADMISSION
Remember:

NO bottles, cans, or coolers will be allowed in the park.
Please keep all dogs on leashes.
An ID will be required to purchase alcoholic beverages.
No Tents

 

Volunteer:

 If you would like to volunteer, there is this Volunteer information link from eeyores.org. Volunteers work in shifts and are offered free beverages and food when they are not working. It is a great way to meet new people and network, and they have many returning volunteers come back each year.

 

 

SxSurvival Tips – How to Have the Best, Safest SXSW Ever!

by Traci Marie Mondragon

SXSW is a marathon, not a sprint. Let that be your mantra from March 11-20. Your body, your friends, and your spirit will thank you. If you take nothing else away from this post, let it be that. Slow your roll. Stop and enjoy the week. Pace yourself!

Living, breathing, and going to the bathroom.

If you’ve heeded my other advice throughout this series, then you are well-equipped with a plan for loads of parties with free food, drinks, and amazing live music. You want to make the most of all this planning you’ve worked hard at! This means staying WELL throughout the week. This means:

  • Load up on Emergen-C
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Drink WATER (one after every 1-2 boozey beverages)
  • If a party has fruits/veggies available as part of their free snacks, eat them!
  • Take sit-down breaks when seats are available
  • A break could be as simple as sitting under a tree at one of those free parties, or going inside the convention center to cool off in the A/C (if it’s hot).

Speaking of the Convention Center… there are a TON of free, clean bathrooms inside! Most hotel lobbies also have lovely bathrooms, and because so many people are going in and out of all these downtown hotels, no one will stop you from using their facilities if you’re not staying there.

Pack the essentials.

  • Photo ID (everyone ID’s during SX)
  • Cell phone
  • Phone charger, extra battery, and/or wireless/battery-powered charger
  • Cash (preferably small bills for tipping)
  • Credit/Debit card
  • Refillable water bottle (there are water coolers all throughout the convention center also)
  • Maps, schedules
  • Light snacks
  • Emergen-C
  • Sunscreen
  • (because I’m a super girlie girl) powder, lip gloss, eyeliner  *optional

A cross-body bag or backpack can store all these items, as well as any swag you might collect throughout the day. Oh, and if you DO have a badge… DON’T be an idiot and keep your credit cards/photo ID inside the plastic badge sleeve. Taking that thing in and out of that is a great way to lose your badge, lose your ID/cards, or make it more difficult to scan your badge at official venues.

Getting downtown, parking, getting home safe!

If you’re driving yourself…

Give yourself about 2 hours to drive downtown, find parking, and get to where you’re going on time. No, this isn’t an exaggeration. Parking will be a nightmare, as will traffic in and around downtown.

A good tip for where to park, in regards to your plans for the day… park near where you plan to end your night. You’ll be so incredibly tired by 2am, especially if you’ve been out since before noon. It’s better to have a long trek at the start of your day, than at the end.

Many of the street meters will be wrapped up and only allow special permits to park by them, so don’t rely on where you “know” there is street parking. Garages may cost up to 5x as much as usual. So budget for parking, or be prepared to park much farther from downtown than expected.

Take Public Transporation!

If you just read the above, I might have scared you off from driving yourself. And while Austin isn’t exactly the most public transpo-friendly city, we’ve still got some great options.

Capital Metro runs later than usual during SXSW, and this site will help guide you to your destination with ease! Key tip if you live central/west: Highland Mall is pretty much shut down, and has a huge parking lot right across the street from a Metro Rail stop! The Metro Rail that also stops RIGHT in front of the Convention Center!

If you partied way too hard, use ride-sharing. GET HOME SAFE.

Above all else… make sure you get home safe. The ride sharing options in Austin no longer include Uber and Lyft, but we have Fasten and Fare, which are both good options.

Invite-only FADER FORT is Back at SXSW!

by Traci Mondragon

The long-awaited announcement is finally here… FADER FORT is back!

The rumors are true about a smaller venue, as the new Fort will be located in a much more intimate space, at 1209 E. 6th Street. This should make for some pretty killer shows. Artists already announced include fierce songstresses Lizzo and Bishop Briggs, among others.

The event also welcomes back Budweiser, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, and vitaminwater® as sponsors. They will refresh guests, and join new sponsors Dream Hotels and The North Face. Prepare for an amazing week if you are among the lucky invitees. FADER FORT is happening March 15-18…stay tuned for updates!

This weekend we found ourselves fortunate to be invited to AIM fest aka the Austin instrumental music fest. A one day long musical showcase at the Empire control room with 2 stages and 20 acts. In its third year it has grown from a mere less than 100 in attendance to over 500. The ticket price was $25 and let me tell you, you got your money’s worth.

I didn’t really know what to expect from the music but was blown away by what I heard. From a bit of classical to jazz to heavy metal and some fantastic 8bit music I was not disappointed. My only regret was having to run errands and getting there late. My personal favorite band of the night had to be Bitforce. A power-trio with superhuman abilities that fights the evil of the universe with their tasty nerdcore groove as self-described on their facebook but I agree.

I hope that this fest continues to grow each year, it’s definitely underrated and underappreciated. This is the type of festival that makes Austin such a cool place to keep living in. We at Ballin most certainly cannot wait till next year.