March brings a bevy of fabulous festivals to Austin


March brings a bevy of fabulous festivals to Austin

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Thomas Weir and his son Caven, 9, join the crowd at the 2016 ABC Zilker Kite Festival. The fest returns March 4. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN 2016

Get out your calendar and make plans for these festivals coming to the Austin area in March (no, it’s not just South by Southwest).

Explore UT, March 3. Texans of all ages are invited to learn about the importance of public research institutions and participate in hands-on demonstrations and experiments at the University of Texas.

Texas Independence Day Run and Parade, March 3. The 5K run up Congress Avenue starts at 8 a.m., followed by a parade.

ABC Zilker Kite Festival, March 4. Although last year’s Kite Festival was cursed by bad weather, the tradition will return this spring with hundreds of kites floating above beloved Zilker Park. The rain date is March 11.

South by Southwest, March 9-18. The annual Film, Interactive and Music conferences and festival return. This year’s highlighted speakers include actor and musician Common, journalist and author Katie Couric and the cast of NBC drama “This Is Us.”

Rodeo Austin, March 10-24. Attend one of America’s top 10 ProRodeos, see more than 100 musical artists and visit Austin’s largest carnival. The free kickoff Cowboy Breakfast is scheduled for March 2 at the Long Center.

Mexican American Experience, March 14-15. The free festival showcases music from Tejano to Latin rock.

Luck Reunion, March 15. See up-and-coming and well-known Americana and folk artists at Willie Nelson’s Luck ranch during South by Southwest.

St. Patrick’s Day Festival, March 17. Drink classic Irish imports instead of green beer and listen to live Celtic music at Austin’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration at Pioneer Farms.

Pan Americana Festival, March 17-18. Celebrate diversity with Hispanic movies, music, literature, art and food at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center.

Texas Relays, March 28-31. The University of Texas hosts one of the largest track meets in the country.

Fashion X Austin, March 29-April 7. View collections from local and international designers, meet “Project Runway” stars and shop at trunk shows during Texas’ biggest fashion week event.

Urban Music Festival, March 30-31. Austin’s Urban Music Festival returns to Auditorium Shores with two days of fun and cultural awareness. This year’s lineup includes En Vogue, Dave Hollister, Vivian Green and Freddie Jackson.

— Chloe Gonzales

Party like it’s 1999 with an old-school Smashing Pumpkins lineup

It’s not quite a full reunion, but the Smashing Pumpkins lineup that will play the Erwin Center on July 16 will be the closest approximation to the one that recorded the band’s biggest hits in the 1990s.

Joining frontman Billy Corgan for the band’s summer tour is co-founding guitarist James Iha, who played on multi-platinum-selling albums such as “Siamese Dream” and “Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness” but last toured with the group in 2000. Classic-era drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, who has toured occasionally with Corgan in a Pumpkins lineup that also included recent recruit Jeff Schroeder, also is aboard, as is Schroeder.

Notably absent is D’Arcy Wretzky, who hasn’t played with the group since 1999. A recent Rolling Stone interview with Wretzky continued bad blood between her and Corgan, including contentious accounts of her potential participation in this tour, and notes that Jack Bates will be the touring bassist with the band.

The Austin date will be the third of 36 shows the band has booked from July 12 to Sept. 7. Get tickets and more info at

— Peter Blackstock

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